Celebrating B Movies, Cult Films, and Indie Classics.

The Outlaw (1943)

by  |  October 4th, 2011  |  Western

<img class="size-full wp-image-18497 alignright" title="Outlaw 1" src="https://awesomebmovies.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Outlaw-1.jpg" alt="" width

=”283″ height=”400″ />When I was a kid I wasn’t to terribly familiar with the Western genre… As a matter of fact I have to admit that I was not a huge fan of the Western movie or TV series back then…

With that said the only few Western related things that I did like from back then was the movies, Young Guns (1988), Young Guns 2 (1990), both with Emilio Estevez (Freejack) and Tombstone (1993) with Kurt Russell (The Thing), and for TV was The Adventures Of Brisco County Jr. with Bruce Campbell (Maniac Cop).

Now you might be wondering why I mention this, well simply put, one of the things that I have found that I really liked about the Young Guns series and Tombstone is their use of both legendary out laws and law men to make the main cast of these movies (Well Tombstone is pretty much a given, considering that the movie is about the events leading up to the battle at the OK Corral in the city of Tombstone.) But Young Guns for example has character in these movies that are based on old west legends such as Billy The Kid (Who is played by Emilio Estevez in the Young Guns series), Pat Garrett (Played by Patrick Wayne in the Young Guns series), Doc Scurlock (Played by Kiefer Sutherland in the Young Guns series), along with many others…

Now the reason that I am mentioning this is because I recently have come across another Western classic that has to do with two Old West legends that I found to be really awesome, Outlaw (1943):

Written by: Jules Furthman (Rio Bravo), Howard Hawks (The Thing From Another World), Ben Hecht (Stagecoach) and Directed by: Howard Hawks and Howard Hughes (Hell’s Angels). Starring: Jack Buetel (Best Of The Badmen), Jane Russell (Young Widow), Thomas Mitchell (Bataan), Walter Houston (Transatlantic Tunnel), and Mimi Aguglia (A Bell For Adano).

This movie tells the story of how legendary out laws Billy The Kid (Buetel) and Doc Holliday (Houston) came to work together to outwit legendary lawman, Patt Garrett (Mitchell).

Doc Holliday (Played by: Walter Houston), Pat Garrett (Played by: Thomas Mitchell) and Billy The Kid (Played by: Jack Buetel) in a scene from, 'The Outlaw'

You see the movie starts off with Pat Garrett (who is the local sheriff) finding out about the fact that his old friend Doc Holliday (Houston) has come in to town; When Pat hears this, he quickly heads over to meet with Doc.

You see Pat and Doc are old friends, so when the two meet up, Doc tells Pat all about his situation regarding how Doc is in town to recover his horse who has been stolen from him, and that his horse and the horse thief are supposed to be headed that way. After this is done, the two head out to have a drink and discover from the waiter that Doc’s horse has been spotted in town, up at the local Dentist Shop.

Once Pat and Doc get there, they are greeted by a cocky, brash young man by the name of Billy The Kid (Buetel) After a short discussion that nearly leads Billy and Doc to a duel, Pat shows up to intercede, which ultimately leads the two to break up their argument and ultimately for Billy to get back on his horse (which as it turns out is actually Doc’s horse) and ride off…

Later on though, Doc and pat concot a scheme to get Billy behind bars and to get Doc his horse back. You see Doc ultimately gets his horse to want to (well as much as a horse can) shake hands. This impressed Billy so much that Doc cons Billy in to believing that he is going to show Billy another trick, and has Billy back up further and further, until Billy ends up backing up in to the Barrel of Pat’s gun…

Pat Garret and Billy The Kid after Billy falls for Doc and Pat's trap!

Now after Doc has taken Billy’s guns, Billy decides to appeal to Doc about the situation and persuades Doc to give him back his guns, and despite his dumbfounded and embarrassed friend Pat standing there, the two of them end up walking out of the stable together. Now after some gambling, Billy and Doc head back to where Billy is staying and Doc drops him off and then heads off…

Of course Billy doesn’t trust Doc and heads over to stay with his horse (which he was right not to trust Doc) because when Billy gets there he has to stop Doc from stealing his horse. After all of this is done he tries to bed down for the evening, only to get shot at by a woman by the name of Rio McDonald (Russell).

Now Rio was trying to kill Billy because Billy had killed Rio’s brother… But after stopping Rio from killing him, Rio takes off. The next morning Billy and Doc meet up again and head over to the local saloon to have some breakfast there. While Billy is there though he is conned in to going in to the back room by some guy who tries then to kill him (but like the legend goes,) Billy was too fast for the guy and ended up killing him.

Now after this is done Billy heads out to discover an angry and humiliated Pat Garrett who has a small posse with him. Now this hits Doc in his honor because Pat tries to arrest Billy for killing the guy in the back room… So with help from Doc, Billy (who was shot by Pat) escapes the town.

Now on the run from Billy and Doc are heading out on a journey that will ultimately lead these two legends from unlikely allies to a tight friendship!

Doc & Billy having made peace.

Now what I think makes this an Awesome B movie is a couple of things:

1. Obviously the story rocks!

2. I also thought that it was interesting that this movie was directed by one of the richest men of that time, Howard Hughes…Which I don’t know much about who the man was, but from the little bit I knew of him, he didn’t strike me as a filmmaker! But with that said, I actually thought that he did a pretty good job in conveying the story line to the audience in a truly epic way!

3. Howard Hawkes is another interesting one. What I mean by this is that up till recently I had not seen any of his movies, I had just heard of his work because of how the film that Mr. Hawks directed The Thing From Another World (1951) was the original version of Director John Carpenter’s movie, The Thing (1982).

4. Also another actor that I personally am a fan of, having enjoyed his works in such movies as, Terror Train (1980) and Junior Bonner (1972) as well as others, is actor Ben Johnson!

5. The last thing that I thought that I would mention is the fact that, The Outlaw is actually screen legend, Jane Russell’s debut film!

With that said folks, if your in to older films in general, that I highly recommend checking this one out, it is pretty good!

Nathan Strack


Nathan Strack is a Writer/Director/Filmmaker & Owner/Founder of: Hell In Space, Strack Web Design Service & Strack Store.

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