'It feels like times have changed,' mutters James Coburn as gunman-turned-sheriff Pat Garrett, now hot on the trail of erstwhile buddy, Billy the Kid (Kris Kristofferson).

‘It feels like times have changed,’ mutters James Coburn as gunman-turned-sheriff Pat Garrett, now hot on the trail of erstwhile buddy, Billy the Kid (Kris Kristofferson).

Coburn offers more of his smiles as testimony to the wizardry of Old West dentistry, while Kristofferson ambles through his role with solid charm. Neither conveys the psychological tension felt between the two men whose lives diverge after years of camaraderie.

Bob Dylan makes his dramatic film debut in a part so peripheral (or so abridged by six film editors) as to make his appearance a trivial cameo. His acting is limited to an embarrassing assortment of tics, smirks, shrugs, winks and smiles.

The editing, faulted by the director, conceals the reported postproduction tinkering but also reduces such players as Jason Robards, Richard Jaeckel and Katy Jurado to walk-on status. [Peckinpah's original 122-min. cut was finally released in 1989.]

Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid

Production

M-G-M. Director Sam Peckinpah; Producer Gordon Carroll; Screenplay Rudy Wurlitzer; Camera John Coquillon; Editor Roger Spottiswoode, Garth Craven, Robert L. Wolfe, Richard Halsey, David Berlatsky, Tony de Zarraga; Music Bob Dylan; Art Director Ted Haworth

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1973. Running time: 106 MIN.

With

James Coburn Kris Kristofferson Bob Dylan Richard Jaeckel Katy Jurado Jason Robards
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