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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 Talkie The World Has Been Waiting For! (print ad - Lubbock Morning Avalanche - Palace Theatre - Lubbock, Texas - December 6, 1930) See more »


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Famous silent screen actor and history buff,William S. Hart, was hired by the studios as a tech adviser and to coach Johnny Mack Brown for his role as Billy the Kid. During a publicity photo shoot, Brown is seen holding Hart's most prize possession from his gun collection: a revolver that once belonged to Billy the Kid. It later turned out that Mr. Hart was bamboozled, the gun was manufactured years after Billy the Kid's death. Despite not being Billy the Kid's gun, the revolver continued to be on display at the William S. Hart Museum. In the 1990s, the museum was broken into and the entire gun collection was stolen. See more »

Alternate Versions

The version shown in Europe had Pat Garrett killing Billy the Kid in the end, unlike the version shown in America. See more »


Version of Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973) See more »


(1877) (uncredited)
Music by Euphemia Allen
Played on piano by Nelson McDowell and Johnny Mack Brown
See more »

User Reviews

this film has aged like a great wine.
16 February 2007 | by tmwestSee all my reviews

If you look at this film as the story of Billy you will be disappointed because it will seem naive and unrealistic. But the greatness lies in everything else. The panoramic views of the covered wagons and the scenery of New Mexico where it was actually filmed. The town people, especially the women and how they cope with the Lincoln County war that was going on. The characters of Tunston and his partner McSween, good hearted men, against the cruel Donovan, who practically owns the town and reminds one of Judge Roy Bean. The scene where Gov. Lew Wallace shows up with the army to talk to Billy. Happy moments like when Billy is dancing. Wallace Beery is an interesting Pat Garret and Johnny McBrown has a good performance as Billy, whose's guns are the ones he used in the film. Movies have evolved technically throughout the years, but a western made in 1930 tells a story in a much better way then most films nowadays. When I saw this film the credits showed the name as "The Highwayman Rides", but I guess it was changed after.

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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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