Directed by: Burt Kennedy | 89 minutes | western, romance | Actors: Robert Mitchum, Angie Dickinson, Robert Walker Jr., David Carradine, Jack Kelly, John Anderson, Paul Fix, Willis Bouchey, Parley Baer, Parley Baer, Robert Anderson, Rodolfo Acosta, Deana Martin
Billy Young (Paul Walker Jr.) is not a very brilliant boy. But he doesn’t have to, because he is handy with a gun and knows how to make a living as a hitman. However, when he is left behind by his partner Jesse Boone (a young David Carradine) after a contract murder, he does not know how to proceed. Then he bumps into Sheriff Ben Kane (Robert Mitchum), who can use the stranded youth but initially leaves it to his own devices. When it later turns out that Kane is struggling with a nasty past experience involving Boone’s father, Billy Young must take sides.
Although Billy Young is the title hero, the film appears to revolve mainly around Ben Kane. He’s the man with the story, and young Billy just chases after it a bit. It’s Kane who gets involved with a local bar owner for his way of enforcing the law, it’s Kane who gets the attention of an attractive woman (Angie Dickinson as dancer Lily) and it’s Kane who plays the biggest part in the big gunfight at the end. from the movie. Meanwhile, Billy mainly gets in the way and it is not entirely clear why Kane offers to help him. The two men don’t really develop a bond anywhere, until the very last scene of course, because the story follows a fixed pattern and is therefore not really surprising anywhere.
The film gets off to a slow start, in a Sergio Leone-like way, but without the tension that is always felt by the Italian director. While the lack of dialogue makes the characters in Leone more intriguing, in this film it mainly arouses irritation. The opening scene in which Young and Boone carry out their contract murder wordlessly is not only very clumsy but also completely unnecessary. The script writer should really be slapped for this. Although the script also fails in the rest of the film. The way in which the all-important event from Kane’s past is explained in chunks also leaves a lot to be desired. Not to mention the final shoot-out. Few westerns show such an anti-climax in the end.
No, it is not easy to find something positive in the film, or it must be that Robert Mitchum plays in it. Paul Walker does not get much further than some childish whining and David Carradine is not shown enough to justify the viewing. All in all, Young Billy Young is a doddle that is only worth a look because of Robert Mitchum. But there are many titles with Mitchum that are considerably better. Although he will not sing the title song in every film …