Paul Newman Western Filmography – The Left Handed Gun – 1958

Paul Newman only made about 6 Westerns (IMO). But most were noteworthy.

The Left Handed Gun (1958); Hud (1963); Hombre (1967); The Outrage (1964); Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969); The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972); Pocket Money (1972); and Buffalo Bill and the Indians (1976).

Hud and Pocket money may be questionable as Westerns, but some feel the flavour is there.

The Left Handed Gun is just one of at least 24 films made about Billy the Kid. It marked Director Arthur Penn’s (Little Big Man (1970) The Missouri Breaks (1976)), film Directing début.

Confession: I have never seen The Left Handed Gun. As far as I can tell, it’s never (or very rarely) shown on TV. Western Film experts will definitely have seen it and can offer an opinion. I cannot. My guess is the experts would consider this movie a ‘necessary watch’ for any Western film fan. So I better catch up on it. As I’ve stated before, I’m a mere Western Movie fan – not an expert. For some real expert opinion check out my Blogroll.

But I know what I like.

Screen Banner shot / Comic Book Cover / Paul

The Left Handed Gun poster

Poster quality in films can vary from the sublime to outright awful.
These two are not great.

The Left Handed Gun poster 2

Excellent publicity shots below …The Left Handed Gun - Paul Newman

The Left Handed Gun - Paul Newman 6
The Left Handed Gun …



AllMovie Review The Left Handed Gun
AllMovie review and Synopsis (below)

Synopsis – by Hal Erickson

The Left Handed Gun was adapted by Gore Vidal from his own TV play, The Death of Billy the Kid. 33-year-old Paul Newman stars as 21-year-old William Bonney, the hotheaded gunslinger known as Billy the Kid. Avoiding the usual Hollywood glamourization of this controversial character, Newman portays Bonney pretty much as he was: an illiterate, homicidal cretin. Treated with kindness for the first time in his life by rancher Tunstall (Colin Keith-Johnston), Bonney becomes devoted to the rancher; in fact, it is virtually a love affair. Soon after, however, Tunstall is killed, prompting Bonney to go on a murderous spree. In the end, Bonney must face down the other important father-figure in his life, Pat Garrett (John Dehner). In case anyone should miss the Freudian subtext in The Left Handed Gun, the closeups of Bonney fondling his six-shooter will make things crystal clear.

The Left Handed Gun - John Dehner - Paul Newman
John Dehner as Pat Garrett / Newman as ‘The Kid”

John Dehner got a LOT of work over the years.
For good reason: he was damn good at anything he did.

Rotten Tomatoes Left Handed Gun
Rotten Tomatoes / The Left Handed Gun
IMDB The Left Handed Gun
IMDB / The Left Handed Gun


Keep the change Kid ...
Keep the change Kid …
Arthur Penn - Director
Arthur Penn – Director
Iconic Itmage
Iconic Image – James Best at left
The Left Handed Gun - Paul Newman 4
Newman and Lita Milan … never drop yer Colt

The Left Handed Gun - Paul Newman 5

The Left Handed Gun - DVD
The Left Handed Gun – DVD

Author: jcalberta

Howdy! I love Westerns. ... and the intent of is to celebrate Western Movies/Film - old and new. This site will eventually show my top 30 favorite Westerns - or more. I will have original graphic work with regular updates. All this - and more ... Yee Haw ... !! - jcablerta / Moderator / Administrator

6 thoughts on “Paul Newman Western Filmography – The Left Handed Gun – 1958”

    1. If they feel like Westerns to you that’s fine with me. I like them both. I plan to do a series of posts in the not too distant future about all the Actors who played Billy the Kid. That should be fun – and big.

  1. Having read this I believed it was rather enlightening.
    I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this content together.

    I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and posting comments.
    But so what, it was still worthwhile!

    1. Howdy! thanks for stopping by. Well, I tell ya, I appreciate your comments … so comment away!

      The interest of this movie, of course, is young Paul Newman – before he was a Star – with some great work ahead of him.

      Movies are cruel in that you have to show ‘SOMETHING’ coming out the gate – or you won’t be around very long. Critics weren’t kind to Newman in his early work – very critical. Thank goodness we all stuck with him, because look what he did later – wonderful stuff.

      Have a good one!

  2. I loved him in almost everything except westerns. He was good … but Hombre is depressing. Hud is even more depressing. And I can’t watch Butch and Sundance because … you got it … I find the end too depressing. Garry does not agree with me on this.Normally, he won’t watch anything depressing, but he makes an exception for westerns.

    1. Well yes … a hero’s death can be depressing. However, in Hombre, his death, in part, is ironically symbolic of the death of a culture and a people – a way of life – while still affirming our faith in humanity overall. He really didn’t have to go down that hill to almost certain death. Especially after the way everyone has treated him. But he did.
      In Butch Cassidy we see a common theme of many Westerns: the end of an era. i always admired the tasteful ending – we’re spared of the blood and gore that obviously ensued.
      Hud? (nominated for seven Academy Awards! and won 3) Well .. he was a ‘no count’ jerk to be sure. We can’t relate with him (I hope). But we do feel compassion for the others though whose lives are all changed – possibly not for the better – by his behaviour. Yet Lonnie leaves us some hope.

Leave a Reply