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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
On an accompanying featurette on the 2-DVD release of the film, Paul Seydor, author of "Peckinpah: The Western Films, A Reconsideration", said that there were rumors back in 1973 that MGM was preparing a cut of Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid that was only ninety-five minutes in length and cut out much of the expository material to cut from one action scene to the next. Peckinpah, according to Pauline Kael, even considered allowing that version to be released for the explicit purpose of showing how damaging the MGM regime of that time was. See more »
(at around 1 min) During the Governor's interview with Pat Garrett at the dining table, the shadow of the boom operator is clearly visible on the table cloth to the right of the Governor. See more »
Ol' Pat... Sheriff Pat Garrett. Sold out to the Santa Fe ring. How does it feel?
It feels like... times have changed.
Times, maybe. Not me.
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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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