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Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

A former friend betrays a legendary outlaw in Sam Peckinpah's final Western. Holed up in Fort Sumner with his gang between cattle rustlings, Billy the Kid (Kris Kristofferson) ignores the advice of comrade-turned-lawman Pat Garrett (James Coburn) to escape to Mexico, and he winds up in jail in Lincoln, New Mexico. After Billy theatrically escapes, inspiring enigmatic Lincoln resident Alias (Bob Dylan) to join him, the governor (Jason Robards Jr.) and cattle baron Chisum (Barry Sullivan) requisition Garrett to form a posse and hunt him down. Rather than flee to Mexico when he can, Billy heads back to Fort Sumner, meeting his final destiny at the hands of his friend Pat, who, two decades later, is forced to face the consequences of his own Faustian pact with progress. With a script by Rudolph Wurlitzer, Peckinpah uses the historical basis of Billy's death to eulogize the West dreamily yet violently as it is desecrated by corrupt capitalists. Both Pat and Billy know that their time is passing, as surely as Garrett's posse knows that they are participating in a legend. Using familiar Western players like Slim Pickens and Katy Jurado, Peckinpah underscores the West's existence as a media myth, and he even appears himself as a coffin maker. Just as the bloodletting of Peckinpah's earlier The Wild Bunch (1969) invoked the Vietnam War, the casting of Kristofferson and Dylan alluded to the chaotic late '60s/early '70s present; the counterculture has little place in a corporate future. Also like The Wild Bunch, Pat Garrett was truncated by its studio; the cuts did nothing to help its box office. Key scenes, particularly the framing story of Garrett's fate, have since been restored to the home-video version. In this director's cut, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid stands as one of Peckinpah's most beautiful and complex films, killing the Western myth even as he salutes it. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi

  • Release date:May 23, 1973

Cast

James Coburn
as Pat Garrett
Kris Kristofferson
as Billy the Kid
Bob Dylan
as Alias
Charles Martin Smith
as Bowdre
L.Q. Jones
as Black Harris
Harry Dean Stanton
as Luke
Jorge Russek
as Silva
Paul Fix
as Maxwell
Walter Kelley
as Rupert
Elisha Cook, Jr.
as Cody
Gene Evans
as Mr. Horrell
Dub Taylor
as Josh
Luke Askew
as Eno
Emilio Fernández
as Paco
Richard Bright
as Holly
Matt Clark
as J.W. Bell
Richard Jaeckel
as Sheriff Kip McKinney
Donnie Fritts
as Beaver
Katy Jurado
as Mrs. Baker
Claudia Bryar
as Mrs. Horrell
Barry Sullivan
as Chisum
Rudolph Wurlitzer
as Tom O'Folliard
R.G. Armstrong
as Deputy Ollinger
Sam Peckinpah
as Will
Jack Elam
as Alamosa Bill
Jason Robards, Jr.
as Governor Wallace
Slim Pickens
as Sheriff Baker
Rita Coolidge
as Maria
Chill Wills
as Lemuel
Aurora Clavel
as Ida Garrett
Rutanya Alda
as Ruthie Lee
John Beck
as Poe

Crew

Sam Peckinpah
Director
Gordon Carroll
Producer
Rudolph Wurlitzer
Screenwriter
John Coquillon
Cinematographer
Bob Dylan
Composer (Music Score)
Bob Dylan
Songwriter
Richard Halsey
Editor
Garth Craven
Editor
David Berlatsky
Editor
Roger Spottiswoode
Editor
Tony de Zarraga
Editor
Ted Haworth
Art Director
Ray Moyer
Set Designer
Augie Lohman
Special Effects
Newt Arnold
First Assistant Director
Gordon Dawson
Second Unit Director
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