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An aging Pat Garrett is hired as a lawman on behalf of a group of wealthy New Mexico cattle barons--his sole purpose being to bring down his old friend Billy the Kid.
An instant favorite. Peckinpah's direction is brutally poetic, Coburn and Kristofferson hide their inner pain with so much masculinity that it hurts, and Dylan's music is soulfully and reminiscent. Like the rest of Peckinpah filmography I've seen this somehow remains contemplative while also maintaining a breakneck pace. This is a definetly a film that I'll be rewatching countless times.
"Maybe he wants to have a drink with me."
Dishonorable poem of poetic dishonor. Socially conscious, post-counterculture, rock & roll western. The story of a man who doesn't want to run being chased by a man who doesn't want to catch him. Lethargy. Inertia. Stasis.
The western genre is typically characterized by a conflict between regretful mourning for the loss of the frontier and cautious optimism for the approach of civilization, but where the prototypical western myth tends to celebrate the arrival of civilized society, Peckinpah is more hesitant to embrace this socialization. While historically located in the same time period as most westerns (it takes place one year after Stagecoach), Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid restricts itself almost single-mindedly to…
Sam Peckinpah has fascinated me from an early age. Dead before I had really become a fervent movie fan, he did leave the world and me in-particular with some classic films to fall in love with. And that's what I've done during the last 30 years.
Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid was derided when it came out back in 1973. Tinkered with over the years and now reappraised as a genuine Western classic, this has cult status written all over it. There are films that bring out the real film fan in us all. Every now and again you get that moment of celluloid where you lose it and immerse yourself completely in an experience and take something new away…
The Western as a cinematic artform has been with us since the very beginning. As if film was created, and cinemas built, to capture Westward expansion in the way literature and art could not. The visual splendour of the desolate land, the inherent lyricism of nature combined better on screen than in any other medium. Perhaps even better than in life itself. What makes the greatest Western of all time? It would have to be inclusive, if not restricted, to encompass all of the major sub-genres that proliferate the main subject as a whole. The greatest Western ever made would have to have elements of manifest destiny, following the American Dream in this most American of artform, the darkness of…
"You made me have a bowel movement in my britches. I ain't never gonna forgive you for that."
Could be retitled "Dylan In The Doorway" as he is also at the film's edges, on the sidelines, literally in several doorways: a mysterious, perhaps naive figure. Rivals MCCABE AND MRS. MILLER for sheer number of grizzled, wrecked men getting eaten up in a land they can't tame. A story of the brutal men who took what they wanted, killed whoever got in their way, and the machine of "law and order" that allowed it to happen. In other words, how the West was won.
There are many things that make this one of my favorite underrated western, but first and foremost is the performance of James Coburn, my favorite of his. The man lives and breathes the old west without opening his mouth. He just has the look. Then he speaks, and has a command that is unquestioned. He is a force at the center of this film and has tremendous natural chemistry with another blindsiding force, Kris Kristofferson. I'm not as familiar with Kris in his younger acting roles, but he somehow fits into this drunken madman world just as seamlessly as Coburn.
The next best thing is of course the wild man direction from Sam Peckinpah. I don't think a drunkard has…
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
The version I saw was the 2005 Special Edition.
Some incredibly tense scenes and fantastic performances all around - even from (newly-minted Nobel laureate) Bob Dylan! It has a very wistful tone and certain sequences are truly magnificent, particularly the ending, which doubtlessly served as inspiration for the similarly-titled "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford".
Sam fucking Prckinpaaaaaaaaaaah!
This film is New Hollywood gold, a period tragedy with an upbeat modern soundtrack that's impeccably shot. Everything about this works.
What can I say, I love the '70s and I love the west
Library DVD, 1988 TCM cut
I had kept a positive impression of this movie over the years but a revisit pulled the carpet out from under it. Pat Garrett (James Coburn) is the new sheriff and has been asked by the townspeople to bring Billy the Kid (Kris Kristofferson) in for justice. Garrett was recently a friend and fellow outlaw of the Kid but resigns himself to his duty. The story is unfocused and has a vacuum caused by the casting of Kristofferson. Non-actor Bob Dylan, in a substantive supporting role doesn’t help matters. The story touches lightly on a host of issues but doesn’t take the time to delve into them. In a rush at the end, it writes…
That long black cloud is coming down.
This is by far Sam Peckinpah’s most restrained film. I think it is fair to call this movie a lament. It is a lament from an aging outlaw turned sheriff, as he reluctantly pursues his former protégé. The hunter is Pat Garrett (played by James Coburn) and the hunted is Billy the Kid (played by Kris Krisstofferson). That is about it for plot. The film is not concerned in any real way with the machinations of traditional westerns. This is a reflexive and contemplative movie. Some may say that it lingers, or that it is “too slow”. Admittedly there are several scenes that overstay their welcome, and there are more than an fistful…
My revisionist western kick continues with the Peckinpah near-classic. I viewed the 2005 'restoration' cut, having previously seen the longest available one years ago. The theatrical cut is difficult to find now, and I hear it's pretty useless anyway. It's still a flawed film (Bob Dylan, ugh), and Peckinpah never got to construct his preferred cut before he died. This 2005 version is the closest we'll ever see.
These nihilistic revisionist westerns really hit a mark with me in the War on Terror / rise of Trump political climate, as they show the folly and ultimate self-destructive emptiness of macho bullyboy violence. Pat Garrett (the 'good guy') gets killed in a flash-forward right at the beginning of the film, so…
Part of the Genre Movies for People Who Don't Like the Genre Collection
"Might be the dog would've caught the rabbit if he hadn't thought to shit."
It's hard to tell who Pat Garret and Billy the Kid is for. For fans of classic Hollywood Westerns it's too violent and sexualised. For fans of Spaghetti Westerns it's nowhere near fast paced or cutting enough to be worth watching over the hundreds of others. For fans of Revisionist Westerns it's too plain and coldly edited. And for people who don't like Westerns it's still set in the West and they do western voices so they just won't like it anyway. The worst part about Pat Garret and Billy the Kid…
Pat, forget about Billy. Shoot Bob Dylan instead.
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1187. An easy way of seeing how…
Movies that are slightly off.