Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973)
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A flawed masterpiece, it may just turn out to be my favorite of the "last westerns" (by which I mean that subgenre of westerns that details, either through plot or style, the end of that era). The story could be described as "a man who doesn't want to run is chased by a man who doesn't want to catch him", and is a gorgeously apocalyptic vision of the West. Here is a Old West that has grown into a static and aimless wasteland where one simply waits to die. In a way, it's a tragic parody of the classic western. I can't get Bob Dylan's score out of my head, and Slim Pickens' death immediately went to my list of favorite death scenes. In the end, it's really about Garrett killing the best part of himself, and if it makes the movie sound poetic, it is.
A really interesting and complex take on the sunset of the Wild West, encapsulated in the struggle between two men: one youngish, one oldish; one used to be an outlaw and now is the law, the other the opposite. Oh, and more boobs than lines for the women in this movie, although there is a really badass gunslinger lady in probably the best scene.
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In 10 official lists
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This movie ranks #67 in BFI's 100 Westerns
This movie ranks #126 in Empire's The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time
This movie ranks #331 in Mark Cousins's The Story of Film: An Odyssey
This movie ranks #449 in Jennifer Eiss's 500 Essential Cult Movies
This movie ranks #449 in Sight & Sound's The Greatest Films of All Time
This movie ranks #542 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films
This movie ranks #571 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
This movie ranks #681 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die
This movie ranks #703 in Time Out's 1000 Films to Change Your Life
This movie ranks #765 in David Thomson's Have You Seen?