Flecks of disrespect toward people who profess to be Christians are found in some of Sam Peckinpah‘s movies (The Deadly Companions, Ride the High Country), and clearly Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973) is no exception. (I’ll give Straw Dogs a pass; it’s different). But Christians need not be offended by Garrett: the entire film is unloved pig vomit, not to be taken seriously.
It is easy to mistake the picture for a Bob Dylan musical, with bad songs aplenty—Dylan wrote the, uh, score—but, no, it is of course a Western. This one, though, is not much enlivened by its scenes of violent action, gripping as these can be. When it isn’t ludicrous, the material is tired. The film is inert. . . As many as six film editors worked on it, with Peckinpah typically denied further control of the flick. If only screenwriter Rudy Wurlitzer had been denied any control of it.
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