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.
Poster quality in films can vary from the sublime to outright awful.
These two are not great.
Excellent publicity shots 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.
John Dehner got a LOT of work over the years.
For good reason: he was damn good at anything he did.