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Billy the Kid (1930)

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 »

Director:

King Vidor

Writers:

Walter Noble Burns (book), Wanda Tuchock (continuity) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

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 ... 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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

All Talking Picture See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

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

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »


Soundtracks

Turkey in the Straw
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played on violin by Roscoe Ates and
Danced by Johnny Mack Brown'
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"The Dothan Antelope"
7 October 2007 | by aimless-46See all my reviews

Although generally forgotten, this version of "Billy the Kid" (1930) has held up remarkably well and should surprise contemporary viewers who think of the early talkies as something out of the Dark Ages.

I'm normally disgusted when these so-called historical epics take great liberties with the truth (particularly when the true story is more interesting that the embellished version) but almost 80 years since its release I doubt if the film will be taken as serious history by any new viewers. They probably should have changed the names along with the facts but there was marketing potential in promoting it as the story of William Bonny.

The title character is played by a young Johnny Mack Brown, just a couple years after his 1926 MVP performance for the victorious University of Alabama in the Rose Bowl. Mack was called "The Dothan Antelope" from his high school football days in Dothan Alabama. Watch for signs of his athletic prowess throughout the film, especially at the end where he mounts a horse and rides sidesaddle into the sunset while wearing handcuffs and leg irons.

King Vidor's "Billy the Kid" was quite a production for its day, probably the first major production filmed in a widescreen format. Although most likely you will have to view it in the 4 x 3 Hollywood format in which it was simultaneously filmed.

Brown's co-star was Wallace Beery (playing Pat Garrett) and their scenes together are excellent, the two manage a nice chemistry with different yet very complementary acting styles. The role made Beery a major star in "talking" pictures and Brown soon became a Top 10 movie cowboy.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.


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