Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (Sam Peckinpah, 1973)

Let’s resurrect this topic! :wink:

I still love it…

Every episode character is a great one - watch their movie list and you’ll see the greatest westerns in it…

I think this is one of the most beautiful farewells to the Old West.

Somebody mentioned the voices - yes, we have to see it with the original audio, dubbing is a deadly sin. Especially Coburn - he had a wonderful voice.

I’m very interested if Patrice Chéreau does know this movie? I feel some influences in his work. Not in movies - in theatre directions.

What do people make of Bob Dylan and his acting role in this one?

Hmm, most people say he is awful. It never was a problem for me.

His role was developed while the film was made, and the role is fitting his shortcomings as actor.

It’s Bob Dylan playing Bob Dylan standing around observing, adding from time to time a blink. I always liked it, but I love everything in this film.

I always thought Dylan looked somewhat like the real Billy the Kid. I concur Stanton; BD did just fine by me. It wouldn’t have been right if he wasn’t in the movie. Hmmm, just thought of a new topic…

Bob Dylan is just nice! :wink: When he’s reading in the saloon… ;D

Yeah, that’s the scene where I also liked him most.

This reading is one of the 1000 beautiful ideas, which makes this film so outstanding, which gives this scene the extra kick.

[quote=“stanton, post:26, topic:356”]Yeah, that’s the scene where I also liked him most.

This reading is one of the 1000 beautiful ideas, which makes this film so outstanding, which gives this scene the extra kick.[/quote]

Yeah, lots of small things that add up to a lot in this movie. I’m with Stanton and others that this is a masterpiece. Coburn is great, really great. I don’t think Kristofferson is right as Billy but it does not spoil the film or keep it from being a work of artistic genius.
The performances are all first rate. I can’t believe how many small parts Peck filled with western regulars. They are all amazing, starting with Slim Pickens. I know I’ll leave some out but just from memory I can think of: RG Armstrong (“Keep the change, Bob”!!!), Katy Jurado, Matt Clark, Harry Dean Stanton, Chill Wills, LQ Jones, Luke Askew.
Bob Dylan is fine as the enigmatic “Alias”.
This film looks great. To me the best, most authentic looking of Peck’s films.

I rate this as one of Coburn’s top three efforts although I think “Cross of Iron” was his #1 performance.

Have to agree on this one, and this ranks in my favourite war films.

Coburn should have won the Oscar either for this or for Cross of Iron (or for DYS). :wink:

watched this again last night. and while certainly isn’t among peckinpah’s best in my opinon it has it’s moments.i am not a fan of bob dylan’s murmerings and find the soundtrack repetitive and dull although i must admit i do like the song “knocking on heavens door” and as someone else says on this topic it works well in the slim pickens is ok overall in whatever version but don’t think it’s a classic.

I think he does mumble a bit.

Very good movie by very good director. A little too preachy thats all.

I own collection of Peckinpah westerns and this one is my favorite. I really like the way Sam connect violent scenes with soft soundtrack by Bob Dylan. BTW his music is much better than his acting. Well, I hope he learned something by watching James Coburn in action. He was such a great actor and it’s always nice to see him in western.

I agree with you. The music is beautiful. Thank god dylan’s part was small. He’s not very good at acting.

There’s a good comparison of the '88 Turner and '05 SE cuts here:

Personally I generally agree with this analysis that heavily favors the '88 version while accepting a couple of good inclusions on the part of the '05 one. As the reviewer remarks, some of what this '05 version decides to omit is quite simply outrageous. I haven’t watched the commentary with the DVD 2-disc set yet, but I will be interested to see how they try to justify it all.

I prefer the 05 cut, even if this means to loose some good moments. The cinematic flow is better and the film is more focused.
The most strange ideas of the 05 cut are the old theatrical credits (which are not new like this guy states) and the omitting of the end, which returns to Garrett’s death and thereby closes the circle.

Funny, this guy has Pat Garrett on #3 of his best films ever, he really loves this film, but he hasn’t understand one of the basic ideas of the film. Garrett is not trying to find Billy after he has escaped from prison (most likely with Garrett’s help), instead he tries to avoid him and warning him by killing some of Billy’s friends, who were earlier his friends too. So the point of the Ruthie Lee scene is surely not to get an information.

Interesting points. Opinion seems pretty divided on the topic.

Personally I would have liked to have a DVD of the '88 version and then a complete alternative version with all the scenes included at their full length with the “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” lyrics included. No assumption would then be made on what Peckinpah may or may not have wanted.

They could at the very least have given the '88 version the same restoration treatment as the '05 one on the DVD.

It mostly depends probably on which version you have seen first, which version you will prefer now.
I had for many years only seen the butchered 73 version, which is already a great version, even if it lacks the deepening of the themes like in the long version. The biggest loss was the framing story set 25 years later and the brilliant montage which connects the two periods of time.

But when I first saw the 88 version I was insofar disappointed as the long version didn’t made the film as much better as I had expected it. The film was now more complex, but at the same time didn’t became more fascinating. Some scenes had even lost their overall power.

So it was the 05 cut which reconciles for me the more fascinating 73 with the more complex 88 version.

I have said this probably before, but I think everybody will have his own ideas about the optimal cut of this film. A film which is a master work for me in every version.

I´ve watched the Turner 1988 version this weekend since lot´s of people told me this was the version to watch. I´m sure i will watch the other version some day but for now i felt content watching the 1988 turner version.

After having already seen 3 other Peckinpah movies i felt some pressure to see if this classic would live up to it´s name. Luckily i can say that “Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid” is every bit as good as let´s say “The Wild Bunch”. James Coburn really shines as Pat Garrett and Kris Kristofferson is equally impressive as Billy the Kid, although he does look a little old to play the kid. Peckinpah´s trademark style is clearly visible throughout the picture. The movie has an almost poetic quality to it with intense moments of violence. Especially the ending was very powerful, i really felt hate for Pat Garrett´s character yet somehow understood and respected his decision. He was forced to turn on his best friend to save his own life. Yet he did everything in his power to go about it as fair as possible. You could really identify with the struggle that both characters went through.

In short this was another powerful and emotional tour de force by Peckinpah who was just a genius when it came to creating realistic and human characters. He created such powerful characters and every role is perfectly cast, down to the mexican in the background. This one is certainly in my Peckinpah top three!