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Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 2



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Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 7,465

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Movie Info

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)


Western, Classics

Rudy Wurlitzer

Jan 10, 2006

MGM Home Entertainment

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Latest News on Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid

September 20, 2013:
Hit Movie Songs from the 1970s


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All Critics (22) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (3) | DVD (8)

A richer, more rewarding experience.

February 23, 2006
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The mushy pretensions of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid suggest either that [Peckinpah] has begun to take talk about his genius too seriously (it can happen to the best) or that he has fallen in with bad company.

May 9, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a movie that exists almost entirely on one note -- a low, melancholy one -- and achieves what I thought would have been impossible for him Peckinpah: he's boring.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Regardless of length, this is one of Peckinpah's most deeply-felt films, a true meeting of two like souls.

September 10, 2010 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

It's one of the great tragic true stories of the old wild West, the story of two outlaw friends ending up enemies as one turns over and becomes a lawman - expressly for the purpose of hunting down his friend.

August 9, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

One of the best westerns of the 70s, if not all time.

April 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Moviehole

Bitter take take on the mythical Old West.

April 4, 2008 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

One of the most bittersweet films of Peckinpah's career.

December 3, 2007 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy could've %u2014 should've %u2014 been [Peckinpah's] third or fourth masterpiece (that depends on who's doing the counting), and the movie he'd been building towards his entire career.

November 19, 2006 Full Review Source:

The film is visually stunning, and Peckinpah makes great use of his Durango, Mexico, locations.

August 30, 2006 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Some Peckinpah devotees consider the film among his finest work, others regard it as, well, troubled. Fascinating, nonetheless.

March 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Sam Peckinpah's virtually unseen Western turns out to be unseen for a reason.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid

Disclaimer: I saw the 1988 Turner Preview version of this film, which is 122 minutes long, and, unlike the compromised theatrical version, is supposedly the closest thing to Peckinpah's original intention for this film, which was a very troubled production.

That being said, I'm still very mixed on this film. I wanna say that I really enjoyed it, and that I do kinda recommend it, but at the same time, it's still a flawed film, even if this version is apparently better than the original. So, I have some hesitation fully recommending it, but still think that you might wanna at least try to give it a watch, since there are some good elements.

The stroy here is a rendition of the classic story about legendary outlaw, and his relationship to his former friends turned enemy lawman Pat Garrett. It was Peckinpah's final western, and, like many westerns made in the 70s, it's very reflective of the time ot was made, and reeks of very melancholy and elegiac overtones.

This is a lyrical and somewhat poetic film, and I like that there is a blend of action and character development, but the way it's done, it's like, damn, who knew that Peckinpah could actually be kinda boring? Boring shouldn't really be associated with Bloody Sam unless you also throw in the word "not".

Yet, there it is. This film is pretty slow, and though it is only 122 minutes, it feels a lot longer. I find it odd that this version is apparently what Sam was really going for, but hey, I never knew him personally, so maybe I shouldn't judge him too harshly. I love the cinematography though, because it is excellent, and the washed out grainy look is very fitting, The film has a very notable and talented cast, but their performances, though not bad, are kinda underwhelming, and do leave something to be desired. Bob Dylan's score, likewise, though not terrible, is also not as epic as it could have been.

When Andrew Dominik made his Jesse James film, which is very similar to this, I loved it. Maybe it's because I wasn't used to his work, and had nothing to compare it to, like I do with this one. Perhaps I shouldn't be doing that, but hey, I don't know what to say. There are some really great moments, but I think the film could have just told this eic tale in a less meandering and heady fashion.
March 29, 2012
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

A good film though it has many flaws. When it's good, it's great.
October 28, 2011
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

Patented Peckinpah western with a dream cast that includes James Coburn, Kris Kristofferson, Bob Dylan, Chill Wills, Jason Robards, Rita Coolidge, Jack Elam, Slim Pickens and Bruce Dern.
March 10, 2011
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

A tale of honor, loneliness and betrayed friendship in Peckinpah's fashion. Bob Dylan's masterful and heart felt songs amplify the whole spectrum of this solemn and poetic farewell to a hero among criminals.
July 9, 2010

Super Reviewer

    1. Pat Garrett: [incadescent with rage when his partner attempts to defile Billy's corpse] WHAT YOU WANT, AND WHAT YOU *GET* IS TOO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THINGS.
    – Submitted by John P (2 years ago)
    1. Pat Garrett: You owe me.
    2. Deputy Ollinger: I OWE you?
    3. Pat Garrett: Yes. For pulling you out of that snowdrift in Montana. For saving your life more times than I can remember...And for putting up a whole lot of s--t that I never orta have done.
    4. Deputy Ollinger: [sighs] I hope they get my name right in the papers.
    – Submitted by John P (2 years ago)
    1. Pat Garrett: [after surveying Bob Ollinger's mangled corpse] Would some of you good townsfolks get old Bob up off the ground and into it?
    – Submitted by John P (2 years ago)
    1. Billy the Kid: I'll throw in a buck twenty in change if you'll dig it out of old Bob here.
    – Submitted by John P (2 years ago)
    1. Deputy Ollinger: [looking at Billy who is levelling a shotgun at him] He done killed me too.
    – Submitted by John P (2 years ago)
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