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Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid

By Marshall Fine

Billy the Kid is reimagined by director Sam Peckinpah as a kind of Old West rock star, a young man who wants to do his own thing but constantly runs up against the objections of the establishment--in this case, the cattle barons who run this part of the country. Peckinpah indulged in some quirky casting, including Bob Dylan as an outlaw named Alias and most of Kristofferson's band as Billy's gang. He also draws exceptional performances out of a cast of old veterans, including James Coburn as the reluctant Pat Garrett, R.G. Armstrong, Katy Jurado, and Slim Pickens, who has a terrific death scene to Dylan's "Knockin' on Heaven's Door." Look for this longer version (122 minutes); the shorter version is the one that MGM recut against Peckinpah's wishes, removing all the character development and Peckinpah's elegiac sense of the Old West in favor of action and violence.

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Buy this VHS movie from! (Click here!)DVD unavailableSoundtrack unavailable at - try eBay (see links below)Rated RNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Sam Peckinpah

Stars: James Coburn, Kris Kristofferson, Jason Robards, Jack Elam, Bob Dylan, Rita Coolidge, Slim Pickens, Harry Dean Stanton

Released: May 23, 1973

Availability: VHS

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