One of the most tumultuous productions in Hollywood history, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid has nonetheless become the stuff of lore as perhaps the quintessential revisionist Western, despite being trashed by critics on its initial release. Kris Kristofferson plays the outlaw gunslinger Billy the Kid, with James Coburn as the ex-outlaw Pat Garrett—now hired to kill his old friend Billy. Myriad character actors from Westerns past, including Harry Dean Stanton, Slim Pickens, and Katy Jurado, make appearances here as the two “legends in their own time” build toward a showdown. Also starring and delivering the unforgettable soundtrack—including “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”—is none other than Bob Dylan in his first screen role. Famously over budget and tarnished by Peckinpah’s descent into full-fledged alcoholism, it survives as one of the master filmmaker’s best-known films, here screened in Peckinpah’s preferred 123-minute cut.
Other Films by Sam Peckinpah
Chasing after a bounty on the head of an already dead man, an alcoholic pianist (Warren Oates) forges a violent path through the heart of Mexico with his prostitute girlfriend (Isela Vega) along for the ride. Unrelentingly violent and bleak in its outlook, Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia was despised upon its initial …