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Films of Sergio Leone => Other Films => Topic started by: tucumcari bound on August 13, 2008, 03:32:51 AM



Title: The Left Handed Gun (1958)
Post by: tucumcari bound on August 13, 2008, 03:32:51 AM

After his employer is murdered by rival cattlemen, a troubled and uneducated young cowboy (Paul Newman) vows revenge on the murderers.

Paul Newman as Billy the Kid? I wasn't aware of this film until tonight when I came across it. I have never seen this or even heard of it. I've read some positive things about the film and I'm curious to see it. Is anybody familiar with this film? If so, what's your opinion? Thanks!


(http://www.moviegoods.com/Assets/product_images/1020/198259.1020.A.jpg)


Title: Re: The Left Handed Gun (1958)
Post by: Ben Tyreen on August 13, 2008, 10:40:31 AM
 I haven't seen it, but I've read reviews that say Newman's Billy the Kid is a psycho, whiney little teenager.  Of course, with Newman doing it, the movie might be worth it.

 Also, the picture that showed Billy the Kid as a lefty was actually taken backwards, I think.  I may be forgetting the story I read, but in reality I believe he was right-handed. O0


Title: Re: The Left Handed Gun (1958)
Post by: tucumcari bound on August 13, 2008, 01:19:34 PM
I haven't seen it, but I've read reviews that say Newman's Billy the Kid is a psycho, whiney little teenager.  Of course, with Newman doing it, the movie might be worth it.

 Also, the picture that showed Billy the Kid as a lefty was actually taken backwards, I think.  I may be forgetting the story I read, but in reality I believe he was right-handed. O0

Yeah, I've read numerous times he was right-handed as well. It's fine though how some films are based on myth. We see that all the time.


Title: Re: The Left Handed Gun (1958)
Post by: titoli on May 18, 2010, 02:48:39 PM
I had already seen this 30 years ago and was bored to death. this time I wasn't so bored but not enthused either. Let's say that it is apparent the story and the direction aimed at something different from the usual retelling of the myth. The problem is I couldn't guess what that was. I think that the middle part, that more based on action, is the one that fares better. Some scenes are even well staged, like the one with Billy taking out the cartridges from a bounty hunter (I thought this ruse had been invented for Young Guns, though with a different twist) a scene which is spoiled by what is probably the worst scene ever played by Newman who, in this movie, like the director, most of the time doesn't know what he wants. I give it 7\10 because Imight give it another try 30 years from now.

P.S. I read in Garfield's book that there's a "homosexual subtext" in here. I can't say which is it though, as usual. I see Garrett getting married and Billy getting his girl. It must have been very sub or maybe it's just because the story for the movie was penned by Gore Vidal, so that there is such thing is taken for granted. 


Title: Re: The Left Handed Gun (1958)
Post by: Groggy on May 18, 2010, 04:07:43 PM
Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid re-staged a good deal of this film, if memory serves.


Title: Re: The Left Handed Gun (1958)
Post by: sargatanas on May 18, 2010, 05:07:55 PM
character actor james best who played a good natured outlaw buddy to billy. BTK should have been played by john davis chandler


Title: Re: The Left Handed Gun (1958)
Post by: Groggy on June 09, 2010, 08:53:47 AM
The Left-Handed Gun - 6/10 - I had a crappy DVD which gave out a few minutes after Billy's jailbreak, hopefully there wasn't much left. What I did see didn't impress me, a fairly typical fifties "psycho-Western" - long on talk and psychological speculation, short on action, plus bogged down with Arthur Penn's usual hobby horse - criminals are just misunderstood misfits. I don't know what to make of Newman's performance, either - I've never seen him do such a "Method"-heavy turn, and it's definitely not among his best work. Some good scenes, many of which were blatantly lifted by Peckinpah for Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, but nothing to write home about.


Title: Re: The Left Handed Gun (1958)
Post by: Groggy on June 09, 2010, 08:56:11 AM
Watched most of this last night. I had a crappy DVD which gave out a few minutes after Billy's jailbreak, hopefully there wasn't much left.

What I did see didn't impress me, a fairly typical fifties "psycho-Western" - long on talk and psychological speculation, short on action, plus bogged down with Arthur Penn's usual hobby horse - criminals are just misunderstood misfits. Billy and Co. act like they wandered over from Rebel Without a Cause, and Billy even rocks out to a recording of Battle Cry of Freedom! I don't know what to make of Newman's performance, either - I've never seen him do such a "Method"-heavy turn, and it's definitely not among his best work. Some good scenes, many of which were blatantly lifted by Peckinpah for Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (Billy's surrender at Stinking Springs and the jailbreak are almost shot-for-shot), but nothing to write home about. 6/10, maybe 7 if I was feeling very generous.


Title: Re: The Left Handed Gun (1958)
Post by: Groggy on June 09, 2010, 01:32:33 PM
The Left-Handed Gun - 6/10 - I had a crappy DVD which gave out a few minutes after Billy's jailbreak, hopefully there wasn't much left. What I did see didn't impress me, a fairly typical fifties "psycho-Western" - long on talk and psychological speculation, short on action, plus bogged down with Arthur Penn's usual hobby horse - criminals are just misunderstood misfits. I don't know what to make of Newman's performance, either - I've never seen him do such a "Method"-heavy turn, and it's definitely not among his best work. Some good scenes, many of which were blatantly lifted by Peckinpah for Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, but nothing to write home about.

I was able to finish the film this afternoon. The ending didn't improve my opinion.


Title: Re: The Left Handed Gun (1958)
Post by: sargatanas on June 09, 2010, 02:25:55 PM
left handed gun / jail upstairs w/ sadistic deputy Denver Pyle

one eyed jacks w/ Brando / jail upstairs w/ sadistic deputy slim pickens

pat Garret & billy the kid / jail upstairs / sadistic deputy r.g. armstrong

BTW, billy wasn't left handed



Title: Re: The Left Handed Gun (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on June 10, 2010, 01:35:17 PM
BTW, billy wasn't left handed
Not only that, he wasn't even Billy.


Title: Re: The Left Handed Gun (1958)
Post by: Groggy on June 10, 2010, 02:56:48 PM
left handed gun / jail upstairs w/ sadistic deputy Denver Pyle

one eyed jacks w/ Brando / jail upstairs w/ sadistic deputy slim pickens

pat Garret & billy the kid / jail upstairs / sadistic deputy r.g. armstrong

BTW, billy wasn't left handed

Well, the shooting of Ollinger in particular is almost shot-for-shot between Left-Handed Gun and Pat Garrett, minus the squibs. It's not just a question of being the same story with the same characters etc.


Title: Re: The Left Handed Gun (1958)
Post by: Groggy on June 11, 2010, 10:08:15 AM
I did get to finish this, the ending didn't impress me. The staging of Billy's death reminded me of Rebel Without a Cause, which highlights where I feel this movie went wrong. It's not a Western, it's a film about juvenile delinquency set in the 1880s.


Title: Re: The Left Handed Gun (1958)
Post by: Jill on June 13, 2010, 06:35:15 AM
Didn't like it much. Newman is too... Newman, all the time, and he's way too intellectual for Billy. Plus he's emo. But this is where the crucified hero shot at surrendering scene first came to picture, I think.


Title: Re: The Left Handed Gun (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on June 13, 2010, 08:07:05 AM
It's not a Western, it's a film about juvenile delinquency set in the 1880s.
Everybody knows that without having to watch the film.


Title: Re: The Left Handed Gun (1958)
Post by: Groggy on June 13, 2010, 10:08:16 AM
Didn't like it much. Newman is too... Newman, all the time, and he's way too intellectual for Billy. Plus he's emo. But this is where the crucified hero shot at surrendering scene first came to picture, I think.

Yep. And it's as trite here as it usually is.


Title: Re: The Left Handed Gun (1958)
Post by: sargatanas on June 14, 2010, 11:57:17 AM
george sanders winds up slapping guys in practically every movie he's been in.  when george went and took the easy way out he left behind a note that said " i got board " . Newman was looking real snappy w/ that panama hat he wore. had no idea billiy bonney was such a slave to fashion which is more than i can say for that estaban rojo fellow


Title: Re: The Left Handed Gun (1958)
Post by: Jill on June 14, 2010, 04:45:13 PM
And killing Ollinger... I barely remember how it looked in this movie. Ol' Sam made it forever with "keep the change, Bob".  >:D


Title: Re: The Left Handed Gun (1958)
Post by: stanton on June 15, 2010, 02:07:06 AM
Penn's staging of Ollinger's death was very innovative for a 50s film.

He uses a slo mo shot (first in a western?) of Ollinger falling backwards, then makes in the midst of the shot a cut, and shows Ollinger now from behind by using fast motion slamming to the ground. This is followed by a another unusual for the 50s shot of Ollinger lying on the ground with one of his boots standing in the foreground. The impact of the shotgun shot has thrown him out of his boot.
There is more well made violence in the film, but the theatrical staging of Billy's death is indeed a bit disappointing.

Newman is still good, but could be much better without the Brando-like overacting, and Dehner, an otherwise fine supporting actor for westerns, is here only a pale Garrett.

Intelligent western which sometimes overdoes it with trying to be too "intellectual". 


Title: Re: The Left Handed Gun (1958)
Post by: Jill on June 15, 2010, 08:55:27 AM
Is there a good Billy movie where he is really young, not overacting, and nice? (And preferably with a good Garrett too.)


Title: Re: The Left Handed Gun (1958)
Post by: stanton on June 15, 2010, 12:16:35 PM
Audie Murphy with his baby-face was Billy in a forgettable film. But he also was already 25 or 26.

A Billy film with a teenager who goes through puberty in the lead hasn't surfaced yet. As far as I know.


Title: Re: The Left Handed Gun (1958)
Post by: cigar joe on June 15, 2010, 02:48:21 PM
Quote
A Billy film with a teenager who goes through puberty in the lead hasn't surfaced yet. As far as I know.

It has:

(http://img385.imageshack.us/img385/6613/dirtylittlebilly0eu.jpg)

http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=2348.0


Title: Re: The Left Handed Gun (1958)
Post by: The Peacemaker on June 15, 2010, 09:21:28 PM
It has:

(http://img385.imageshack.us/img385/6613/dirtylittlebilly0eu.jpg)

http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=2348.0

Ah yes.....







...that film.


That was possibly one of the most absurd westerns I've ever seen in my life, it's just so poorly done. A waste of a quirky musical score and good set pieces (town drenched in mud).


Title: Re: The Left Handed Gun (1958)
Post by: stanton on June 16, 2010, 02:26:23 AM
But Pollard was 23 years old, and as I remember him in Dirty Little Billy (last saw it in the early 80s), he looked even older.
Ok, Billy was at the time of his death 21, but DLB was set before he arrived in the Lincoln County, and so must be set in the mid-70s at an age of 15 - 17.

In fact Pollard didn't looked like a teenager in Bonnie and Clyde, which was made 5 years earlier.


Title: Re: The Left Handed Gun (1958)
Post by: sargatanas on June 16, 2010, 09:14:10 AM
nick nolte mde his debut in DLB
MJP = punk


Title: Re: The Left Handed Gun (1958)
Post by: Dust Devil on November 20, 2010, 02:40:06 AM
Watched this in one piece for the very first time. Yeah, this is a mediocre experiment and one boring as hell too, though with occasional flashes of... of... I almost wrote brilliancy, except that's not the word I'm searching for. Let's just say it shows a few interesting touches every now and then, but that's about it, they're not enough to cover the rest. Poor Paul Newman left almost stranded in front of the camera, I felt sorry for him in a couple of occasions (the one when he's doing the show in front of the jukebox comes to mind). Just doesn't work, sorry.

I wish I could say something good but it just doesn't come to mind. Arthur Penn's first movie: shows a certain amount of talent, but he just isn't up to the task.


6/10 (on a very good day)


Title: Re: The Left Handed Gun (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on February 28, 2011, 05:38:03 AM
Here is an interesting quote from Frayling:

"[Leone] didn't like psychology. Freudian Westerns got on his nerves. Films like "The Left-Handed Gun" with Paul Newman, where, you know, you feel if there'd been a social worker around, Billy the Kid would never have happened. Films like that, he didn't like. He liked films where, you know, a lot of shooting, a lot of riding, a lot of action, a lot of landscape. So he wanted to bring back a kind of innocence of the Western; it had become too sophisticated."

[This quote is from a discussion Frayling had with Terry Gross on NPR on August 1, 2005 (it's available for download as an audiobook on iTunes for like $1.99 or something; it's real nice, it's more than 40 minutes long!)


Title: Re: The Left Handed Gun (1958)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on August 23, 2014, 10:38:52 PM
just saw the movie for the first time (dvr'd it on TCM, part of Paul Newman Day on Summer Under the Stars) didn't like it. From when Billy escapes jail, the movie gets better, but overall this is a crappy movie. 5/10