Noted western author Johnny D. Boggs has penned an interesting and complete look at how historic outlaw Billy The Kid has been depicted in movies. While "Billy The Kid on Film: 1911-2012" offers introductory chapters dealing with the history of the real-life outlaw, the book is essentially a filmography. Beginning with a 1911 Vitagraph short and ending with a 2012 feature (each titled Billy The Kid) Boggs separates his history by chapter, covering the silent era, early sound, depicting the character as a B western hero, etc. His filmographies extend to Made for TV movies, television series, and direct to video releases. The filmography is a handy and helpful reference, appended by a list of lost films with information as complete as can be found.
Boggs does not assess the films, but simply lists title, credits, and offers the narrative storyline. At the end of each section, Boggs gives a brief assessment of the collected films in that section. For instance, when discussing the PRC programmers of 1940-1943, Boggs dismisses the cheapness of the series, but admits that some of the early efforts (featuring Bob Steele, before Buster Crabbe took over the role), have some interesting dark elements. This reviewer takes some umbrage at the author indicating that sidekick Al St. John's comedy "grates on one's nerves" (St John was an outstanding veteran comedian), but otherwise the book is complete, and a very helpful reference.
There are many outstanding photo illustrations throughout the book, from period ads, to publicity shots, to movie stills. They are placed neatly throughout the text, offering a visual enhancement of Boggs' history and filmography.
This book is recommended to libraries, research centers, and fans of the American movie western's history.