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Arthur Penn directed this quirky look at the legend of Billy the Kid (Paul Newman), which follows the outlaw from his days in the Lincoln County cattle wars through to his murder.
Penn's training in theater and live-TV drama (e.g. Playhouse 90) shows; the central performance is rehearsed into an anxious stir, every line matched to an actorly decision, a blocking cue.
Boasting a strong turn by Paul Newman as Billy the Kid, this disturbingly psychological, technically innovative deconstructive Western marks the impressive debut of Arthur Penn (Bonnie and Clyde), signaling the beginning of the New American Cinema.
The character has rarely been portrayed as well as he is by Newman.
The picture is a smart and exciting western paced by Paul Newman's intense portrayal.
A close, inspired study of Ford and Nicholas Ray, and a decisive source of inspiration to Peckinpah, Malick, and Penn himself, who looked at it again and saw Bonnie and Clyde.
Penn's first film, it is in many ways a key stage in the development of the Western.
A good but disturbing psychological western, well directed by Penn and acted in a strangely fascinating style by Newman.
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