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The Outlaw

G Released Feb 5, 1943 1h 43m Western List
71% Tomatometer 14 Reviews 31% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings The life of legendary outlaw Billy the Kid, including his partnership with Doc Holliday and his clashes with lawman Pat Garrett. The film was notorious in its day because of producer/director Howard Hughes concentration on newcomer Jane Russell's cleavage, and national release in America was delayed by some years. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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Critics Reviews

View All (14) Critics Reviews
Jonathan Rosenbaum Chicago Reader One of the weirdest westerns of all time, reflecting the eccentricities of its producer and credited director, Howard Hughes. Jan 1, 2000 Full Review André Bazin Revue du Cinema One of the most erotic films ever made and one of the most sensational scripts ever filmed by Hollywood. Dec 9, 2021 Full Review Red Kann Motion Picture Herald (Exhibitors Herald) It is full of unintentional laughs, dialogue which is frequently outlandish and appallingly bad and because it is loaded with comedy situations which might have been funny on paper, but are not on film. Dec 9, 2021 Full Review Film Daily Staff The Film Daily Howard Hughes is deserving of a full measure of praise for his dual enactment of the roles of producer-director. Dec 9, 2021 Full Review Dudley Early Austin American-Statesman It is safe to Outlaw hadn't had the reams publicity due to the censorship fight over certain scenes, it would have passed practically unnoticed. Jun 19, 2020 Full Review Mattie Lucas From the Front Row The leads are all capable but none of them seem to be acting in the same movie, as if Hughes couldn't decide what movie he really wanted to make. Rated: 2/4 Jun 3, 2019 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (70) audience reviews
Blu B I don't think this is anywhere close to the worst Western ever made but it defintely is one of the worst I've seen. Everything is just supbar about it with the highlight being the wooden stilted borderline miscast acting across the board. Jack Buetel is not good at all as Billy the Kid. He feels robotic and stiff the entire time. Huston as Doc Holliday feels like your watching your grandpa pretend to be a cowboy. Russell is either over the top or emotionless. No one has any chemistry in this at all. Mitchell is just ok as well. The direction leaves a lot to be desired also. Nothing really stands out, the camerawork is basic, and the action scenes aren't done that well and are kind of hard to tell what is even happening. The music feels out of place at times also when it changes tone on a dime and goes from serious/dramactic to comedic out of nowhere and never works well. It kills any momentum this ever gets going and the humor just lands flat constantly. The story also feels like it has no point and while I'm no expert on Billy the Kid I feel like this isn't even close to being accurate even taking into account "adaptaion changes". This feels like it wants to be about Billy the Kid while also being a Western adventure and it never makes the two work together cohseively at all. The 25 minute scene where Billy is recovering from the gunshot wound is soooooo boring and drags terribly. That's the other big problem the story makes sense but has no point really. But the bigger issue is there is almost no character devlopment in this at all and any there is feels wooden and stilted. I have no idea why Russell would fall in love out of nowhere with Billy also becuase they never show any love or chemistry at all. This feels like it has all the pieces for a story but none of the human connection and poor direction and miscasting to boot. Skip This Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/09/24 Full Review Kate L Hard to believe such talent as Walter Huston or Thomas Mitchell agreed to have their names on this film. The acting is horrible, direction wooden, dialogue amateurish & some of the action is so improbable as to be hilarious. Doc Holliday shoots Billy the Kid in the hand AND knicks both of his earlobes (as if that would ever happen) & the kid doesn't flinch & minimal blood flows. Seriously? Who's kidding who? Guess Howard Hughes just had some money he wanted to throw away. But Jane Russell's nubile loveliness is impressive. My husband gives it 2 stars: one for each breast. Hope no one wasted $ on a ticket for it in 1943. Rated 1 out of 5 stars 05/30/23 Full Review Steve D The writer does know these were real people right? Rated 0.5 out of 5 stars 05/29/23 Full Review Bex W My first country western. The misogyny and view on female sexuality and consent makes rather uncomfortable viewing at times, but understandable in the context of the time period. Either way, I'm eager to explore this genre further. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/27/22 Full Review Audience Member A great little fun film . Great cast jane russell beautiful . Doc holiday also great Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/11/23 Full Review Audience Member Hard to say what to make of Howard Hughes' "The Outlaw." Allegedly its main feature is the electricity between Jane Russel and Jack Beutel. Both have that smokey look of sexuality - until they open their mouths. Then, as with 90% of this hodge-podge, their awkward scenes crumble into something unintentionally hilarious, the sort of thing you love to hate - in this much, "The Outlaw" is a fucking gem. Maybe the best chuckles come from the overwrought background music, especially the so-called sex scenes, where even a kiss is accompanied by a magnificent, triumphant, kettle drum-pounding crescendo, like Heston bringing down the tablets in "The Ten Commandments." This really gives "The Room" a run for its money. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 02/19/23 Full Review Read all reviews
The Outlaw

My Rating


Cast & Crew

How the West Was Won 87% 74% How the West Was Won The Shooting 100% 64% The Shooting True Grit 88% 84% True Grit TRAILER for True Grit Chisum 83% 74% Chisum Ride in the Whirlwind 86% 61% Ride in the Whirlwind Discover more movies and TV shows. View More

Movie Info

Synopsis The life of legendary outlaw Billy the Kid, including his partnership with Doc Holliday and his clashes with lawman Pat Garrett. The film was notorious in its day because of producer/director Howard Hughes concentration on newcomer Jane Russell's cleavage, and national release in America was delayed by some years.
Howard Hughes
Howard Hughes
Jules Furthman
Howard Hughes Productions
Production Co
Howard Hughes Productions
Original Language
Release Date (Theaters)
Feb 5, 1943, Original
Release Date (Streaming)
Sep 1, 2012
1h 43m
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