Billy the Kid (1989 film)

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Gore Vidal's Billy the Kid
AKA Billy the Kid
Billy the Kid FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by William A. Graham
Written by Gore Vidal
Starring Val Kilmer
Duncan Regehr
Wilford Brimley
Julie Carmen
Music by Laurence Rosenthal
Cinematography Dennis C. Lewiston
Running time 96 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Gore Vidal's Billy the Kid, also known as Billy the Kid, is a 1989 American western film about famed gunman Billy the Kid.[1]

One of many depicting the events surrounding the outlaw during his participation in the Lincoln County War, this film, though little known, has routinely been described as the most historically accurate version to date. Written by Gore Vidal and directed by William A. Graham, Val Kilmer stars in the lead role of William Bonney aka Billy the Kid, with a supporting cast including Wilford Brimley, John O'Hurley, Duncan Regehr, and Ned Vaughn.

While receiving little general attention, the TV-movie was acclaimed by fans of the western genre due to its comparative historical fidelity. Kilmer was praised for his portrayal based on his extensive work to not only physically resemble William Bonney as much as possible, but also to capture his personality as related in historical accounts. This contributed to the film being widely recognised as one of the most historically accurate "Billy the Kid" films ever made. Vidal said in his memoirs that he had written the original teleplay for The Left Handed Gun, starring Paul Newman as Billy the Kid, decades earlier, and always felt the studio had butchered the material when his television play was used as the basis for a theatrical movie, so he wanted to return to the story for a more accurate rendition.

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