“Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid” (1973)

April 12, 2011 at 7:19 am (Bob Dylan, Cinema, Reviews & Articles, Roger Ebert)

Controversial director Sam Peckinpah’s 1973 western, featuring James Coburn and Bob Dylan (who did the soundtrack). This review comes courtesy of Roger Ebert in the pages of the Chicago Sun-Times, May 23, 1973. Clearly, Ebert was not impressed about anything concerning this movie, including Dylan’s performance and music…


Sam Peckinpah attempted to have his name removed from Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. I sympathized with him. If this wasn’t entirely his work, he shouldn’t have had to take the blame. And even if it was, the less said the better. 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.

The movie tells a simple story, simple-mindedly. Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, good and true friends from way back, find themselves on opposite sides of the law when Garrett becomes sheriff. He locks Billy up for an old murder, and Billy is scheduled to hang in three days. Billy blasts his way out of jail, goes on the run, and sets up a chase through the West that lasts for the final hour of the movie. Read the rest of this entry »

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