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Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973)

An aging Pat Garrett is hired as a lawman on behalf of a group of wealthy New Mexico cattle barons--his sole purpose being to bring down his old friend Billy the Kid.

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Eno
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Poe
Richard Bright ...
Holly
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Maria
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Howland
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Storyline

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 <esutton@mindspring.com>

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Taglines:

Best of enemies. Deadliest of friends.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for western violence and sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

31 August 1973 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$4,638,783 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(1988 restored) | (2005 DVD Special Edition) | (Cut theatrical)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Paul Seydor's 2015 book "The Authentic Death And Contentious Afterlife Of Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid", the original 1973 theatrical release ended with a two-shot of a smiling Garrett and Billy from the opening scene, a decision imposed upon the film by then-MGM president James Aubrey that the editors of the film, Roger Spottiswoode, Garth Craven, and Robert Wolfe, all hated. The 2005 Special Edition ends on a freeze frame of Garrett appearing to be swallowed up by the desert landscape as he leaves Fort Sumner. See more »

Goofs

When Cody is lying on a bed, his left arm is over the rifle, with his hand hanging from the bed, and his right hand is leaning on his left shoulder. In the next shot, when Poe touches him, his left hand is holding the rifle and his right hand leaning on the bed. See more »

Quotes

Billy: [after firing a coachgun loaded with 10 cents coins at Deputy Bob Ollinger] Keep change, Bob!
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Connections

Referenced in I'm Not There. (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Knockin' on Heaven's Door
Written by 'Bob Dylan'
Performed by 'Bob Dylan'
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User Reviews

One of Peckinpah's Finest
7 August 1999 | by (Herndon,VA) – See all my reviews

I enjoyed the film very much, in part because Peckinpah continues his theme, as he did in "Ballad of Cable Hogue" and "The Wild Bunch", of the illusion of who is "good" and who is "evil." Also, Peckinpah mourns the passing of people such as Garrett and Billy; at one point Garrett says to Poe, "This country's getting old, and I'm to get old with it." Garrett knows that he and Billy, among others, are to disappear from the West as big business and civilization advance, and Garrett tries to avoid this by selling out to Chisum (Barry Sullivan) and the Santa Fe Ring. But Garrett is a torn man; he is trying to avoid the tide of history by avoiding the eventual meeting with Billy, while also trying to avoid the financial forces (e.g., Chisum) that are making individuals such as himself disappear, so that big business will take over. The entire film is really a depiction of Garrett and Billy avoiding each other in order to resist historical forces that they would have a better chance of surviving if both of them left New Mexico or if both of them were on the same side. However, Garrett feels that aligning himself with the ranchers is better for survival, but in the end the hand that fed him, so to speak, is the same hand that destroys him. A truly poetic, and quite elegiac film, one that I feel is underrated among Peckinpah's films.


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