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Author Topic: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973)  (Read 55112 times)
mike siegel
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« Reply #150 on: March 14, 2010, 07:28:58 AM »

The reason why Dylan looks so lost is because he was lost. His part was not in the script and Sam
didn't tell him much what to do. Under those circumstances he did very well I think.

Kris told me that the production suggested Dylan. He then was probably the link between
Dylan & Peckinpah who thought at first that MGM wanted to include a 'pop singer' to
make the film more commercial.
But Peckinpah soon fell in love with the music Dylan had already prepared for the film (on spec).
The score was recorded in Mexico while the film was shot, Dylan used Kris' band for it...

The first dailies came out too dark and unusuable. MGM had provided the new Panavision Cameras
but refused to pay for a mechanic / technician on the set. So the first shots were unusuable.
Peckinpah was (drunk and) furious and pissed a S on the screen.
Dyland then included in the song KNOCKIN 'it's getting dark, too dark to see' Kris said probably as a reference
to that dark unusable footage.
 That film had many problems.

« Last Edit: March 14, 2010, 07:30:03 AM by mike siegel » Logged


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« Reply #151 on: May 03, 2010, 02:39:42 AM »

Saw the 2005 version. I didn't know there were so many around, though. I had always seen the 1973 version in the theatre and subsequently on tv: I think it's better than the newer one. I rank with those who rate this above WB, though it has many faults. But  I can't understand how one cannot see that this is Coburn's greatest performance and a huge one at that: Oscar worthy, in my opinion. Each scene is in it's worth watching, even the one in the whorehouse. That suffices to give the movie 8\10.   KK is very good: I thought so at the time, dubbed,  and more so now. If there are any problems  with his performance talk to the screenwriters (how many were there?). And, beardless, he looks in his 20's. What doesn't work with the movie is, I think, that only westerns buffs know what is going on all the time. The background of the story is minimal and doesn't help to understand how things stood between the various characters: and that goes not only for what passes between Billy and Pat but also between KK and Elam, or KK and his acolytes. Furthermore, the movie looks cheap: not so much for the Fort Sumner scenes but for the Chisum ones, which always come unexpected and do not rhyme whit Chisum's stature: you see his cowboys but not the longhorns: is this the most powerful man in texas? So it was better if Chisum could have been left  out of the story completely, just being mentioned in dialogues. Or maybe take some film stockage from some McLaglen's flick. Some characters are useless (Dylan, Fernandez - he has less sheeps than those feeding near my metropolitan Rome mall)  and Coolidge, who doesn't look like a mex). But the movie is great in parts (for example all the sequence of Billy in jail or the one of Pat in Wills' cantina).

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mike siegel
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« Reply #152 on: May 03, 2010, 04:37:06 AM »

Believe it or not, I agree with you on everything you stated above.
Except for one thing: THE WILD BUNCH is not only one of the best westerns ever made,
it is one of the best films ever made. To me on one list with LAWRENCE, BEST YEARS OF OUR LIFES,
ROMAN HOLIDAY and those other few flawless masterpieces of our beloved art of film making.

As for the 'look' of PAT: This was a very troubled production and one of the last films MGM produced.
The budget became less and less as the filming went on (no sheep money). Countless problems as the refusal of MGM
to give Sam a technician for the new Panavision cameras (consequently the first rushes were
damaged and had to be re-shot), serious illness of many cast and crew members down in Durango,
Sam's usual fights with the head office... I like PAT a lot, but it shows a lot of these problems. What I never
liked is the look of BILLY's gang. In TWB he had told Gordon Dawson to make Strother Martin look 'like
a 1913's hells angel..' That worked very well. I think in PAT it doesn't work to well. They all look like
a bunch of hippie cowboys, wardrobe is so-so but the hairdos look very much like 1972.

That film was cursed I guess. Three versions by now - all messed up.

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« Reply #153 on: May 04, 2010, 02:14:47 AM »

It doesn't look cheap. There is so much detail in the sets, which look incredible, and they look even better after having seen so many cheap SWs over the last years.

I agree that the hairdos could look a bit less 70s style, but apart from that the costumes and all the sets are very atmospheric.

The Chisum scene is an important one imo, and the depicting of Chisum sitting on a fence and watching other people shows him exactly like I view him according to my knowledge about the Lincoln County war. A powerful man who remains passive when he shouldn't.

I still think that the 2005 version is the best so far, but the film works in all 3 versions, but is less complex in the short theatrical version, while it has rhythm problems in the long version.

One of the 4 or 5 best westerns ever. 10/10

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mike siegel
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« Reply #154 on: May 04, 2010, 04:23:09 AM »

Well 'cheap' is the wrong expression. But we're jammering here on a very high level, I guess that doesn't come through. Of course
PAT is a great film, Peckinpah did 80% fantastic work in his lifetime. Otherwise I wouldn't have spend four years of my own lifetime
'working' for him Smiley

We just wish PAT would have the same scope as WILD BUNCH in terms of production value. A few more sheeps & cows Smiley

Of course the film still works in ANY version and I like the 2005 version a lot - but the deleting of certain scenes and dialogue (great dialogue!) is inexcusable to me. So is the fact that a great film was messed up. BUNCH shines in its full glory by now, so does GBU, OATITW and others thanks to CAREFUL restauration. PAT is not among those, a sad fact.

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« Reply #155 on: May 04, 2010, 06:00:29 PM »


The movie itself is not a masterpiece (in my book) but every scene is well worth watching. (Couldn't have put it any better.)

By coincidence: I watched it again just the other day - somewhere between 7.5 and 8 out of 10.


Were the poor chickens alive while the boys practiced shooting on their necks?

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« Reply #156 on: May 04, 2010, 07:02:29 PM »

Yeah, the chickens were squibbed to death.

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« Reply #157 on: May 05, 2010, 04:13:03 AM »

I'm waiting for the Siegster. Evil

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #158 on: December 31, 2010, 02:50:32 PM »

Just in case anyone was following this: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/01/us/01billy.html?_r=2&hp

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« Reply #159 on: January 11, 2011, 04:24:01 AM »

I wasn't following it, and thanks. Smiley

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« Reply #160 on: January 11, 2011, 08:57:20 AM »

Just in case anyone was following this: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/01/us/01billy.html?_r=2&hp

No reason for him to be pardoned. I think his shooting down the deputies during his prison break voids any pardon he may have been given before. But then I'm not a legal expert.

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« Reply #161 on: January 11, 2011, 10:14:00 AM »

Does anybody know, if there is any chance of a blu-ray release.....soon?

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« Reply #162 on: January 12, 2011, 01:24:38 AM »

No reason for him to be pardoned. I think his shooting down the deputies during his prison break voids any pardon he may have been given before. But then I'm not a legal expert.

Actually, even if had "just" escaped without killing anyone, it would be sufficient (from a legal standpoint) to bypass any pardon. Their are such cases in american jails right now (I heard about two case of innocent people with a life sentence who tried to escape from jail before their innocence was proven... they got a second life sentence, and then they were proven innocent, which didn't change anything).

Anyway, this deny of pardon 120 years after Billy's death, it rocks.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ishhtLI1JIQ

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« Reply #163 on: January 27, 2011, 05:12:45 PM »

Should re-watch again. It's one of the most beautiful and sad movies I've seen, and Coburn is at his best.

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« Reply #164 on: June 12, 2011, 12:05:03 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

« Last Edit: June 12, 2011, 12:08:28 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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