The Outlaw

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 10


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,544
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Movie Info

This off-beat western is best remembered for the scandal surrounding its release, most of it having to do with the supposedly erotic scenes involving Jane Russell who plays the busty siren who steals the heart of Billy the Kid (Jack Buetel). The highly fictionalized story centers on the rivalrous, tentative friendships between the Kid, Doc Holiday (Walter Huston) and Pat Garrett (Mitchell Thomas). Many of the most racy scenes were cut out to appease the censors, therefore different versions are available with the original 117 minute cut being the most difficult to find.

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Critic Reviews for The Outlaw

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (1)

  • One of the weirdest westerns of all time, reflecting the eccentricities of its producer and credited director, Howard Hughes.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…
  • The leads are all capable but none of them seem to be acting in the same movie, as if Hughes couldn't decide what movie he really wanted to make.

    Jun 3, 2019 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • By today's standards the film is naive and amateurish, but in 1943, it was one of the most scandalous features Hollywood has made due to Howard Hughes brilliant campaign to exploit Jane Russell's buxum.

    Jun 22, 2011 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…
  • Stagey, not that well written, acted or directed (by Howard Hughes) western. More infamous than good.

    Mar 2, 2008 | Rating: 3/5
  • There are only two reasons why anyone was intrigued with this film...can you guess?

    Nov 1, 2006 | Rating: 2.5/5
  • The film would be G-rated today, but at the time, that hint of skin was enough to send people scampering for a little water to put on their brow.

    Jan 27, 2005 | Rating: 3/5

Audience Reviews for The Outlaw

  • Oct 03, 2018
    There's Billy the Kid in this story. Doc Holiday's in it too. Think they'll duke it out or maybe a lowdown showdown shootout between two infamous fast guns? That anticipation is the given reason for you hanging around, the justification. But the show is really about Russell's, umm, well, perhaps I've already said it. Howard Hughes does a okay Western, but first let's get 'em in the seats, yah, and that's up to Russell. I don't think ol'Howard was all that crazy.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Jun 19, 2011
    Infamous western is really not very good with several obviously rear projection scenes really taking you out of the movie. Fictional story of Billy the Kid is troubled in many places perhaps the biggest is Buetel a blank faced black hole at the center of the film. Even the usually great Huston and Thomas Mitchell give weak hammy performances and Jane Russell while extremely lush and fresh had not yet learned how to act in front of the camera but does exude presence and charisma missing from the rest of the film. It's overlong to boot!
    jay n Super Reviewer
  • Jul 22, 2009
    Magnifisent sizzling Western with one of the worlds most beautiful screen sirens ever to grace the limelight.
    Barry L Super Reviewer
  • Jan 25, 2009
    Tacky and didn't hold my attention. I guess it would have been thrilling in the 40's, but not now...
    Sarah P Super Reviewer

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