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Billy the Kid (1941)

Passed | | Biography, Drama, Western | 30 May 1941 (USA)
In 1880 New Mexico, during a feud between cattle growers, former childhood friends Billy the Kid and Jim Sherwood end-up working for opposite sides.


David Miller, Frank Borzage (uncredited)


Gene Fowler (screenplay), Howard Emmett Rogers (story) | 2 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Taylor ... Billy Bonney
Brian Donlevy ... Jim Sherwood
Ian Hunter ... Eric Keating
Mary Howard ... Edith Keating
Gene Lockhart ... Dan Hickey
Lon Chaney Jr. ... 'Spike' Hudson
Henry O'Neill ... Tim Ward
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams ... Ed Bronson (as Guinn Williams)
Cy Kendall ... Cass McAndrews - Sheriff
Ted Adams ... 'Buz' Cobb
Frank Conlan Frank Conlan ... Judge Blake
Frank Puglia ... Pedro Gonzales
Mitchell Lewis ... Bart Hodges
Dick Curtis ... Kirby Claxton
Grant Withers ... Ed Shanahan


Billy Bonney is a hot-headed gunslinger who narrowly skirts a life of crime by being befriended and hired by a peaceful rancher, Eric Keating. When Keating is killed, Billy seeks revenge on the men who killed him, even if it means opposing his friend, Marshal Jim Sherwood. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


BULLETS...HIS ONLY LAW! REVENGE... HIS ONLY RULE! (original ad - all caps) See more »


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Right-handed Robert Taylor spent weeks perfecting his ability to draw a gun with his left hand in preparation for this film. Ironically it was later revealed that the infamous photo of Billy the Kid with a gun in his left hand was mirrored and the famous outlaw was in fact right handed. See more »


[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »


Jim 'Holy' Sherwood: Don't you get fed up sometimes?
Billy: Fed up with what?
Jim 'Holy' Sherwood: Oh, rollin' around like a tumbleweed, being hunted, and never knowin' who's behind the next rock. I mean...
Billy: I know what you mean. I like it!
See more »


Featured in 100 Years of the Hollywood Western (1994) See more »


Lazy Acres
Written by Ormond Ruthven (as Ormond B. Ruthven)
Played and sung by members of the Pickard family and John Raitt (uncredited) at the party
See more »

User Reviews

Too sanctimonious for its own good
28 March 2004 | by mik-19See all my reviews

There is a lot more to this predominantly lyrical account of an episode in Billy the Kid's life than action and brainless swagger. Hardboiled, embittered Billy gets a job as a cowhand for a pacifist farmer who rhapsodizes about how being unarmed protects a man by the usual Wild West code of not shooting a man in the back. When the farmer, Billy's new guardian, is killed, though, Billy's new-found love of peace and order must give way to a desire for revenge on the bad guys.

Somewhere along the line this film gets to sanctimonious and preachy to be entirely enjoyable, and Brian Donleavy as Billy's childhood pal turned born-again marshall deputy is the most unbelievable thing about it. Robert Taylor is a handsome devil in tight-fitting black leather, and it is honestly a relief when he finds back to his old bad ways, and things start happening again.

The Technicolor location cinematography is gorgeous.

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Release Date:

30 May 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der letzte Bandit See more »


Box Office


$1,411,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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