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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>
I saw Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid again tonight after a few decades. What a disappointment. If the story is true that Sam Peckinpah was so angry at the studio cut that he urinated on the screen, I can see why. It suffers from bad casting, bad editing and dull pacing, and is often just plain boring. This is due in part to Bob Dylan's irritating music, which drones on and on in the background like a stuck record. They should have gone with a real score by someone who actually knows how to write music. Imagine "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" without Ennio Morricone. The dramatic tension in this movie could have been seriously improved by an intelligent soundtrack, and not amateur Dylan-whining. At the time it might have been hip, but decades later it's just plain bad. I did like the gritty, dusty sense of reality in the sets and locations. But how come everybody is grizzled and gritty except for Kris Kristofferson, who is totally clean-shaven in every scene. He always looks waxed and buffed, like he just stepped out of the make-up trailer. Wouldn't some stubble and grit look more realistic on a wanted outlaw? He's also too old for the part, can't act worth a damn, and always speaks in his famous patented monotone drawl that he uses for every movie he's ever been in. There's a lot of major flaws in this movie. Casting Bob Dylan was definitely one of them. He's totally out of place with all the famous characters like Jack Elam, Slim Pickens, and Dub Taylor. Putting him beside James Coburn, who is a real actor and very believable, is a joke. Dylan was obviously written in for one reason only--- to sell the soundtrack. One of the most over-rated westerns of all time, and definitely not one of Peckinpah's best.
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