Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Outlaw

THE OUTLAW is one of those odd films everybody seems to know about yet few have actually seen it. You can find this one floating about in the cheap dollar bins these days and it's more than worth dropping the loonie for many reasons. Never mind the fact THE OUTLAW is famous for launching Jane Russell and the famous Hughes Aviation designed bra (which she never wore in the picture) as well as Ben Johnson it also manages to piss off censors throughout America in the process. This is easy to see for 1943 as not only is the sexual content rather heavy there also is some shockingly extreme violence especially at the end. Ignoring history THE OUTLAW attempts to tell the story of Doc Holliday and Billy the Kid and despite the fact this is an uneven piece of work the interaction between the two make for an interesting view. Holliday as portrayed by Toronto born Walter Huston, father of John and of course grandfather of Angelica is not that far of a cry form how Val Kilmer portrayed him in TOMBSTONE and one has to think Kilmer took a close look at this one when preparing his own rendering. Russell is VERY prominent in the film and certainly just not part of the desert scenery and while Jack Buetel is pretty much only remembered for his work here as Billy it's not a bad legacy to leave at all! While Howard Hughes is credited with directing the lion's share of work fell on others and though many will find the soundtrack annoying there is enough drama and genuine laughs to make up for this minor shortcoming.


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