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Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (Two-Disc Special Edition) [Import]

4.4 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: James Coburn, Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson
  • Directors: Sam Peckinpah
  • Format: Widescreen, Color, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Closed-captioned, Import
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Canadian Home Video Rating : Ages 14 and over
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Warner Bros. Home Video
  • Release Date: Jan. 24 2006
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000BT96DC
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Product Description

Product Description

Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid: Special Edition (Dbl DVD)


Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid may be the most beautiful and ambitious film that Sam Peckinpah ever made. The time is 1881. Powerful interests want New Mexico tamed for their brand of progress, and Sheriff Pat Garrett (James Coburn) is commissioned to rid the territory of his old gunfighting comrades. He serves fair notice to William Bonney--Billy the Kid (Kris Kristofferson)--and his Fort Sumter cronies, but it's not in their nature, or his, to go quietly. Peckinpah's theme, more than ever, is the closing of the frontier and the nature of the loss that that entails. But this time his vision takes him beyond genre convention, beyond history and legend, to the bleeding heart of myth--and surely of himself.

This is one strange and original movie. In 1973 most American reviewers responded by panning it and deriding its director, whom they saw as having betrayed the promise of Ride the High Country, been swept up in his own cult of violence, and become incoherent as a storyteller. Coherence wasn't helped by MGM's cutting at least a quarter-of-an-hour out of the finished film and removing a bitter, retrospective prelude. Subsequent releases have restored a lot of material, and now there's more widespread appreciation of the depth and power of Peckinpah's achievement.

The cast, teeming with fine character actors, is extraordinary, making the gallery of frontier denizens vivid and resonant. Coburn's Garrett, a man who comes to loathe himself for his mission yet cannot abandon it, is the high-water mark of the actor's career. L.Q. Jones, Luke Askew, Harry Dean Stanton, Jack Elam, and Richard Bright create indelible moments, and Slim Pickens becomes the center of an unforgettably moving scene. The presence of Kristofferson (just starting out as an actor) and Bob Dylan (whose enigmatic role is nearly wordless) nudges us toward recognizing Old West outlawry as an early form of rock stardom--flesh-and-blood gods for a primitive society to feed on. --Richard T. Jameson

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
Few directors have understood the Western genre quite as well as Sam Peckingpah, and although "Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid" may not be his best Western, it is still an extraordinary achievement. The film is based on the events leading up to the death of the famed outlaw Billy the Kid (Kris Kristofferson) by his former friend turned lawman, Pat Garrett (James Coburn). Although the outlaw's story has been told and retold in countless other movies, none of them are quite as striking as in Peckinpah's unique version.
One of the first things that struck me about the film is the realistic way the characters are depicted. In most traditional Westerns, the concepts of good and evil are fairly clear-cut and easily recognizable. There's the handsome Western hero (usually represented as a lawman), fighting for justice and order against the violent forces of evil (usually represented by outlaws or bloodthirsty Indians). But in this film these concepts are not so neatly drawn. Garrett, for example, pursues Billy the Kid, not necessary out of a sense of justice, but simply because it's his job. When asked why he took the job to begin with, Garrett simply states: "A man gets to an age where he don't want to spend time figuring what comes next." And Billy the Kid, despite being an "outlaw" and clearly prone to violence, as when he breaks out of jail and kills two deputies in the process, is contrasted with his good qualities, particular his likeable charm and loyalty to friends. At one point, Cattle Baron John Chisum (memorably played by Barry Sullivan) asks Garrett almost regretfully, "Are you going to get him?" He echoes what many in the film seem to feel, namely that the Kid may be an outlaw, but he's still one of the most interesting people in the territory.
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By A Customer on March 16 2003
Format: VHS Tape
For a Hollywood picture this effort hews fairly close to the historical facts, and Sam Peckinpah, who does a bit as a coffin-maker in the last act, throws in some of his own inimitable touches. The film covers the two months between Billy the Kid's escape from the Lincoln County jail (brilliantly staged here, although the Kid did not have a gun planted in the privy to accomplish this) and his death in front of Pat Garrett's pistol in a darkened bedroom in Fort Sumner, New Mexico in July, 1881 (also accurately portrayed). This period is fair game for dramatic license because nobody knows why the Kid remained in the New Mexico Territory after he broke out. Some think it was arrogance, others that Billy was attached to a woman in Fort Sumner who allegedly had borne him two daughters. A little of both motives are used here. A serious misstep in the movie is the allegation that the cattle interests or railroads were concerned about the recapture of the Kid. Although he did rustle stock, they couldn't have cared less. He was condemned for the murder of Lincoln County Sheriff William Brady, and act of which he was flagrantly guilty, but for which ten other men who helped had been excused. Another blooper is Peckinpah attributing his own thirst for whiskey to Billy. One of the reasons the Kid was so deadly with a firearm was that he was a teetotaler, and was always stone sober when trouble started, while nearly everyone else was intoxicated.Kris Kristofferson plays the Kid as sort of a detached dreamer, and just doesn't capture the magnetic and even happy-go-lucky nature of the Kid mentioned by all of the latter's contemporaries. Nor was Garrett the haunted, womanizing loner portrayed here; he was in fact a fabulously brave but methodical and workaday man happily married to an Hispanic wife.Read more ›
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Format: VHS Tape
When Sam Peckinpah gets mentioned, it's usually for films like "The Wild Bunch" and "...Alfredo Garcia". Those are both fine films, but this one never seems to get a lot of press. Maybe because he put too many musicians in it. Maybe people didn't like Bob Dylan in it, or his soundtrack. Maybe they thought of it as by this time, just another violent Western where we know what the ending will be.
But I think this is a great film, populated by very good actors, with very good performances, and yes, I like the music. Once again, we have a movie where the main characters are bad guys, even though society considers some of them good guys. Even though the good guys use bad guy tactics to get the bad guys. Sound confusing. Yep. But from what I know of history, there was a very thin line between those trying to "civilize" the frontier, and those just trying to party hard.
Yes, Billy the Kid was a bad guy, and the movie makes no bones about it. The man has no moral confusion about killing at the drop of the hat, but as it turns, out, it's pride and arrogance that kills him. Kris Kristofferson may not show that much charisma (he shows a lot more these days), it's the bland expression that makes the killer in him more chilling.
Kristofferson aside, just about the entire cast portrays the rough and tumble Old West very well. James Coburn gives one of his best performances as Pat Garrett, portraying the weariness of showing not only that he's been through the mill, but the hypocrisy of killing for the "good guys" now. And the death scene of Slim Pickens with "that song" playing is extremely moving.
Now for Bob Dylan. First remember that "that song" is "Knockin' on Heaven's Door", and even if you hate the movie, this song has become a classic, and this is the movie it came from.
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