The Left Handed Gun

Film, Action and adventure

Time Out says

Newman as Billy the mixed-up Kid, an ebullient young illiterate who takes to slinging a gun when his substitute father is killed, only to face another, sterner father figure. Endlessly fascinated by his own image, blindly following a death-wish to its logical conclusion, this Billy is very much of the rebel- without-a-cause breed, a hero unable to match up to his legend. Violent, stylised, occasionally top-heavy with symbolism (although the religious parallel is convincingly carried by Hatfield's marvellous performance as Billy's Judas disciple), The Left Handed Gun is a remarkable attempt to communicate an understanding (ours of Billy, his of himself) viscerally, felt through movement and gesture. Penn's first film, it is in many ways a key stage in the development of the Western.


Release details

102 mins

Cast and crew

Arthur Penn
Leslie Stevens
Paul Newman
John Dehner
Hurd Hatfield
Lita Milan
James Congdon
Colin Keith-Johnston
James Best
John Dierkes
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