Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid Screen 2 articles

Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid

1973

Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid Poster
  • For all his macho excess and bluster, Peckinpah at his best was an epic mural painter whose talents lay in coordinating small details within large canvases... The belated release of his own cut of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid allows us to see those talents fitfully, but the perverse butchering of that cut on the videotape version — the version that most Americans will likely wind up seeing — only adds further damage to the carnage already perpetrated by the 1973 studio cut.

  • It is the story of Garrett building up the will to murder his friend, a gesture he sees at the time as a kind of suicide, and indeed a gesture in the past that we see, by way of Peckinpah's merciless editing, as somehow, someway, causing his own death, his own murder, in the present. These kinds of evocative formal audacities go well beyond the reach of the slow motion bloodbaths the director is best known for pioneering.