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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
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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

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

Sam Peckinpah was eventually forced out of the production, and MGM President James Aubrey had the film severely cut from two hours and four minutes to one hour and forty-six minutes, resulting in the film being released as a truncated version largely disowned by cast and crew members, and was a critical and financial failure. See more »

Goofs

As Pat Leaves Fort Sumner, a young boy throws stones at him. In longer shots, Pat and the boy are in shadow, but the close shots of the boy show him in bright sunshine with clear sharp shadows defined. See more »

Quotes

Ollinger: On your knees.
Billy: Kiss my ass!
[Ollinger knocks Billy off his chair and puts a shotgun to his head]
Ollinger: REPENT, you son of a bitch!
Billy: Sweet Jesus, I repent!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The 1973 UK cinema version featured the shorter 106 minute print and was cut by the BBFC for violence. Video releases featured the restored 116 minute print (known as the "Turner Preview Version") which contained the violence but lost 16 secs of BBFC cuts to a forwards horsefall and shots of cockfighting. DVD releases include both the Turner Preview print and the 2005 110 minute Special Edition, both of which suffer the cockfight/horsefall cuts. See more »

Connections

Version of Repertory Theatre: The Death of Billy the Kid (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

Knockin' on Heaven's Door
Written by Bob Dylan
Performed by Bob Dylan
See more »

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User Reviews

Sporadically brilliant.
15 May 2003 | by barnabyrudgeSee all my reviews

Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid is a unique western. Parts of it are just brilliant, other moments are bungled, but it is composed and structured like no other movie from the genre.

Everyone knows the western legend about these two central characters, who went from being friends to sworn adversaries. The leading performances of James Coburn (Garrett) and Kris Kristofferson (Billy) are rather colourless, but the subsidiary characters are beautifully delineated. There are some pretentious moments. For example, near the start Billy is arrested and as he makes his way towards the lawmen who have come to take him, he adopts a Christ-like pose which is presumably meant to signify that he was some kind of martyr among Wild West outlaws (when, in reality, he was probably just a psychopath).

However, there are stunning moments in the film too. In fact, the scene in which Slim Pickens stumbles, wounded and mortally bleeding, to a riverside so that he can die peacefully is arguably the most moving scene ever in a motion picture. The acting, the music and the photography fit together harmoniously to make this a truly magical cinematic moment.

One word of warning: beware of the incoherent, chopped-up 106 minute version of the film. If you're planning to watch it, go for the full 122 minute director's cut, which is immeasurably superior.


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