Cincinnati Babyhead

Speaks his mind on music & movies!

Movie – Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid

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We meet Pat and Billy at the beginning of the film. They’re old friends and partners.  Outlaws.  But times are changing fast and things aren’t what they used to be.  They talk about old times.  Pat then tells Billy that he’s working for the law now.  Newly elected sheriff.  He tells Billy he has five days to get out or he’s coming for him.  Five days later, true to his word, Billy is caught and brought in to hang.  Billy escapes, killing a couple of men in the process.  Pat reluctantly goes after him.  Along the way we follow both men as they run into old friends, acquaintances on their game of catch  and elude.  We see how everyone feels about Billy and Pat.  Pat’s conscience is already bothering him about working for the cattle people and chasing his old friend.  The chase doesn’t help that frame of mind.  Billy makes it to Mexico but decides to come back and let things play out with Pat.

CB wasn’t only getting a western but he was getting a Sam Peckinpah western.  Off kilter, messy, violent, indulgent , raw, rough and beautiful.  Sam doesn’t pretty his films up.  This one holds to that style.  He takes a legendary old west story and puts his spin on it.  His cinematographer, John Coquillon captures this world in all it’s rough beauty.  Sam also casts every great character actor he could get and had worked with before.  There is a sense that all the characters in the film have a history with each other.  This comes across and CB liked that touch.  The leads are good casting.  Kris Kristofferson brings a low key, subtle presence to Billy.  He just kind of accepts the way he is and the way things are.  Why change.  James Coburn as Pat Garrett pulls off a great performance of a man torn between old friendships and loyalties and the changes that are coming in his world.  Progress.  There wasn’t much difference between the law and outlaws in those days and Coburn nails it.

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There are so many great scenes ( CB did an earlier take on one of them. “Repent you SOB’).  Some seem to pop up out of nowhere but that’s Sam’s style.  One of the best and just a great piece of film making is when Slim Pickens and Katy Jurado play out a scene with Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heavens Door’ providing the soundtrack.  Peckinpah at his best.  Worth the price of admission.  A scene where Garrett is camped by the side of a river and exchanges gun fire with a passing raft floating by.  Casual as hell and another Sam touch.  There are beautiful and rough images alike that stick with you.  Another great choice is Bob Dylan’s soundtrack.  It fits perfectly.  Bob even has a role.

So if you like your film making a little rough, dirty and raw the way CB thinks a western should be, catch ‘Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid’.

 

 

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18 comments on “Movie – Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid

  1. Heavy Metal Overload
    October 22, 2017

    Great film and you picked out all my favourite bits too. Peckinpah was awesome. Beans!

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      October 22, 2017

      Yup. If you enjoy a good read check out ‘If They Move ..Kill ‘Em’, great bio on Sam. I know you’re a western guy and it delves into where Sam got his vibe. Good history on the genre.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. hotfox63
    October 22, 2017

    Not only is it a fantastic western flick, with Sam Peckinpah freeze action filming, a la “The Wild Bunch”, but also the Bob Dylan soundtrack is superb. Songs like “Turkey Chase” and “Knocking on Heavens Door” complete the whole experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yeah, Another Blogger
    October 22, 2017

    CB, I probably said this before: I’m somewhat embarrassed to say I never saw this flick. My bad!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Vinyl Connection
    October 23, 2017

    Like Mr Yeah above, I have the s/track but have never seen the film. But then, I haven’t watched that many Westerns period. Love the album though!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jim S.
    October 23, 2017

    Never saw this one. Frankly, I always heard it sucked and the best thing about it was the soundtrack. I’ll have to chase it down. I still have a couple movies you recommended on DVR and I was just waiting for the Vietnam series to end to watch them. More later on that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      October 23, 2017

      I think “critics” and people who let them do their thinking for them jumped on Peckinpah after ‘Wild Bunch’. Eye (and ear) of the beholder Doc. This film is definitely not everyones taste. It certainly doesn’t play it straight. Just the whole Dylan thing is and was an off beat choice. Bob wasn’t the most comfortable person in front of the camera. The music works big-time.

      Now you have me curious on the DVR. After the Vietnam thing you will need a rest. That’s heavy shit. (Every time i think of politicians i get pissed of).

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Jim S.
    October 23, 2017

    You’ll find this amusing but Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (the real guys not the movie) were a Jeopardy answer today. I got it right. Somebody guessed Wyatt Earp.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      October 24, 2017

      I’m telling you Doc, if we went on a cruise we would knock them dead on trivia night. I can feel it. (Popped over and seen your Lomax take. Will drop a comment when I get a bit of time. Very cool choice)

      Like

  7. jerseydreaming
    October 24, 2017

    Love Sam P. Always pushed the envelope (to varying degrees of success it must be said). You made me want to download and watch this one again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      October 24, 2017

      Yeah Sam is one of my favorite film makers. People hang all sorts of cliches and tags on his work. He took big swings. Like you said with “varying degrees of success”. Lots to enjoy in this one for CB. Enjoy the film (again) when you get around to it. Oh yeah, Sam’s casting was some of the best.

      Liked by 1 person

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