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Billy the Kid (1930)

Passed | | Action, Biography, Drama | 18 October 1930 (USA)
In this version of the Billy the Kid legend, Billy, after shooting down land baron William Donovan's henchmen for killing Billy's boss, is hunted down and captured by his friend, Sheriff ... See full summary »


King Vidor


Walter Noble Burns (book), Laurence Stallings (dialogue) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Johnny Mack Brown ... Billy the Kid (as John Mack Brown)
Wallace Beery ... Pat Garrett
Kay Johnson ... Claire
Karl Dane ... Swenson
Wyndham Standing ... John W. Tunston
Russell Simpson ... Angus McSween
Blanche Friderici ... Mrs. McSween (as Blanche Frederici)
Roscoe Ates ... Old Stuff (as Rosco Ates)
Warner Richmond ... Bob Ballinger (as Warner P. Richmond)
James A. Marcus James A. Marcus ... William P. Donovan (as James Marcus)
Nelson McDowell ... Hatfield
Jack Carlyle Jack Carlyle ... Dick Brewer
John Beck John Beck ... Butterworth
Chris-Pin Martin ... Santiago (as Chris Martin)
Marguerita Padula Marguerita Padula ... Nicky Whoosiz


In this version of the Billy the Kid legend, Billy, after shooting down land baron William Donovan's henchmen for killing Billy's boss, is hunted down and captured by his friend, Sheriff Pat Garrett. He escapes and is on his way to Mexico when Garrett, recapturing him, must decide whether to bring him in or to let him go. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The true-life story of a Western Bad Man. (print ad -Lubbock Morning Avalanche - Palace Theatre -Lubbock, Texas - December 7, 1930) See more »


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Although he's fourth billed, most of Karl Dane's scenes wound up deleted from the final release print. See more »

Alternate Versions

Filmed in both an early widescreen 70mm process called Realife (similar to the contemporary Grandeur process), as well as the standard 35mm process. No copy of the widescreen version is known to exist. See more »


Version of Billy the Kid's Gun Justice (1940) See more »


Composer unknown
Sung by a cowboy on the trail
Reprised by the party guests at the McSween house
See more »

User Reviews

Billy-- the Kid?
8 September 2015 | by efischSee all my reviews

A strange film that is alternately stiff and fluid. Johnny MacBrown is no kid--more like 30. His acting is fairly amateurish but some lines have been well-rehearsed. Outdoor scenes are impressive but the indoor scenes are pure early-talkie confinement. Beery and the subsidiary actors seem to have the talkie thing down pat. Some of the action scenes were probably more impressive in 70mm and the outdoor recording is very good considering the sound limitations. Nasty revenge storyline where Billy justifies his many killings, but he's sure a nice guy about it. There are many killings and lots of mayhem. Some of the comedy lines between Mr. Butterworth and Mr. Hatfield are incredibly corny considering the circumstances. "The Big Trail" is a much better film from the same year and is still available in its impressive 70mm version. You have to really like westerns to appreciate "Billy The Kid", but there are lots of devoted followers.

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Release Date:

18 October 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Highwayman Rides See more »

Filming Locations:

Zion National Park, Utah, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

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