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Young Guns

Haphazardly scripted by CROSSROADS (1986) writer John Fusco, YOUNG GUNS purports to be a study of the early days of William H. Bonney, a punk gunslinger soon to be known as Billy the Kid (played well by Emilio Estevez). The film opens in White Oaks, New Mexico. Billy is rescued from a crowd of angry citizens by a British rancher, John Henry Tunstall (Terence Stamp), and joins a group of scruffy young western ne'er-do-wells that Tunstall has given a chance to work as "Regulators" (hired guns) on his ranch in nearby Lincoln. Billy gradually becomes devoted to the kindly rancher. When land baron Lawrence G. Murphy (Jack Palance) has Tunstall killed because of a dispute, and the Regulators are deputized to bring the killers in, Billy begins gunning down the guilty parties. Soon there are several ruthless bounty hunters and the US Cavalry out after the Regulators. YOUNG GUNS is simply not a very good movie--western or otherwise. Fusco's script provides little character development and muddies the narrative with some unlikely supporting characters. Still, it proved to be popular enough to lead to a television spinoff and a sequel in 1990.