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Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 11,789 users  
Reviews: 103 user | 50 critic

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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Title: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973)

Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973) on IMDb 7.4/10

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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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Rita Coolidge ...
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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Best of enemies. Deadliest of friends.

Genres:

Drama | History | Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

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)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

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

Average Shot Length (ASL) = 4.5 seconds (2005 DVD Version). This is fast by most 1970s' film standards, but quite slow for Sam Peckinpah. For example, The Wild Bunch (1969) has an A.S.L. of three seconds, Junior Bonner (1972) 3.5 seconds, The Killer Elite (1975) four seconds. See more »

Goofs

As Pat Leaves Fort Sumner, a young boy throws stones at him. In longer shots, Pat and the boy are in shadow, but the close shots of the boy show him in bright sunshine with clear sharp shadows defined. See more »

Quotes

Billy: Ol' Pat... Sheriff Pat Garrett. Sold out to the Santa Fe ring. How does it feel?
Garrett: It feels like... times have changed.
Billy: Times, maybe. Not me.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sudden Impact (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

Sporadically brilliant.
15 May 2003 | by (Todmorden, England) – See all my reviews

Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid is a unique western. Parts of it are just brilliant, other moments are bungled, but it is composed and structured like no other movie from the genre.

Everyone knows the western legend about these two central characters, who went from being friends to sworn adversaries. The leading performances of James Coburn (Garrett) and Kris Kristofferson (Billy) are rather colourless, but the subsidiary characters are beautifully delineated. There are some pretentious moments. For example, near the start Billy is arrested and as he makes his way towards the lawmen who have come to take him, he adopts a Christ-like pose which is presumably meant to signify that he was some kind of martyr among Wild West outlaws (when, in reality, he was probably just a psychopath).

However, there are stunning moments in the film too. In fact, the scene in which Slim Pickens stumbles, wounded and mortally bleeding, to a riverside so that he can die peacefully is arguably the most moving scene ever in a motion picture. The acting, the music and the photography fit together harmoniously to make this a truly magical cinematic moment.

One word of warning: beware of the incoherent, chopped-up 106 minute version of the film. If you're planning to watch it, go for the full 122 minute director's cut, which is immeasurably superior.


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