Review: ‘The Outlaw’

Beyond sex attraction of Jane Russell's frankly displayed charms, picture, according to accepted screen entertainment standards, falls short. Plot is based on legend Billy the Kid wasn't killed by the law but continued to live on after his supposed death.

Beyond sex attraction of Jane Russell’s frankly displayed charms, picture, according to accepted screen entertainment standards, falls short. Plot is based on legend Billy the Kid wasn’t killed by the law but continued to live on after his supposed death.

Pace is series of slow-moving incidents making up continuous chase as directed by Howard Hughes and isn’t quickened by the two hours running time, but slowness is not so much a matter of length as a lack of tempo in individual scenes.

This variation of the checkered film career of Billy the Kid has the outlaw joining forces with legendary Doc Holliday, played by Walter Huston, to escape the pursuing Sheriff Pat Garrett (Thomas Mitchell). Mixing strangely into the kid’s life is Rio, Latin charmer, as portrayed by Russell.

Sex seldom rears its beautiful head in simonpure prairie dramas, but since this is an unorthodox, almost burlesque, version of tried and true desert themes, anything can and often does happen.

The Outlaw

Production

Howard Hughes. Director Howard Hughes; Producer Howard Hughes; Screenplay Jules Furthman; Camera Gregg Toland; Editor Wallace Grissell; Music Victor Young

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1943. Running time: 124 MIN.

With

Jack Buetel Jane Russell Thomas Mitchell Walter Huston
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