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Billy the Kid

Metro turned this one out on Realife - shooting with a 70mm camera [negative] after which the result is reduced to 35mm for the projectors on which a special lens supposedly brings out all the condensed details on an enlarged screen. It spreads across the stage in the same oblong shape as Fox's Grandeur [process, used for The Big Trail, also 1930]. The panoramic exteriors all look good. Director King Vidor evidently wanted to impress that fact early for the initial shot is an imposing peek of what may be the Grand Canyon.

Cast:
John Mack Brown Wallace Beery Kay Johnson Karl Dane Wyndham Standing Russell Simpson

Metro turned this one out on Realife – shooting with a 70mm camera [negative] after which the result is reduced to 35mm for the projectors on which a special lens supposedly brings out all the condensed details on an enlarged screen. It spreads across the stage in the same oblong shape as Fox’s Grandeur [process, used for The Big Trail, also 1930]. The panoramic exteriors all look good. Director King Vidor evidently wanted to impress that fact early for the initial shot is an imposing peek of what may be the Grand Canyon.

Billy the Kid [from the book The Saga of Billy the Kid by Walter Noble Burns] is replete with gunfights and anti-climaxes. At least on two occasions it looks as if the feature is finished – but it keeps right on going. There’s little or no love interest, albeit the script intimates that the Kid would like to fall for best friend’s wife. That her fiance is shot on their wedding day is the reason the Kid swears vengeance upon one-half of the State of New Mexico and they have to call in the cavalry to halt his ensuing feud with the Donovan mob.

Billy the Kid

Production: M-G-M. Director King Vidor; Screenplay Wanda Tuchock, Laurence Stallings, Charles MacArthur; Camera Gordon Avil; Editor Hugh Wynn; Art Director Cedric Gibbons

Crew: (B&W) Widescreen. Extract of a review from 1930. Running time: 95 MIN.

With: John Mack Brown Wallace Beery Kay Johnson Karl Dane Wyndham Standing Russell Simpson

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