6.5/10
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49 user 24 critic

The Left Handed Gun (1958)

Approved | | Western | 17 May 1958 (USA)
After his employer is murdered by rival cattlemen, a troubled and uneducated young cowboy vows revenge on the murderers.

Director:

Arthur Penn

Writers:

Leslie Stevens (screenplay), Gore Vidal (play)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Newman ... Billy The Kid
Lita Milan ... Celsa
John Dehner ... Pat Garrett
Hurd Hatfield ... Moultrie
James Congdon James Congdon ... Charlie Boudre
James Best ... Tom Folliard
Colin Keith-Johnston ... Tunstall
John Dierkes ... McSween
Robert Anderson ... Hill (as Bob Anderson)
Wally Brown ... Deputy Moon
Ainslie Pryor Ainslie Pryor ... Joe Grant
Martin Garralaga ... Saval
Denver Pyle ... Ollinger
Paul Smith ... Smith
Nestor Paiva ... Pete Maxwell
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Storyline

William Bonney - Billy the Kid - gets a job with a cattleman known as 'The Englishman,' and is befriended by the peaceful, religious man. But when a crooked sheriff and his men murder the Englishman because he plans to supply the local Army fort with his beef, Billy decides to avenge the death by killing the four men responsible, throwing the lives of everyone around him - Tom and Charlie, two hands he worked with; Pat Garrett, who is about to be married; and the kindly Mexican couple who take him in when he's in trouble - into turmoil, and endangering the General Amnesty set up by Governor Wallace to bring peace to the New Mexico Territory. Written by Gary Dickerson <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

I don't run. I don't hide. I go where I want. I do what I want. See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

17 May 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Billy the Kid See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$700,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Warner Bros. reportedly interfered with the production and would not allow Penn to shoot the ending he wanted. In addition, the director was cut out of the editing process. See more »

Goofs

The "Englishman" describes his origins as from Ayrshire, a county in South West Scotland. In that case he would be a Scot and not English. See more »

Quotes

Moultrie: [to Billy] What is it? What's wrong? You all right? You're not like the books! You don't wear silver studs! You don't stand up to glory! You're not him!
[crying]
Moultrie: You're not him! You're not him!
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Rock of Ages
(uncredited)
Lyrics by Augustus Montague Toplady and music by Thomas Hastings
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A young man becomes one of the Wild West's most wanted.
15 March 2003 | by michaelRokeefeSee all my reviews

Arthur Penn directs this slightly twisted story of William Bonney better known as 'Billy the Kid'. Largely based on Gore Vidal's play, this version shows Bonney as a misunderstood and misdirected youth with the ability of being as loyal as he could be dangerous. The teenager sets out to avenge the murder of his mentor and becomes the most talked about and feared gunman in the old wild West. Originally intended to be a James Dean vehicle, blue eyed Paul Newman portrays the moody legendary desperado with intense assuredness and bravado. Very good supporting cast features:John Dehner, James Best, Lita Milan, James Congdon and Denver Pyle.


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