The Left Handed Gun


1h 42m 1958
The Left Handed Gun

Brief Synopsis

Billy the Kid sets out for vengeance on the men who killed his mentor.

Film Details

Genre
Western
Biography
Adaptation
Release Date
May 17, 1958
Premiere Information
New York opening: 7 May 1958
Production Company
Haroll Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Los Angeles--Conejo Ranch, California, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the teleplay "The Death of Billy the Kid" by Gore Vidal on Philco Television Playhouse (NBC, 24 July 1955).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 42m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White

Synopsis

In the late 1870s, as taciturn young William Bonney walks across the open range in Lincoln County, New Mexico, he encounters cattle drovers working for British-born rancher Tunstall. A kind, well-read man who dislikes guns, Tunstall offers Billy a job and a horse. Although Billy wears his gun belt low, like a gunfighter, and an older cowboy recognizes Billy as the boy who once killed a man who insulted his mother, Tunstall takes a liking to Billy and quickly develops a bond with him. When Tunstall sets out alone to ride into Lincoln to make arrangements for his cattle, Billy thinks he hears something in the hills and wants to come along as protection, but Tunstall refuses. Moments later, Tunstall is killed by men working for rival rancher Morton and Lincoln's Sheriff Brady. A bitter and disconsolate Billy stays up all night sitting next to Tunstall's coffin, until McSween, one of Tunstall's close friends, assures him that Tunstall would not want Billy to "take the other way" of vengeance. After Tunstall is buried, Billy shows four bullets to Tom Folliard and Charlie Boudre, two young cowboys who also worked for Tunstall, telling them that they are for Morton and Brady and the actual killers, Moon and Hill. Although Tom and Charlie are reluctant to risk their lives for their employer, Billy shames them by pointing out that Tunstall was a good man¿and unarmed when killed. Later, when Billy and Tom confront Morton and Brady in the street, Billy quickly outdraws and kills both men. Billy then runs to McSween's house but is startled when McSween angrily calls him a murderer. Meanwhile, townsmen chasing Billy set fire to McSween's house. McSween dies as the house is engulfed in flames, while Mrs. McSween, who was not at home, frantically begs them to stop. When the embers are later searched, it is concluded that both Billy and McSween died in the fire, although Billy has escaped and joined Tom on the trail. Feverish from his burns, Billy insists on going to Madeiro to see an old friend, the gun maker Saval. Once in Madeiro, Billy is reunited with another friend, Pat Garrett. Shortly after Charlie arrives in Maderio, Billy recovers from his wounds. One day, a small group of American soldiers enters town to distribute leaflets stating that newly appointed territorial governor Lew Wallace has issued a general amnesty order for all those involved in the Lincoln County War. The information is later confirmed by Joe Grant, a friend of Pat who has been appointed to monitor the amnesty. Tom and Charlie are elated because they want to go home, but Billy still plans to kill Moon and Hill. Although Tom tries to talk Billy out of more killing, Billy is adamant. After the three friends ride into Lincoln, Charlie has a child summon Moon to the sheriff's office. Once there, the frightened Moon says that he only did what Brady ordered and tries to convince Billy that "it's over" and no one wants "to get" him anymore. While Billy is considering Moon's words, Charlie impulsively shoots Moon, killing him. Tom is furious that Charlie has broken the amnesty but accompanies him and Billy to a hideout on the range. After Moon's murder, Hill implores Pat to come back to Lincoln and become the sheriff, but Pat declines because he is about to be married. On the day of his wedding, Billy, Tom and Charlie ride into Madeiro. Pat asks them not to cause trouble during the wedding and Billy promises to be good, even though he sees Hill in the distance. During the celebration, when Billy is posing for a picture, Hill yells that he is not a killer and only intended to arrest Tunstall. He also says that he would not shoot anyone who did not draw on him first. Billy remains silent, but when Hill starts to reach for his gun, Billy quickly draws his, precipitating a melee that results in Hill's death and Tom being wounded. Pat is furious that Billy has broken his word and frightened his wife and their friends. When Billy and Charlie ride out of town with Tom, Pat vows to become sheriff and put Billy in jail. Some time later, Tom has partially recovered but misses his home and decides to leave their hideout. Billy give Tom supplies and helps him mount his horse, but coldly says "that skinny dog ran off¿I don't want you" when he rides off. Unknown to the young outlaws, Pat is leading a posse that has taken cover nearby. When Tom is at the top of a ridge and stops to exchange waves with Charlie, Ollinger, a shotgun-carrying member of the posse, shoots and kills Tom. Although Pat had warned Ollinger not to shoot, a gunfight now ensues in which Charlie is killed and Billy eventually surrenders. After Billy is sentenced to hang for his crimes, people start to pour into Lincoln to witness the execution. As Pat tells his wife, Billy is now famous. Moultrie, a man who has followed Billy's exploits, visits him to display pulp magazines with stories of his exploits that have been published in the East. Before the execution can take place, Billy escapes, murdering his kind young guard as well as Ollinger. After his escape, Billy is helped by strangers and soon arrives in Madeiro. There he again encounters Moultrie, who shows him pictures of Charlie and Tom's bodies. When Billy rebukes Moultrie, the man cries that he writes stories about a Billy who stands up for glory, but "you're not him." Moments later, Billy sees Pat and a deputy ride into town and seeks refuge at Saval's house. Meanwhile, Moultrie finds Pat and tells him that Billy is in town but says he does not want the reward. Although Billy is ill, Celsa, Saval's pretty young wife, angrily demands that he leave. Seeing her emotion, Saval realizes that she and Billy had been lovers and is shattered. Celsa immediately embraces her husband, saying she only wants him, then orders Billy out. Tearfully giving Saval his gun and asking his help, Billy is standing at the open doorway when he hears Pat demand that he drop his gun. Although unarmed, Billy moves his left hand as if drawing his gun, and Pat shoots and kills him. As he approaches the dying Billy, Pat sees that his hand was empty. Shattered at what he has done, Pat compliantly goes with his wife when she guides him toward home.

Film Details

Genre
Western
Biography
Adaptation
Release Date
May 17, 1958
Premiere Information
New York opening: 7 May 1958
Production Company
Haroll Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Los Angeles--Conejo Ranch, California, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the teleplay "The Death of Billy the Kid" by Gore Vidal on Philco Television Playhouse (NBC, 24 July 1955).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 42m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White

Articles

The Left-Handed Gun


A thoroughly unique Western that wavers between peculiar and prophetic, The Left-Handed Gun (1958) marked Arthur Penn's directorial debut in the movies and helped elevate up-and-coming actor Paul Newman from pretty face to serious actor.

Based on a television play by Gore Vidal, it offers a fresh approach to the life and legend of William "Billy the Kid" Bonney, treating him as a deeply troubled youth rather than a bloodthirsty desperado. When cattle rancher (Colin Keith-Johnston), who has become a father figure for Billy, is murdered, the awkward, illiterate and impulsive Billy plots a reckless vengeance with the help of two impressionable friends (James Best and James Congdon). Pat Garrett (John Dehner), Billy's friend and protector, tries to coax the young gun into a more peaceful life but when Billy's single-minded crusade threatens the well being of the community, Garrett must take up arms against the spirited youth. Trailing behind the unstable young gunman is a writer from back East (Hurd Hatfield), whose published tales inflate the exploits of William Bonney to mythic status. And so the legend of Billy the Kid is born; but Booney is unable to live up to his famous name, thus questioning the historical verity of the myth-laden Wild West (a device later borrowed in Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven (1992).

On the surface, The Left-Handed Gun appears to be a traditional Western, but its cowboy-movie trappings are split apart by Newman's unorthodox performance. Fresh from his Actor's Studio training, Newman (who starred in the original 1955 television version) defies convention by mumbling, flaring up and contorting himself in poses of internal anguish. Fellow Method actor James Dean had expressed interest in playing Billy the Kid, and one can almost see his seething, actorly angst reflected in Newman's tormented performance.

Some critics derided Newman's portrayal of Billy the Kid (The New York Times wrote that he, "seems to be auditioning alternately for the Moscow Art Players and the Grand Ole Opry") but the film found greater critical success in Europe, where cinematic rule-breaking was more graciously received.

In hindsight, The Left-Handed Gun was more significant than even the French realized, laying the groundwork for the revisionist Western, a movement that would reach fruition a full decade later. It wasn't until the late 1960s and early '70s that audiences began to accept these stylized films that revisited - and some might say eviscerated - the traditional Western as a means of revealing bitter truths about American history: films such as Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch (1969), Robert Altman's McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971) and Penn's Little Big Man (1970).

Penn frequently used historical films as the foundation for social commentary, and one could view The Left-Handed Gun as a practice run for Penn's revisionist gangster film Bonnie and Clyde (1967), which continues to influence filmmakers today.

While its unconventionality is often distracting, The Left-Handed Gun marked Penn as a director of great potential, whose promise was fulfilled over the next several decades. As Paul Newman recalled, "I knew he was good... it was evident that he'd really make it."

Director: Arthur Penn
Producer: Fred Coe
Screenplay: Leslie Stevens
Based on the Teleplay The Death of Billy the Kid by Gore Vidal
Cinematography: J. Peverell Marley
Production Design: Art Loel
Music: Alexander Courage
Cast: Paul Newman (William Bonney), John Dehner (Pat Garrett), Hurd Hatfield (Moultrie), James Best (Tom Folliard), James Congdon (Charlie Boudre), Colin Keith-Johnston (Tunstall), Lita Milan (Celsa).
BW-103m.

by Bret Wood

The Left-Handed Gun

The Left-Handed Gun

A thoroughly unique Western that wavers between peculiar and prophetic, The Left-Handed Gun (1958) marked Arthur Penn's directorial debut in the movies and helped elevate up-and-coming actor Paul Newman from pretty face to serious actor. Based on a television play by Gore Vidal, it offers a fresh approach to the life and legend of William "Billy the Kid" Bonney, treating him as a deeply troubled youth rather than a bloodthirsty desperado. When cattle rancher (Colin Keith-Johnston), who has become a father figure for Billy, is murdered, the awkward, illiterate and impulsive Billy plots a reckless vengeance with the help of two impressionable friends (James Best and James Congdon). Pat Garrett (John Dehner), Billy's friend and protector, tries to coax the young gun into a more peaceful life but when Billy's single-minded crusade threatens the well being of the community, Garrett must take up arms against the spirited youth. Trailing behind the unstable young gunman is a writer from back East (Hurd Hatfield), whose published tales inflate the exploits of William Bonney to mythic status. And so the legend of Billy the Kid is born; but Booney is unable to live up to his famous name, thus questioning the historical verity of the myth-laden Wild West (a device later borrowed in Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven (1992). On the surface, The Left-Handed Gun appears to be a traditional Western, but its cowboy-movie trappings are split apart by Newman's unorthodox performance. Fresh from his Actor's Studio training, Newman (who starred in the original 1955 television version) defies convention by mumbling, flaring up and contorting himself in poses of internal anguish. Fellow Method actor James Dean had expressed interest in playing Billy the Kid, and one can almost see his seething, actorly angst reflected in Newman's tormented performance. Some critics derided Newman's portrayal of Billy the Kid (The New York Times wrote that he, "seems to be auditioning alternately for the Moscow Art Players and the Grand Ole Opry") but the film found greater critical success in Europe, where cinematic rule-breaking was more graciously received. In hindsight, The Left-Handed Gun was more significant than even the French realized, laying the groundwork for the revisionist Western, a movement that would reach fruition a full decade later. It wasn't until the late 1960s and early '70s that audiences began to accept these stylized films that revisited - and some might say eviscerated - the traditional Western as a means of revealing bitter truths about American history: films such as Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch (1969), Robert Altman's McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971) and Penn's Little Big Man (1970). Penn frequently used historical films as the foundation for social commentary, and one could view The Left-Handed Gun as a practice run for Penn's revisionist gangster film Bonnie and Clyde (1967), which continues to influence filmmakers today. While its unconventionality is often distracting, The Left-Handed Gun marked Penn as a director of great potential, whose promise was fulfilled over the next several decades. As Paul Newman recalled, "I knew he was good... it was evident that he'd really make it." Director: Arthur Penn Producer: Fred Coe Screenplay: Leslie Stevens Based on the Teleplay The Death of Billy the Kid by Gore Vidal Cinematography: J. Peverell Marley Production Design: Art Loel Music: Alexander Courage Cast: Paul Newman (William Bonney), John Dehner (Pat Garrett), Hurd Hatfield (Moultrie), James Best (Tom Folliard), James Congdon (Charlie Boudre), Colin Keith-Johnston (Tunstall), Lita Milan (Celsa). BW-103m. by Bret Wood

TCM Remembers Paul Newman (1925-2008) - Important Schedule Change for Paul Newman Tribute
Sunday, October 12


In Honor of Paul Newman, who died on September 26, TCM will air a tribute to the actor on Sunday, October 12th, replacing the current scheduled programming with the following movies:

Sunday, October 12 Program for TCM
6:00 AM The Rack
8:00 AM Until They Sail
10:00 AM Torn Curtain
12:15 PM Exodus
3:45 PM Sweet Bird of Youth
6:00 PM Hud
8:00 PM Somebody Up There Likes Me
10:00 PM Cool Hand Luke
12:15 AM Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
2:15 AM Rachel, Rachel
4:00 AM The Outrage


TCM Remembers Paul Newman (1925-2008)
Paul Newman, with his electric blue eyes and gutsy willingness to play anti-heroes, established himself as one of the movies' great leading men before settling into his latter-day career of flinty character acting. Born in Shaker Heights, Ohio, in 1925, Newman studied at the Yale Drama School and New York's Actors Studio before making his Broadway debut in Picnic.

Newman's breakthrough in films came in Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956), in which he played boxer Rocky Graziano. He quickly reinforced his reputation in such vehicles as The Rack (1956) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), for which he won the first of nine Oscar® nominations as an actor.

In 1958, while shooting The Long Hot Summer (1958) - which earned him the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival - in Louisiana, he became re-acquainted with Joanne Woodward, who was the film's female lead. The two soon fell in love, and after divorcing Jackie, Newman and Woodward were married in Las Vegas in 1958. The couple appeared in numerous films together and had three daughters, which they raised far from Hollywood in the affluent neighborhood of Westport, CT.

The 1960s was a fruitful decade for Newman, who starred in such hits as Exodus (1960), Sweet Bird of Youth (1962) and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969); and scored Oscar® nominations for The Hustler (1961), Hud (1963) and Cool Hand Luke (1967).

Newman's political activism also came to the forefront during the sixties, through tireless campaigning for Eugene McCarthy's 1968 presidential campaign. His association with McCarthy led to his being named on future President Richard Nixon's infamous "Opponents List;" Newman, who ranked #19 out of 20, later commented that his inclusion was among the proudest achievements of his career.

Newman's superstar status - he was the top-ranking box office star in 1969 and 1970 - allowed him to experiment with film roles during the 1970s, which led to quirky choices like WUSA (1970), Sometimes a Great Notion (1971), Pocket Money (1972), and The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972) - all of which he also produced through First Artists, a company he established with fellow stars Sidney Poitier and Barbra Streisand.

After coming close to winning an Oscar® for Absence of Malice (1981), Newman finally won the award itself for The Color of Money (1986). He also received an honorary Oscar® in 1986 and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1994. A producer and director as well as an actor, Newman has directed his wife (and frequent costar) Joanne Woodward through some of her most effective screen performances [Rachel, Rachel (1968), The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (1972)].

He remained active as an actor in his later years, playing the Stage Manager in Our Town on both stage and television, lending his voice to the animated features Cars (2006) and Mater and the Ghostlight (2006). Off-screen, Newman set the standard for celebrity-driven charities with his Newman's Own brand of foods, which brought $200 million to causes, and the Hole in the Wall Gang camp for seriously ill children.

TCM Remembers Paul Newman (1925-2008) - Important Schedule Change for Paul Newman Tribute Sunday, October 12

In Honor of Paul Newman, who died on September 26, TCM will air a tribute to the actor on Sunday, October 12th, replacing the current scheduled programming with the following movies: Sunday, October 12 Program for TCM 6:00 AM The Rack 8:00 AM Until They Sail 10:00 AM Torn Curtain 12:15 PM Exodus 3:45 PM Sweet Bird of Youth 6:00 PM Hud 8:00 PM Somebody Up There Likes Me 10:00 PM Cool Hand Luke 12:15 AM Cat on a Hot Tin Roof 2:15 AM Rachel, Rachel 4:00 AM The Outrage TCM Remembers Paul Newman (1925-2008) Paul Newman, with his electric blue eyes and gutsy willingness to play anti-heroes, established himself as one of the movies' great leading men before settling into his latter-day career of flinty character acting. Born in Shaker Heights, Ohio, in 1925, Newman studied at the Yale Drama School and New York's Actors Studio before making his Broadway debut in Picnic. Newman's breakthrough in films came in Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956), in which he played boxer Rocky Graziano. He quickly reinforced his reputation in such vehicles as The Rack (1956) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), for which he won the first of nine Oscar® nominations as an actor. In 1958, while shooting The Long Hot Summer (1958) - which earned him the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival - in Louisiana, he became re-acquainted with Joanne Woodward, who was the film's female lead. The two soon fell in love, and after divorcing Jackie, Newman and Woodward were married in Las Vegas in 1958. The couple appeared in numerous films together and had three daughters, which they raised far from Hollywood in the affluent neighborhood of Westport, CT. The 1960s was a fruitful decade for Newman, who starred in such hits as Exodus (1960), Sweet Bird of Youth (1962) and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969); and scored Oscar® nominations for The Hustler (1961), Hud (1963) and Cool Hand Luke (1967). Newman's political activism also came to the forefront during the sixties, through tireless campaigning for Eugene McCarthy's 1968 presidential campaign. His association with McCarthy led to his being named on future President Richard Nixon's infamous "Opponents List;" Newman, who ranked #19 out of 20, later commented that his inclusion was among the proudest achievements of his career. Newman's superstar status - he was the top-ranking box office star in 1969 and 1970 - allowed him to experiment with film roles during the 1970s, which led to quirky choices like WUSA (1970), Sometimes a Great Notion (1971), Pocket Money (1972), and The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972) - all of which he also produced through First Artists, a company he established with fellow stars Sidney Poitier and Barbra Streisand. After coming close to winning an Oscar® for Absence of Malice (1981), Newman finally won the award itself for The Color of Money (1986). He also received an honorary Oscar® in 1986 and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1994. A producer and director as well as an actor, Newman has directed his wife (and frequent costar) Joanne Woodward through some of her most effective screen performances [Rachel, Rachel (1968), The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (1972)]. He remained active as an actor in his later years, playing the Stage Manager in Our Town on both stage and television, lending his voice to the animated features Cars (2006) and Mater and the Ghostlight (2006). Off-screen, Newman set the standard for celebrity-driven charities with his Newman's Own brand of foods, which brought $200 million to causes, and the Hole in the Wall Gang camp for seriously ill children.

Quotes

Trivia

Interestingly, the title of this movie promotes a common misconception that was only recently proven untrue. Most people thought Billy the Kid was left-handed because the only known photograph (from 1880) that exists of him seems to show his pistol on his left hip. However, upon closer examination of details such as his beltbuckle and the Winchester rifle, it was realized that the photo is actually reversed as it was created using the tintype photo process. The real Billy the Kid was in fact right-handed.

Interestingly, the title of this movie promotes a common misconception that was only recently proven untrue. Most people thought Billy the Kid was left-handed because the only known photograph (from 1880) that exists of him seems to show his pistol on his left hip. However, upon closer examination of details such as his beltbuckle and the Winchester rifle, it was realized that the photo is actually reversed as it was created using the tintype photo process. The real Billy the Kid was in fact right-handed.

Notes

Paul Newman's credit above the film's title reads "Paul Newman as Billy the Kid." There are no additional character credits on the film. Although the onscreen credits read "based on a novel by Gore Vidal," The Left Handed Gun was actually based on Vidal's teleplay for the 1955 Philco Playhouse production entitled "The Death of Billy the Kid." Arthur Penn directed the teleplay, which was produced by frequent collaborator Fred Coe and starred Paul Newman. The Variety review mistakenly did not include the name of actor John Dehner or his character, "Pat Garrett," in the cast list of the film.
       The real Billy the Kid, who was born Henry McCarty in New York City on November 28, 1859, changed his name to William Antrim when his widowed mother remarried. Traveling West at an early age, he assumed the name William H. Bonney and soon earned a reputation as a "fast gun" and killer, known as "Billy the Kid." After Billy was imprisoned in Mesilla, NM, he escaped but was tracked down by Sheriff Pat Garrett, who shot and killed the outlaw on July 14, 1881 in Fort Sumner, NM. As in the film, Billy's friends, Tom Folliard and Charlie Boudre, died before him. The film altered and fictionalized some of the names, places and details of Billy's life and death. As noted in some reviews, although the real Billy the Kid died at age twenty-one, Newman was in his early thirties when The Left Handed Gun was made.
       The Lincoln County War (1878-1881), which was alluded to in the film, was one of the most famous range wars in Western American history. John Tunstall and his attorney, Alexander McSween, were on one side of the war of rival New Mexican cattle barons. Billy the Kid became one of a group of cowboys known as "The Regulators," who fought on the same side as Tunstall and McSween. As in the film, Tunstall, though unarmed, was shot to death by supporters of his rivals, among them members of a sheriff's posse. In late 1878, amnesty was granted to all factions by newly appointed territorial governor Gen. Lew Wallace to all individuals who had not been charged with or convicted of a crime.
       Although the film's title refers to the long-held, popular belief that Billy was left-handed, evidence and modern historical research confirms that he was right-handed. (For additional information on this issue, please consult the entry for the 1941 M-G-M picture Billy the Kid, directed by David Miller and starring Robert Taylor in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50.) Penn and Coe discussed the issue of Billy's left-handedness in an interview in Los Angeles Times printed just after the end of principal photography. Penn did not take a stand on whether or not Billy was physically left-handed but stated "We believe that, spiritually and psychologically, he WAS left-handed. He saw everything 'through a glass darkly,' and we are using the glass symbolically throughout the film."
       Early in the film, Tunstall reads the entire "Through a glass darkly" quotation from St. Paul's Epistle to the Corinthians, 13:11-12: "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as I am known." Billy repeats the phrase "through a glass darkly" later in the film, and its significance as an explanation of the character's final moments was mentioned in several reviews and in modern sources.
       The Left Handed Gun was Penn's first feature film after directing both on Broadway and on television. Penn's direction received praise from some reviews, including Variety, which stated that Penn "shows himself in command of the medium, using motion picture technique and advantages...not available elsewhere, to their fullest value." Some reviews, though, found fault with the more stylistic aspects of the film: in one scene, for example, Billy draws the plans for the first killings on a steamed windowpane overlooking the street where he subsequently kills "Morton" and "Sheriff Brady." Another scene, which has been included in documentaries on film history and Newman's career, shows Billy repeatedly putting coins into a large music box that plays the popular Civil War tune "The Battle-Cry of Freedom (Rally Round the Flag)." Billy manically waves his arm as if leading a band, then marches around the hotel and bar, carrying a broom for a rifle. Modern sources also point to the film as a foreshadowing of Penn's 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70).
       Some modern sources have speculated on a theme of latent homosexuality of Billy, but contemporary reviews did not allude to this. The only hints of this theme are the indication that Billy is too devoted to Tunstall, whom he had only briefly known, and his relationship with Garrett. Modern sources state that portions of the film were shot at the Conejo Ranch in Los Angeles and in Santa Fe, NM, and that Jack Williams was a stuntman.
       There have been many films based on the life of Billy the Kid. For information on those films, please consult the aforementioned entry for the 1941 Billy the Kid. Vidal's "The Death of Billy the Kid" was also the basis for the 1989 TNT cable channel movie Gore Vidal's Billy the Kid, which was directed by William A. Graham and starred Val Kilmer and Duncan Regehr.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States February 2007

Released in United States January 1994

Released in United States Spring May 1958

Shown at Berlin International Film Festival (Homage) February 8-18, 2007.

Shown at Sundance Film Festival (Tribute to Arthur Penn) in Park City, Utah January 20-30, 1994.

Feature directorial debut for Arthur Penn.

Released in United States January 1994 (Shown at Sundance Film Festival (Tribute to Arthur Penn) in Park City, Utah January 20-30, 1994.)

Released in United States February 2007 (Shown at Berlin International Film Festival (Homage) February 8-18, 2007.)

Released in United States Spring May 1958