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5.0 out of 5 stars great value set
Don't be put off by the German writing this set released by Universal Germany includes The Sting,Slapshot and The Hudsucker Proxy all in anamorphic widescreen with a wide choice of language and subtitle options and is packed in a nice attractive looking hard plastic case.the first two films have mono sound but are nice and clear while Hudsucker is 5.1.the picture quality...
Published 12 months ago by gerrard

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "One shot - one ten cent bullet, and that's it!"
Based on a 1955 play by Gore Vidal directed by Robert Mulligan, The Death of Billy the Kid (which the dissatisfied writer remade for television with Val Kilmer in 1989 as Gore Vidal's Billy the Kid) and initially intended as a star vehicle for James Dean, Arthur Penn's breakthrough feature about the short life and disturbed times of Billy the Kid has not aged as well as...
Published on 10 July 2011 by Trevor Willsmer


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "One shot - one ten cent bullet, and that's it!", 10 July 2011
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Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Left Handed Gun [1958] (DVD)
Based on a 1955 play by Gore Vidal directed by Robert Mulligan, The Death of Billy the Kid (which the dissatisfied writer remade for television with Val Kilmer in 1989 as Gore Vidal's Billy the Kid) and initially intended as a star vehicle for James Dean, Arthur Penn's breakthrough feature about the short life and disturbed times of Billy the Kid has not aged as well as memory serves.

Commonly regarded today as being rather less substantial than it first appeared, The Left-Handed Gun was one of the key demythologising Westerns of the fifties, contributing along with High Noon, The Searchers and 3:10 to Yuma to the increasingly revisionist approach to the traditional hero's psychological make-up. What once seemed bold and daring now seems more formulaic, with no great insights until it reaches the halfway point, where it becomes very clear that there is something seriously wrong with this boy.

Newman's schizophrenic performance is method acting inarticulacy at its most charismatic, rendering Billy's irrational explosions of violence all the more disturbing, although a little too charismatic to shift our sympathies away from him. It is left to Hurd Hatfield, who hangs around the fringes of the action, egging him on and then damning him for not being what he wants him to be and has remade him in his dime novels, to really define the schism in his nature. It doesn't help that the Lincoln County War between rival cattle barons is never really explained, leaving the background to events very fuzzy, while one is constantly distracted from John Dehner's solid performance as Pat Garrett by the fact that he has a bit too much eye-liner on.

Yet some scenes still astonish and shock; the ruthlessness of the shoot-first, don't-bother-to-ask-questions-later posse who manage to kill everyone but the guilty parties; Billy and his sidekicks preparing to shoot Deputy Moon by shooting the reflection of the full moon in a lake; and his violent murder of another deputy, the later shot in a dreamlike style that predates Peckinpah's slow-motion violence. Even though much of the film has dated, there's still a feeling of the excitement of something new to much of it.

While the previous video and Laser disc releases suffered from substandard master material, Warner's DVD release is a marked improvement without being particularly outstanding, but it does include an audio commentary by Arthur Penn and the theatrical trailer as extras.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great value set, 1 July 2013
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This review is from: DVD PAUL NEWMAN COLLECTION (DVD)
Don't be put off by the German writing this set released by Universal Germany includes The Sting,Slapshot and The Hudsucker Proxy all in anamorphic widescreen with a wide choice of language and subtitle options and is packed in a nice attractive looking hard plastic case.the first two films have mono sound but are nice and clear while Hudsucker is 5.1.the picture quality of all three is excellent.a real bargain for under 7 quid to get three excellent Paul Newman films.He's superb in them all.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Juvenile Delinquent with Serious issues., 9 Jun 2009
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Bob Salter "Captain Spindrift" (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Left Handed Gun [1958] (DVD)
This was Arthur Penn's first feature film and is based on Gore Vidal's teleplay "The Death of Billy the Kid". It is one of a large number of films based on the teenage gunman William Bonney, better known by his pseudonym. The actual real life character did not have too many redeeming features. He unfortunately picked the losing side in the Lincoln County war, which lead to his eventual demise.

In this film Billy is portrayed by Paul Newman as an illiterate juvenile delinquent with a few issues. Penn used challenged characters like him in later films like "Bonnie and Clyde"(67) and "The Missouri Breaks" (76). Billy is taken on as a cowhand by the much older William Tunstall who becomes a Father figure to him. In real life Tunstall was only 24 years old. Shortly into the film Tunstall is murdered and Billy sets out to exact vengeance on the four killers. This leads to an eventual confrontation with Pat Garrett after Billy kills the last of the four at Garrett's wedding celebrations

Whilst this film is not the best about Billy the Kid, that accolade must surely go to Sam Peckinpah's "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid"(73) or the most memorable, Jane Russell's cleavage was hard to forget in "The Outlaw"(43), it is none the less a very interesting film. Newman at 33 was perhaps a bit old for the role, and he is hard to accept as a dimwitted Billy. Even in black and white you can see those intelligent and piercing blue eyes. They do not translate well to the inarticulate Billy in the film. Prior to this film Billy had either been portrayed as a misunderstood hero or the Devil incarnate, so it is groundbreaking in that respect. John Dehner gives solid support as always in the role of the slow burning Pat Garrett, and James Best gives the sort of eccentric performance that prepared him well for his role as the oddball Sheriff in the TV series "The Dukes of Hazzard". The film is notable for some inventive camera work. Characters seem to be caught just before they dart out of frame. This gives the film a freshness and liveliness that still makes it very watchable. I have given the film a generous 4 stars for these reasons.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Paul Newman could have been directed better, 12 Aug 2010
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This review is from: The Left Handed Gun [1958] (DVD)
That was the Wild West, not so wild though but quite wild yet. A poor kid who was born in that atmosphere of violence, who found himself alone, walking in the wild, carrying his saddle and his gun is recuperated by some rancher taking a small herd to Lincoln. For obtuse reasons that have probably to do with some economic vengeance, the sheriff and three deputies kill the rancher, an old unarmed man, in the morning at the top of the pass leading to Lincoln. The young man, Billy the Kid, reacts in a strange way and will not really change his mind which is not his mind but his habitual way of thinking. He wants justice, hence he is going to stand and challenge the four people. Then the rest is details you can discover them all by yourselves. The film is good because the young "Kid" is shown as being slightly slow in his brains. He is practically adopted by some people in a Mexican city next to Lincoln, but he rapes the girl because he cannot accept things not to go the way he wants them to go. And that will be his doom. The film is also good because it shows how those who had a star, sheriffs or marshalls, could do anything they wanted, more or less, and rather more than less. And they definitely shot before being shot at. Preventive self defense, even when they could not say whether the man had a gun or not. Preventive self defense. The last reason why this film is still worth seeing is because we can really watch a good actor being born. Small touches here and there show the humane side of things, of this "Kid", a flute, or an expression on his face, or his negotiating the lie that he could read though he could not. I will regret though that this slightly mentally slow "Kid" is not kept from beginning to end, but that is how the film is directed. He used his guns or other defensive method as a reflex of self-preservation more than of violence. He was completely absorbed and possessed by the outside world seen as a potential danger, which is total distraction, if not the sign of a deranged mind in a way. But we only get that feeling from time to time, not always. That's a regret of mine.

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne, University Paris 8 Saint Denis, University Paris 12 Créteil, CEGID
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Time I seen the Film, 13 Feb 2013
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A Wheeler "Atrue" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Left Handed Gun [1958] (DVD)
I never really fancied the film, even though I usually enjoy his films. I bought this on a whim, probably because it was reasonably priced and I remember reading a critic at the time of release enthusing about the film. As stories about "Billy the Kid" go it's well acted and quite good, I'm glad I bought it. Trivia, Paul Newman was 33 when he made this film, Billy the Kid was 21 when he died. It's widely believed he was right handed, the misconception being due to a mirror image photograph.
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