Or maybe it's justunder-seen, which is really a pity. The stuttering wife was beautifully played. Billy seemed a straightforward characterto start with but layer upon layer are revealed as the movie progressesincluding an explanation for an otherwise daft movie title and youreally find a sense of his history and upbringing. Those days are long gone, and it's beginning to dawn on him that maybe progress isn't all it's cut out to be. Huddleston gives one his best-ever performances, and is at the center of one of the picture's best scenes. Atmospherics are interesting, capturing environmental changes and group activity. I'd love forthis movie to get more air time.
Source is in adequate shape, with a few bursts of debris, scratches, and some speckling. Many reviewers at the time missed Billy Two Hats' many fine qualities. The moviereached a stand-off climax and there is a moral about how we treat ourdead at the end which again leaves you thinking. Gifford simply can't accept that loyal friend Deans would risk his own life to save a half-breed, or that later a white woman Esther would willingly sleep with one. The Apache were made all the moreterrifying by their random nature and personality so far removed fromstereotypical Apache. Peck is great here, a perfect example being the scene where he haggles with Spencer for the use of his wagon, the homesteader greedily jacking up the price, unaware of his luck that wanted outlaw Deans is treating him fairly.
Unfortunately, the quiet slows the effort to a crawl, weakening lasting impact as a chase into the expanse of America turns into a vaguely defined game of intimidation. With nice color photography, it'sgot some really great western visuals, a meaty storyline, a collectionof disparate characters whose fates you really start to care about, andsome memorable, quotable dialogue here and there. Synopsis After a bank robbery, runaway Scottish outlaw Arch Deans and his young half breed Kiowa partner Billy Two Hats develop a father-son relationship but Sheriff Henry Gifford is determined to capture or kill them. See it if you get a chance. Deans and Billy have escaped, riding furiously toward the horizon.
His former buffalo hunter marvels at the landscape so vastly changed from the days when one could spend an entire day watching a single epic herd of buffalo pass. He quotes from the Bible and offers to teach the illiterate Billy to read. Billy's partner, aging Scotsman Arch Deans Gregory Peck turns up at dawn the next morning to rescue his friend, shooting Gifford in the shoulder during their escape. Performances are invested, but momentum never arrives, with Kotcheff sustaining a stillness to the feature that's meant to represent a type of meditation on western attitudes. Billy, not wanting to abandon his friend, builds an Indian cot to drag Deans behind the horse.
You can't help but wonder how many white settlers they raped,murdered and pillaged. Granted that the foreign location gave it an oddquality but the desert vistas are no less magnificent. Parting Thoughts Anticipating a dreary, minor Western, Billy Two Hats took this reviewer by complete surprise. Copeland then carefully takes his time to load and aim at the fleeing outlaws, now hundreds of yards away. The root of Warden's racism goes unexplained but is atypical of such characters. Peck, with authentic Scottish burr, plays a soft-spoken, gentleman outlaw who'd just as soon pay for goods at Copeland's trading post and for the use of Spencer's wagon than steal them at gunpoint.
They stay overnight at a remote trading post owned by former buffalo hunter Copeland David Huddleston. But as theday wore on, I found myself continually thinking about it. The sheriff gave aworthy performance but I was particularly impressed with the Apachegang and the stuttering wife. I wasn't sure for a lot of the film exactly what the point isother than the relationship between Peck An outlaw with Scottishdescendancy and Billy A half-breed Native Indian. It's distilled into a compact little story with just six characters of any note. When someone gets killed during a bank robbery by Deans, half-breed Billy Two Hats and their partner, the robbers flee. Peck and Arnaz meet a rancher and his young wife, and pay the rancher to haul Peck to a doctor in his wagon--four days away.
She had no idea that her husband, abusive besides, resided in the middle of nowhere, several days-ride to even the nearest train depot. Wild Rovers was originally intended as a three-hour epic but severely cut and altered by its studio. Scoring is crisp and clean, carrying the mood with confidence. Often, Ileave a movie thinking I've enjoyed it and never give it a secondthought. I've never seen this mentioned anywhere else, but Billy Two Hands has a similar set-up and many of the same qualities as Blake Edwards's Wild Rovers 1971 , about the friendship of an aging cowboy-turned-outlaw William Holden and a younger, impressionable cowhand Ryan O'Neal. With the Sheriff hot on their trail, Deans and Billy try to stay one step ahead of the many obstacles which threaten their lives and freedom.
Give this movie achance, you may well draw a different conclusion but it is a little gemworth giving a chance. The terrain looks the same, and it has none of the slightly-off qualities of many Euro-Westerns filmed most commonly in Spain, Italy, and what was then Yugoslavia. GregoryPeck could never be accused of being type cast and he gave a valiantattempt at pulling off a Scottish accent. But actually, thisis the point and the characters are what make this movie work. Arnaz, often criticized in his handful of leading man film roles House of the Long Shadows being another , is actually perfectly acceptable as Billy Two Hats, his character's mixture of wide-eyed innocence and hardened qualities coming off quite well. Billy, not wanting to abandon his friend, builds an Indian cot to drag Deans behind the horse. Some things are best unsaid, had he massacred a previouswagon and removed this as a trophy from some poor unsuspectingtraveller?.
For more about Billy Two Hats and the Billy Two Hats Blu-ray release, see published by Brian Orndorf on September 16, 2015 where this Blu-ray release scored 3. Copeland, in turn, shoots Deans as he and Billy ride off. I'm not aparticular fan of the western film genre but this one seems to haveclung to my memory. Unable to ride with his gunshot wound, Billy and Deans hire a flat wagon from homesteader Spencer John Pearce , the abusive husband of a mail-order bride, the stuttering Esther Sian Barbara Allen. Sheriff Gifford tracks the robbers, killing one of them and capturing Billy. It's a very fine, character-driven film boasting excellent performances and comes Highly Recommended.
A little more direction and time and his language would have matched anotherwise strong performance. Dialogue exchanges are sparse, but they register as intended, managing strange accents and violence intensity decently. Grain is heavy but filmic, never overtly problematic. Copeland realizes that he has his buffalo gun, a long-range Sharps rifle, mounted on the wall. Brian West's cinematography is magnificent, and this new Blu-ray really brings out its richness.