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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Young Guns II
Theatrical release poster
Directed byGeoff Murphy
Written byJohn Fusco
Produced by
Starring
CinematographyDean Semler
Edited byBruce Green
Music byAlan Silvestri
Jon Bon Jovi
Production
company
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • August 1, 1990 (1990-08-01)
Running time
104 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Box office$59 million[1]

Young Guns II is a 1990 American Western action film[2] and a sequel to Young Guns (1988). It stars Emilio Estevez, Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips, and Christian Slater, and features William Petersen as Pat Garrett. It was written by John Fusco and directed by Geoff Murphy.

It follows the life of Billy the Kid, played by Emilio Estevez, in the years following the Lincoln County War in which Billy was part of "The Regulators" – a group of around six highly skilled gunmen avenging the death of John Tunstall – and the years leading up to Billy's documented death. The film is told by Brushy Bill Roberts, a man who in 1950 appeared claiming to be the real Billy the Kid.

While the film takes some creative license, it does show some of the main events leading up to Billy's documented death, including his talks with Governor Lew Wallace, his capture by friend-turned-foe Sheriff Pat Garrett, his trial and his subsequent escape in which he killed two deputies.

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Transcription

Plot

In 1950, attorney Charles Phalen is contacted by elderly "Brushy Bill" Roberts, who seeks a pardon he was promised 70 years earlier by the governor of the New Mexico Territory. Dismissing Bill's claim that he is really William H. Bonney aka "Billy The Kid", widely believed to have been killed in 1881, Phalen asks if Bill has any proof.

Bill's story begins in 1879, as the famed outlaw has formed a new gang with "Arkansas" Dave Rudabaugh and Pat Garrett. In the wake of the Lincoln County War, New Mexico Governor Lew Wallace has issued warrants for the arrest of everyone involved. Billy's former compatriot Doc Scurlock, now a schoolteacher in New York, is captured and imprisoned alongside fellow Regulator Jose Chavez y Chavez and their old enemies.

Now the most wanted man in New Mexico, Billy meets with Governor Wallace, who agrees to pardon him if he testifies against the Dolan-Murphy faction. Instead, Billy discovers he has been tricked into being arrested with no chance of testifying. He escapes, returning with Dave and Garrett and posing as a lynch mob to free Doc and Chavez, who reluctantly join them on the "Mexican Blackbird" trail to Mexico. Desperate for reinforcements, the gang accepts farmer Hendry William French and teenage Yankee Tom O'Folliard, while Garrett decides to stay behind to open a boarding house.

Billy demands a $500 debt from former ally John Chisum, leaving two of the cattle baron's men dead. Furious, Chisum joins Wallace and they offer Garrett the job of Lincoln County sheriff and $1000 to hunt Bonney down. Forming a posse, Garrett recruits a journalist to document their pursuit. Billy leaves a taunting message for Garrett, and Rudabaugh tries to dig up an Apache burial ground, resulting in a knife fight with the Mexican-Indian Chavez.

Billy and the gang reach the town of White Oaks, spending the night at a bordello run by his former companion Jane Greathouse. A lynch mob gathers, and Deputy Carlyle offers to let the gang go in exchange for handing over Chavez, but Billy dresses the deputy as Chavez and pushes him outside, where he is shot dead by the mob. Garrett tracks the gang to the bordello and burns it down, while Jane strips naked to humiliate the townsfolk and rides away.

The gang is followed closely by Garrett's posse and Tom is shot dead by Garrett, leading Billy to admit that the Mexican Blackbird was only a ruse to keep the gang together. Doc tries to leave for home, but is shot by one of Garrett's men and sacrifices himself to enable his friends to escape, though Chavez is wounded and Billy is captured. Brought back to Lincoln, Billy is sentenced to death and is visited by Jane. She leaves him a pistol in the outhouse, which he uses to kill two guards and escape to Fort Sumner.

Billy finds his gang, but Dave has fled for Mexico, and a dying Chavez leaves to meet his fate alone. That night, an unarmed Billy is confronted by Garrett, and asks to be allowed to run to Mexico while Garrett tells the authorities that he killed him. Certain that Billy would not be able to resist coming back to the United States, Garrett refuses, and prepares to shoot Billy in the back. In the morning, a burial is held for Billy, but Garrett's horse is taken by an unseen figure.

Back in 1950, Brushy Bill concludes his story, convincing Phalen that he is Billy the Kid. An epilogue reveals that Dave was beheaded in Mexico as a warning to other outlaws; Garrett's book was a failure and he was shot and killed in 1908; Brushy Bill met with the governor of New Mexico, but despite corroboration from several surviving friends of the Kid, he was discredited and died less than a month later; whether or not he was Billy the Kid remains a mystery.

Cast

Jon Bon Jovi briefly appears in a nonspeaking role as a bandit who attempts escaping during the prison scene.[3]

Production

Development and writing

Screenwriter-producer John Fusco culled much of Billy's dialogue from actual newspaper interviews and reports between 1879 and 1881. Fusco appears as the "Branded Man" in the prison pit escape scene alongside Jon Bon Jovi. The cattle brand on Fusco's face reads J.C. for cattle rancher John Chisum.

John Chisum, played by James Coburn, in the film convinces Pat Garrett to accept a job as the new Lincoln County Sheriff. Coburn played Garrett in Sam Peckinpah's Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973).

Historical accuracy

The historical Josiah "Doc" Scurlock lived to the age of 80 and died a respectable man in Eastland, Texas in 1929.[4] The film's original screenplay accurately portrays Scurlock as heading to Texas with his bride. It has been reported that Kiefer Sutherland, faced with scheduling conflicts, refused to return to the Young Guns franchise unless his character died in the movie's Stinking Springs shoot-out. Writer John Fusco fought against this demand, but ultimately rewrote the scene to accommodate Sutherland's schedule.

Similarly, José Chavez y Chavez's death in the movie is an inaccurate portrayal. The real Chavez y Chavez lived to be an old man and died at the age of 72 in 1924. In both Young Guns and Young Guns II, he fights mainly with knives, but historical records show that he was as skilled a gunman as the others.[5][6]

Although Tom O'Folliard was shot by Pat Garrett, he was not from Pennsylvania, and nor was he a young boy. He was played by a 14-year-old Balthazar Getty in the film, but in real life he was 20–21 years old when he died.[7]

Music

Soundtrack

Emilio Estevez originally approached Jon Bon Jovi to ask him for permission to include the song "Wanted Dead or Alive" on the soundtrack.[8] Bon Jovi didn't feel the song's lyrics were appropriate; however, he was inspired by the project and resolved to write a new song for the film that would be more in keeping with the period and setting. He quickly wrote the song "Blaze of Glory", and performed it on acoustic guitar in the Utah desert for Estevez and John Fusco.

"Blaze of Glory" went on to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.[9] Jon Bon Jovi named his debut solo album Blaze of Glory, released as Young Guns II: Blaze Of Glory in the UK,[10] which included the eponymous single as well as other songs from and inspired by the film.

The album peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200[11] and No. 2 on the UK Albums Chart.[12]

Jon Bon Jovi made a cameo appearance in the film, as one of the prisoners in the pit with Doc and Chavez (he can be seen 28 minutes and 8 seconds into the movie).

Score

The film's original score was composed and conducted by Alan Silvestri,[10][13] who provided string arrangements for the song "Santa Fe" and has one brief track on Blaze Of Glory. In September 2011 Intrada Records issued Silvestri's score on its own CD.

  1. Scars (5:10)
  2. Small Hands (3:04)
  3. Lynch Mob (4:11)
  4. Finish the Game (2:50)
  5. Yoo Hoo (2:43)
  6. Devil's Deal (1:26)
  7. More Than Hello (2:34)
  8. Tom Sees the Light (1:30)
  9. Coy Dog (2:38)
  10. Ride to Guano City (1:09) ("Guano City" on Blaze of Glory)
  11. Battle (2:46)
  12. Little Tom Dies (6:49)
  13. Garrett's Place (1:10)
  14. Chavez's Wound (3:01)
  15. You Gonna Shoot? (3:33)
  16. Stolen Horse (Finale) (1:18)

In July 2018, Rusted Wave released a limited edition of 1000 double LP vinyl pressing of Alan Silvertri's score cut at 45 RPM.[14]

Reception

Box office

Young Guns II opened on August 1, 1990, in the United States in 1,770 theaters, accumulating $8,017,438 over its opening weekend. It finished third for the weekend, behind Ghost (in its fourth week), and Presumed Innocent (in its second week).[15] The film grossed $44,143,410 in the United States and Canada.[16] Internationally it grossed $15 million for a worldwide total of $59 million.[1] The film was also successful on video rental.[17]

Critical response

Young Guns II received mostly negative reviews by critics when it was first released.[18][19][20] On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has received a 31% approval rating by critics based on 26 reviews.[21] Metacritic gave the film a score of 47 out of 100, based on 18 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[22] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A-" on an A+ to F scale.[23]

The Los Angeles Times said: “Full of sound, gunfire, fury and scorchingly beautiful landscapes, Young Guns II generates more sheer visual excitement than any Western since Peckinpah and Leone were in their last '70s prime."[20] Roger Ebert, who gave Young Guns II two stars out of four, stated that "the screenplay feels unfinished, the direction is ambling, but the performances are interesting."[24] Chris Hicks from Deseret News gave the film two out of four stars, stating that Young Guns II was "sumptuously shot, very well-acted and full of potential."[25]

Accolades

Award Category Nominee(s) Result
20/20 Awards Best Original Song "Blaze of Glory"
Music and Lyrics by Jon Bon Jovi
Won
Academy Awards[26] Best Original Song Nominated
ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards Most Performed Songs from Motion Pictures Won
Golden Globe Awards[27] Best Original Song Won
Grammy Awards[28] Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television Nominated
MTV Video Music Awards Best Video from a Film Jon Bon Jovi – "Blaze of Glory" Nominated
Young Artist Awards[29] Best Young Actor Supporting Role in a Motion Picture Balthazar Getty Nominated

Sequel

In January 2021, a sequel was teased by screenwriter John Fusco who shared a mock poster for Young Guns 3: Alias Billy the Kid.[30] In March, Estevez told Collider people were interested in seeing him play the character again and that a third film is "definitely in the works."[31] In September 2021, more information came out about the sequel, including that Lou Diamond Phillips and Christian Slater would return to the franchise.[32][33]

References

  1. ^ a b "Morgan Creek Prods. Box Office". Variety. February 15, 1993. p. 46.
  2. ^ "Young Guns II". British Board of Film Classification.
  3. ^ Lowery, Mike (January 18, 2021). "How Jon Bon Jovi's Young Guns II soundtrack came to be". MovieHole. Retrieved September 13, 2022.
  4. ^ Boardman, Mark (May 31, 2019). "The Real Doc". True West Magazine. Archived from the original on June 1, 2019. Retrieved February 19, 2023.
  5. ^ Hurst, James W. "José Chavez y Chavez". DesertUSA.
  6. ^ See also Lou Diamond Phillips audio commentary on Young Guns DVD
  7. ^ "6. Tom "Big Foot" O'Folliard (1858-1880) – I am New Mexico". Archived from the original on January 20, 2022.
  8. ^ "Jon Bon Jovi's Solo Debut with his band members Leads Him to the Brink of An Abyss". People. Vol. 34, no. 2. July 16, 1990. Archived from the original on February 6, 2009.
  9. ^ "Allmusic (Jon Bon Jovi charts & awards) Billboard singles". AllMusic.
  10. ^ a b Blaze of Glory soundtrack details Soundtrackcollector.com
  11. ^ "Allmusic (Jon Bon Jovi charts & awards) Billboard albums".
  12. ^ "The Official Charts Company – Jon Bon Jovi". Official Charts.
  13. ^ Alan Silvestri discography Alan-silvestri.com
  14. ^ "Young Guns II - Original Motion Picture Score (2 LPS)".
  15. ^ "Weekend Box Office". The Los Angeles Times. August 7, 1990. Retrieved January 13, 2011.
  16. ^ "Young Guns II (1990)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 5, 2007.
  17. ^ "VIDEO RENTALS : 'Young Guns' Not Firing Blanks". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  18. ^ Maslin, Janet (August 1990). "Review/Film;Emilio Estevez in Reprise of Billy the Kid Role". The New York Times. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  19. ^ "Young Guns II". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  20. ^ a b "MOVIE REVIEW : 'Young Guns II' Has the Fire but Lacks Depth". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  21. ^ "Young Guns II". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 17, 2023.
  22. ^ "Young Guns II Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 7, 2022.
  23. ^ "Home". CinemaScore. Retrieved September 7, 2022.
  24. ^ Ebert, Roger (August 1, 1990). "Young Guns II". RogerEbert.com. Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved May 5, 2007.
  25. ^ Hicks, Chris (August 4, 1990). "Young Guns II review". Deseret News. Retrieved February 19, 2023.
  26. ^ "The 63rd Academy Awards (1991) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on October 20, 2014. Retrieved October 20, 2011.
  27. ^ "Young Guns II – Golden Globes". HFPA. Retrieved July 28, 2021.
  28. ^ "1990 Grammy Award Winners". Grammy.com. Retrieved May 1, 2011.
  29. ^ "12th Annual Youth In Film Awards". YoungArtistAwards.org. Archived from the original on July 16, 2015. Retrieved March 31, 2011.
  30. ^ Offurum, E.J. (January 17, 2021). "Young Guns 3 With Emilio Estevez Teased By Writer". Screen Rant. Retrieved June 13, 2021.
  31. ^ Reiman, Tom (March 12, 2021). "'Young Guns 3': Emilio Estevez Says Sequel Is "Definitely in the Works"". Collider. Retrieved June 13, 2021.
  32. ^ "Guns 3: Alias Billy the Kid - What We Know So Far". Looper. September 8, 2021.
  33. ^ "Young Guns 3: Alias Billy the Kid". IMDb.

External links

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