Museum of Heritage & Arts

Billy the Kid in the Movies

Presentation by Baldwin G. Burr

When: Saturday, August 15th at 2:00pm


Los Lunas Museum of Heritage & Arts

251 Main St. SE

Los Lunas, NM 87031

This presentation explores how William Bonney, a relatively minor participant in New Mexico's Lincoln County War was transformed into the legendary outlaw known as "Billy the Kid".

William Bonney was seventeen years old in 1877, when he arrived in Lincoln County New Mexico. Four years later, on April 16, 1881, he was killed at Fort Sumner by Sheriff Pat Garrett. Almost immediately the legend began to grow, ultimately exploding, as Billy the Kid became the central character in sensational newspaper accounts, books, and ultimately, and most powerfully, motion pictures.

The Las Vegas Optic newspaper interviewed William Bonney when he was in custody in that northern New Mexico town. Through the use of the telegraph, those stories were transmitted throughout the United States, and to European newspapers as well.

When Billy the Kid became the subject of motion pictures, his character was changed to reflect the social and cultural trends present at the time the various movies were made. This presentation uses clips from some of the more than 60 motion pictures made with Billy the Kid as the main character.

For more information call 505-352-7720.