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Author Topic: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973)  (Read 56331 times)
stanton
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« Reply #165 on: June 12, 2011, 02:03:26 AM »

just saw the movie on TCM for the first time. (Prior to the screening, Robert Osbourne [the TCM host] said that while the version doesn't restore everything Peckinpah wanted, it is much closer to peckinpah's version than the theatrical release was).

1. the movie is visually stunning and the casting and acting was good, but overall I was very unsatisfied. I'd rate it 6.4/10:

2. There were frequent brief references in the dialogue to Pat and Billy's having rode together in the past, yet no further explanation of the backstory/motivation, and I did not feel I could "identify" with them.

3.Throughout the film, the blood looks so fake it is laughable.

4. I always hated Peckinpah's shtick with the slo-mo violence.

5. The film kind of drags on for stretches with nothing happening. According to Robert Osbourne's introduction, that was a problem the studio execs had with the film, which led to them cutting it for theatrical release. While I have never seen that theatrical version, who knows -- maybe the studio execs did have a point, for a change. Parts of the film did seem to drag on needlessly IMO.

SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER

Finally, I couldn't tell who those guys were that killed Pat in the opening scene -- can anyone help me out on that? Thanks  Smiley

One was his former deputy Poe, the others are unknown hired hands.

Poe represents the compromise Garrett made (while Billy represents the ideal and freedom), and therefore had always to bear the humiliating outbursts of Garrett's self-hate.
That Garrett in the end becomes killed by Poe makes the film even more pessimistic, even if Garrett was already inwardly dead since he killed Billy.

The reasons for cutting down the Theatrical version to 106 min are pretty complex, and have also a lot to do with Peckinpah's behaviour.

If you saw the long version of the film, then I agree it drags here and there. Despite some major flaws the version released on DVD does the narrative flow more justice.

But I think you won't like the film very much anyway.

But the film was for irritating at first also, and it has so much poetic qualities, that I began really to love it after I watched it a second time. And that was the butchered 106 min version, but thanks to the episodic structure oft the film it works also in that version.

« Last Edit: June 12, 2011, 02:08:00 AM by stanton » Logged

drinkanddestroy
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« Reply #166 on: June 12, 2011, 02:38:57 AM »

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Pat-Garrett-Billy-Two-Disc-Special/dp/B000BT96DC says the dvd has: on Disc One a "Special Edition" 115 mins. version

and on Disc 2: a "1988 Turner Preview version" of 122 mins.,


so not sure which was the version I saw on TCM, but I guess we can certainly say it NOT the 106 min. version... well after seeing how long and disjointed the story seems of the edition I've seen, maybe I'd like it a little more if I had indeed seen the 106 min "butchered" version... either way, Iam not dying to see other editions now. it was not a good film for other reasons

« Last Edit: September 06, 2011, 12:10:48 PM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #167 on: June 12, 2011, 03:18:47 AM »

I'm sure it was the 122 min version.

What about the scene with the dying Sheriff at the river. Ain't taht a beautiful scene? (A scene which is btw even more beautiful in the shorter versions.

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« Reply #168 on: October 23, 2011, 03:54:34 AM »

rambling robert zimmerman made his film debut in PGABTK. he jerks his head around a lot and does what he's told  Huh

Dylan made his TV debut on live television in a BBC play in 1962.
He made his film debut on a newsreel taken at a civil rights rally in Greenwood, Miississippi in 1963 followed by the films Festival! and Dont Look Back, both in 1965.

Richard

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« Reply #169 on: October 23, 2011, 06:00:06 AM »


Fort Sumner, New Mexico Territory, circa 1875, before it was decommissioned
and before the Maxwell family bought it.


I love the look and feel of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. There is every indication that the art department did their research, especially in the courthouse and at Fort Sumner. All that adobe and stone and rough-hewn boards give the film a tactile quality that is harmonious with the weary sadness of the story. Little splashes of color like the jacket Garrett wears, made from an Indian blanket, amidst Coquillon's deep rich autumnal color that was so breathtaking on the big screen. Kristofferson's low flat voice; a voice and an accent like that are from deep Texas. It can't be faked.

...

But the scene with Garrett's wife is good. She even knows what's going to happen with him. "You are dead inside."

No mercy for missing lines! Turner version is much better.

James... oh my God. He's not playing, he IS Garrett.
Oh... I feel pity for his charakter.  Cry Just looking into his sad eyes and I know he didn't wanted it and he did it, but for what? For nothing. And he lost his peace forever. At the end being murdered by Poe and the other SOBs.

From an historical and biographical perspective, the film gets most things wrong, but some things are right. The interaction with Bob Olinger and Bell, the escape from the courthouse, the singing of a song, the bucking horse and the blanket in the street, are all close enough. The interior of the courthouse, the exterior of Fort Sumner and the house in which the Kid is shot, are close enough. The film is being told in the blink of an eye as Pat Garrett dies; it's his memory of the most important event of his life, shown to us the way he sees life. The guilt, the infinite sadness, the weariness, the intolerance for everyone he meets, the baseness of his personality -- this is the real Pat Garrett. In actual fact he never stopped paying for killing the Kid, and nobody ever let him forget it. He lived in poverty, his family often starved, and he drank away and frightened off every opportunity that came his way. He became an agnostic, quoting Ingersoll and picking fights with everybody. I don't know how Peckinpah and Wurlitzer discovered Pat Garrett, but they get the spirit of the man right. I don't know how James Coburn intuited the man, but his performance is dead-on accurate. When you see the self-loathing and exhausted look in James Coburn's eyes, it's as if he's channeling Garrett rather than acting. It's just a remarkable performance.

In contrast, the Kid was hopeful and had everything to look forward to when he shot the guards and escaped from the Lincoln courthouse (on Thursday afternoon 28 April, 1881). He was in love with Paulita Maxwell (the girl played by Rita Coolidge), the young sister of Pete Maxwell, and he rode back to Fort Sumner because she was there. He had other girlfriends, too, but it was serious with Paulita. If only the film had ditched Paco and given more exposition to the Kid and Paulita. At Fort Sumner, he was bunking with Garrett's sister-in-law and fooling around with Charlie Bowdre's widow, among others, while trying to romance Paulita. That's why he stayed instead of leaving the Territory. Recent research indicates the Kid was probably between 18 and 19 when Garrett shot him (just before midnight 14 July 1881 also a Thursday); he hadn't grown up yet. Garrett had just turned 31. Later, Garrett would write a book in which he tried to exonerate himself. He asserted that the Kid was 21 years old and had killed one man for each year of his life because he did not want people thinking he had killed a minor. It was another lie, of course, but it stuck and it's still repeated to this day. The Kid was younger than 21, and that's why everyone called him a kid. He was extremely popular, but Garrett was neither trusted nor very well liked. He was not re-elected. His deputy, John Poe, ran against him and won. That says a lot about how the small population of Lincoln County felt about Garrett and his killing of the Kid. The boy who throws rocks at him at the end is not known to have happened in actual fact, but metaphorically it's the literal truth.


Richard

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« Reply #170 on: August 03, 2012, 05:59:18 PM »

Watched it again. Maybe 5th or 6th time? And it made me feel really melancholic and sad.  Cry Also, the more I watch it, the more I love Kristofferson's Billy.

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« Reply #171 on: August 04, 2012, 06:51:15 AM »

I hope you watched the 1988 Turner Preview version

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« Reply #172 on: August 04, 2012, 11:52:50 AM »

Of course. I only watched the 2005 one once and it was confusing. They cut a lot of good lines and there were only 2 new scenes. Couldn't they just put those in the Turner and leave it alone otherwise? (Ok, maybe cut the Poe scene where he beats up some dudes for information since the Ruthie Lee scene has the same function and honestly, I want to punch Poe in the face every time he's on screen. (Isn't he also one of the guys who eventually kill Pat?)

I wish they would make a real uncut version once. The footage exists, doesn't it?

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« Reply #173 on: August 04, 2012, 01:46:05 PM »

I couldn't even make it through the 2005 cut. It really screwed up the pacing, from cuts minor (individual lines and shots) to major (arranging the chronology, cutitng the Dub Taylor/Elisha Cook Jr. scene). Hated the opening credits too. I liked the Aurora Clavell scene but that alone didn't justify all the other garbage.

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« Reply #174 on: August 04, 2012, 01:52:14 PM »

And it's shorter than the '88 version. How is a *special edition* ever SHORTER than the original?

I love the scene with Garrett and his wife though. Adds some new layers to his loneliness.

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« Reply #175 on: August 04, 2012, 02:42:00 PM »

No, no, no, the 2005 cut is in fact the best so far, not the best possible, but it works better than in the 1988 cut.

And it's shorter than the '88 version. How is a *special edition* ever SHORTER than the original?


Cause the 88 version was a rough cut, and the 05 version is a try to make a fine cut.

Using the credits taken form the 73 version was a stupid idea, and not closing the circle at the end by not returning to the opening scene was another stupid idea. Apart from that the Seydor cut does the film more justice than the previous versions.

And fine cutting always means to kill some of your darlings.
Just watch the deleted scenes on DVDs. There is sometimes terrific stuff amongst them. Now imagine there was a first version which had such a terrific scene, and then the director makes a new version and cuts it out, and everyone had seen the film before with that scene, then most will complain "how could he dare to cut it". But if you know that scene only as an out-take most will accept it for what it is. A good scene which probalby hurts the film.
Yes, there is some good stuff missing now, that's how fine cutting works. But overall it is the better version for me.

I probably had also cut the scene with Garrett's wife. Too talky, too obvious. The shot in the 88 version in which Garrett stops at his garden fence says everything we need to know about his marriage, and is probably the perfect way to end this scene before it really starts.
But it is only missing from the 88 version for sloppiness, not for artistic reasons.
Strangely the Ruthie Lee scene was not part of the 88 version. A more essential scene for me.

I have very precise perceptions how the "perfect" version of PG&BtK should look like.

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« Reply #176 on: August 04, 2012, 09:54:44 PM »

I've only seen the version on TCM. And I don't think I have any interest in seeing the movie ever again.

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« Reply #177 on: August 05, 2012, 01:33:53 AM »

If you don't see the beauty of the scenes it is not necessary to watch it again.

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« Reply #178 on: August 05, 2012, 01:47:12 AM »

I felt they moved awfully slowly, there was so much time where shit just dragged on and on needlessly. And btw, while I am a big fan of Bob Dylan, IMO his music was not appropriate for this movie. "They say that Pat Garrett has got your number/So sleep with one eye open when you slumber" is that really the kind of music you want to hear in a Western?

Recently, the movie was playing on some shitty tv channel, I believe it was Encore Westerns, which shows everything in pan and scan, I hardly ever look at that channel. Anyway, it was almost at the end of PGABTK and I watched the final scene again, the long scene where Billy visits the girl, they spend the night together, and then Pat kills him. I have to say that that scene was beautiful. Just terrific. And I really liked Kristoffersen as Billy, and Coburn was amazing as Pat. But overall, I just did not like the movie. Way too much shit dragged on and on. I've never been a big Peckinpah fan, his slo-mo violence irritates me to no end. Anyway, I'll probably watch it the next time it plays on TCM. Opinions can change with a re-watch after several years. But after my first viewing, I just didn't like the movie.

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« Reply #179 on: August 05, 2012, 07:39:53 AM »

It's a movie of moments even in its best cuts. Lots of great individual scenes that goes nowhere. I completely agree with Drink about Dylan. Wretched performance and inappropriate score.

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