VIDEO ARCHIVES WEEK: Cry for Me Billy (1972)

VIDEO ARCHIVES NOTES: This movie was discussed on the December 20, 2022 and December 27, 2022 episodes of the Video Archives podcast and can be found on their site here.

It’s hard to be a gunslinger who gets tired of violence.

Billy (Cliff Potts) is that person.

After meeting a group of Apache prisoners being held by a racist U.S. Army sergeant (Don Wilbanks) and his troops, Billy tries to get far away. Then he learns that all of the men were killed and the only survivor, Little Sparrow (Maria Potts), is saved as a sex slave. He rescues her and they run across the plains, riding on one horse until Billy domesticates a wild one for her. They still meet horrible people, like the owner of a cabin who tries to kill them and then tries to have sex with Flower.

This being a 70s Western, you know that the army catches up to our protagonists. She gets assaulted, he gets beat up and restrained and when she unties him later, she kills herself. That sends him on a path of revenge and then out of town, only to be shot by that same cabin owner from earlier in the movie.

Director William A. Graham made some quality TV movies like Beyond the Bermuda Triangle and Death of a Cheerleader. The script was by David Markson.

It looks gorgeous, Harry Dean Stanton is awesome in his short role and man is it bleak. 1972 Westerns were all about just pain for everyone.

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