1943 / 116:00 / B/W / Biography/ Western
Director: Howard Hughes
Starring: Jack Beutel, Jane Russell, Thomas Mitchell, Walter Huston
This is producer-director Howard Hughes' version of the Pat Garrett/Billy the Kid saga. Hughes presented his new discovery, Jane Russell, in this film and he gave her the "sex Bomb" treatment-- which set off six years of wrangling with the censors before the Western's release. Billy the Kid (played by Jack Beutel) and Doc Holliday (Walter Huston) are fleeing from lawman and former friend, Pat Garrett (Thomas Mitchell). Russell plays the "half breed", Rio, who becomes their traveling companion and Billy's girl. The gunslingers spend a fair amount of time squabbling, if not over horses, then over Rio. Billy does manage to steal enough time alone with Rio for some torrid love scenes (so thought the censors of the day), but they are pursued all the while by the Sheriff, as well as some incidental Indians. Though Howard Hughes is billed as the director, some of the credit must go to Howard Hawks, who also had a hand in it. And although Russell is great to watch in her screen debut, the real star is Walter Huston as Doc Holliday. Also features Mimi Aguglia as Aunt Guadalupe.
"...compelling-- if offbeat-- story of Billy the Kid with principal honors going to Huston as Doc Holliday." Leonard Maltin, film critic Note: Among top grossing films of 1943
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