If you've seen Young Guns and Young Guns II and want to know
how accurate the films were without doing an indepth research on Billy the Kid's life,
you've come to the right place
Out of all the Billy the Kid films that have lit up the movie screen and entertained audiences from around the world, none other has captivated moviegoers than Young Guns in 1988. The movie starred Emilio Estevez, one of the popular members of the Brat Pack, as Billy the Kid. Estevez’s portrayal of the famous outlaw is one of the best, no other actor (and there were many) gave such personality and charisma to the Billy the Kid character. Who can forget that distinct Hyena laugh and cocky grin? Young Guns had introduced Billy the Kid to a new generation of people who had never heard of this legendary outlaw and converting devoted Billy the Kid buffs.
Soon after in 1990 a sequel followed: Young Guns II. Estevez said in a interview that the first film was more of a “heavy metal western” and he wanted to “right some of the wrongs” and make a more “accurate movie.” The sequel did have a different style then the first, but as far as accuracy goes, like the first movie, it was based more on myth, than fact. Probably the biggest affect this movie had on the history of Billy the Kid in the modern era, was publicizing and reintroducing to the world Brushy Bill Roberts, a man that claimed to have been Billy the Kid in the late 1940s. Unfortunately, this controversial character caused a bitter separation between Billy the Kid buffs.
The Young Guns movies gave rise to many of Billy the Kid’s myths, such as his exaggerated friendship with Pat Garrett, his career as an outlaw and gunman, but most of all, triggering the most heated Billy the Kid debate of them all: Brushy Bill Roberts. I would like to point out that the real Billy the Kid was not Emilio Estevez’s Billy the Kid, nor were these movies historically accurate. Since many people wonder or even assume that Young Guns and Young Guns II are accurate, I've collected some of the historical blunders and errors in the film and compared them to the real history. I'm not at all criticizing these two movies, after all, it was meant for entertaining, not educating. The movies are fiction, not documentaries. Thanks to the Young Guns movies, today Billy the Kid is the world’s most favorite outlaw.
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