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Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973)

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Pat Garrett is hired as a lawman on behalf of a group of wealthy New Mexico cattle barons to bring down his old friend Billy the Kid.

Director:

Sam Peckinpah

Writer:

Rudy Wurlitzer
Reviews
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Coburn ... Pat Garrett
Kris Kristofferson ... Billy The Kid
Richard Jaeckel ... Sheriff Kip McKinney
Katy Jurado ... Mrs. Baker
Chill Wills ... Lemuel
Barry Sullivan ... Chisum
Jason Robards ... Governor Wallace
Bob Dylan ... Alias
R.G. Armstrong ... Ollinger
Luke Askew ... Eno
John Beck ... Poe
Richard Bright ... Holly
Matt Clark ... J.W. Bell
Rita Coolidge ... Maria
Jack Dodson ... Howland
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Storyline

It's 1881 in New Mexico, and the times they are a'changing. Pat Garrett, erstwhile travelling companion of the outlaw Billy the Kid has become a sheriff, tasked by cattle interests with ridding the territory of Billy. After Billy escapes, Pat assembles a posse and chases him through the territory, culminating in a final confrontation at Fort Sumner, but is unaware of the full scope of the cattle interests' plans for the New West. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Best of enemies. Deadliest of friends.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for western violence and sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Mexico

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 May 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid See more »

Filming Locations:

Durango, Mexico

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,638,783 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$11,000,000, 31 December 1973
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(1988 restored) | (2005 DVD Special Edition) | (Cut theatrical)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At various stages of the film's gestation, there was talk of Marlon Brando and Jon Voight, Robert Redford and Sam Shepard, and Jack Nicholson and John Denver playing the lead roles. See more »

Goofs

Pat Garrett was killed in 1908, not 1909. See more »

Quotes

Garrett: Why don't you take your money, shove it up your ass, and set fire to it?
Gov. Lew Wallace: Commendable notion, Sheriff.
See more »

Alternate Versions

There have been three different cuts of this film: (1) the 106-minute theatrical release; (2) in 1988, a 122-minute restored version, known as the Turner Preview Version; (3) in 2005, a 115-minute restored version, known as the Special Edition. See more »


Soundtracks

Knockin' On Heaven's Door
Written by Bob Dylan
Performed by Bob Dylan
Soundtrack CD track 7, by Bob Dylan
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Keep the change Bob"
25 May 2012 | by Cable-Hogue_2099See all my reviews

I saw this was on TCM the other night and I recorded it, merely because I knew it was supposed to be good and I hadn't seen a Peckinpah film before. Despite how massive TCM's black screen banners are, and despite how quiet the film was, it still kept me engaged. James Coburns' masterful performance as wrinkly bandit Pat Garret was smouldering, his lawman bubbled with a mix of sadism, violence, and broken honour. He was far and away the best actor in the film. Comparatively, Kris Kristofferson just didn't hold up, I just plain didn't like him, and he didn't come across strongly enough as anything. It seems to me he's grown more expressive and nuanced as he's gotten older, though it may just be that against a giant like Coburn he seemed like little more than a distraction.

Though his performance was woeful, Dylan's soundtrack is a thing of beauty and joy, setting the tone of the movie, perfectly complimenting some scenes and brilliantly offsetting others. The scene in which Knocking On Heavens Door is used is possibly one of the most beautiful and moving sequences in any film I've seen, it was utterly breathtaking.

Much of that is done by the cinematography, which is frequently fantastic. There are several shots that had my mouth wide open, agape. Peckinpah is also well versed in directing shoot-out's,and building tension before and after. Though the make up and special effects look laughable now, the brutality and voyeurism of the violence haven't faded one iota.

The print was very quiet though, so it was often hard to decipher what people were saying. As such, there were various moments when I was just waiting for the next scene, as the one playing was too quiet to enjoy.

This is a film that I can't wait to watch again, and will certainly be buying on DVD, along with the soundtrack on CD. A brilliant, moving western from a great director.


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