Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid

Film, Action and adventure

Time Out says

Restored and reassembled, this is the full and harmonious movie that Peckinpah wanted to be remembered by before the butchers at MGM got their hands on it. Starting with a framing sequence from 1909 which shows Coburn's aged Garrett being gunned down by the same men who hired him to get Billy the Kid back in 1881, the additional 15 minutes introduce the menacing figure of Barry Sullivan's Boss Chisum, a frolicsome brothel scene ('Last time Billy was here it took four to get him up and five to get him down again'), some engaging Wild West cameos, and a less obtrusive use of Bob Dylan's soundtrack. All in all the film is more playful, more balanced, and very much an elegy for the old ways of the West, rather than a meandering bloodthirsty battle between Kristofferson's preposterously likeable outlaw and Coburn's ambivalent survivor, Garrett. Like Ford's The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, it both records and condemns the passage of time and the advent of progress; and there is a sombre, mournful quality which places the film very high up in the league of great Westerns.

By: SGr


Release details

121 mins

Cast and crew

Sam Peckinpah
Rudy Wurlitzer
Jason Robards
Richard Jaeckel
Luke Askew
Chill Wills
Charlie Martin Smith
RG Armstrong
Jack Elam
Katy Jurado
Bob Dylan
Harry Dean Stanton
Barry Sullivan
Slim Pickens
Kris Kristofferson
James Coburn
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