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It's 1881 in New Mexico, and the times they are a'changing. Pat Garrett, erstwhile travelling companion of the outlaw Billy the Kid has become a sheriff, tasked by cattle interests with ridding the territory of Billy. After Billy escapes, Pat assembles a posse and chases him through the territory, culminating in a final confrontation at Fort Sumner, but is unaware of the full scope of the cattle interests' plans for the New West. Written by
Ed Sutton <email@example.com>
Pat Garrett was killed in 1908, not 1909. See more »
[to the man whose horse he's stolen after breaking out of jail and killing Deputy Sheriff Bob Ollinger with a shotgun loaded with 16 silver dimes, after the man complains about being reimbursed for the animal]
"There's a buck-sixty in old Bob if you can dig it out."
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On the surface, a film about the doomed friendship between the two title characters, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid is really a film about the death of a way of American life. Death is omni-present in this film, and the compelling aspect of it is that so many of the characters are completely prepared to accept it and deal it out. The best and saddest moments in the film involve characters who know they are going to die and accept it. And the performances are all remarkable. Kristofferson's easygoing and charismatic portrayal of Billy is the best work of his career, as is Coburn's sad-eyed interpretation of Pat Garrett. A wonderful film, almost as good as Peckinpah's masterpiece The Wild Bunch.
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