Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid: Special Edition

Released 1973




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Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid: Special Edition

Movie Summary

Sam Peckinpah

In 1881, a consortium of wealthy New Mexico cattle barons hires former outlaw Pat Garrett (James Coburn) as a lawman. His task is to find and kill his former friend Billy the Kid (Kris Kristofferson). But, in fulfilling this distasteful assignment, Garrett finds he is destroying himself as well.

James Coburn

James Coburn

Patrick Floyd Garrett

Kris Kristofferson

Kris Kristofferson

William H. Bonney, aka "Billy The Kid"

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan


Jason Robards

Jason Robards

Governor Lew Wallace

Barry Sullivan

Barry Sullivan

John Chisum

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • The 106-minute version of this film introduced Bob Dylan's famous song, "Knockin' On Heaven's Door"; in the 122-minute version, however, we hear the tune in the appropriate sequence, but not the lyrics or Dylan's singing voice.

    • The roles taken by Elisha Cook Jr. and Dub Taylor were entirely cut from the 106-minute version of the film. The 122-minute version still lacks a scene featuring Aurora Clavel as Pat Garrett's Mexican wife, although at one point Garrett is seen heading for home to meet her. Clavel's one scene in this role has, however, appeared in certain TV prints of the film (which have, in turn, elided other sequences).

    • Sam Peckinpah asked for a 58-day schedule for this film, but the new management at M-G-M gave him 50 days, saying originally that he need only take 36 days to do the job. In the event, the shooting of the film took well over 58 days, and also went over budget. Peckinpah intended a two-hour film, but the version released in 1973 had been trimmed by the studio to 106 minutes. A 122-minute version was discovered after Peckinpah's death, and it was this version that it is now standard.

  • QUOTES (7)

  • NOTES (2)

    • The restored "special edition" shows Pat Garrett coaxing information about the Kid's whereabouts from Ruthie Lee during a tender and romantic interlude at Rupert's brothel. In the shorter version shown commercially on the film's first release in 1973, the equivalent scene was quite different and showed Garrett ruthlessly beating the information out of her.

    • Deleted from the film on its first appearance in 1973 was a prologue depicting the murder of Pat Garrett as an old man by assassins in the pay of the very organization which had hired Garrett to kill Billy the Kid in the 1880s. This sequence, along with an epilogue intercutting Garrett's death with that of the Kid, was restored to the film in 1989. However, it gives the date of Garrett's death, erroneously, as 1909; it was, in fact, 1908.


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