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Young Guns is a 1988 Western film. It stars Emilio Estevez, Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips, Charlie Sheen, Dermot Mulroney, and Casey Siemaszko. It also features Terence Stamp, Terry O'Quinn, Brian Keith, and Jack Palance. Young Guns is a retelling of the adventures of Billy the Kid (Estevez) during the Lincoln County War, which took place in New Mexico during 1877-1878.

John Tunstall, an educated Englishman and cattle rancher in Lincoln County, New Mexico, hires wayward young gun men to live and work on his ranch. Tunstall's ranch is in heavy competition with another well-connected rancher named Murphy and their men clash on a regular basis. Tunstall recruits Billy and tensions escalate into the murder of Tunstall. Billy (Estevez), Doc (Sutherland), Chavez (Phillips), Dick (Sheen), Dirty Steve (Mulroney), and Charlie (Siemaszko), consult their lawyer friend Alex who manages to get them deputized and given warrants for the arrest of Murphy's murderous henchmen.

A fun, fast paced action flick, Young Guns isn't exactly high-brow cinema but then it doesn't pretend to be. Its about cowboys killing cowboys, with Billy the Kid, who ain't all there, right in the middle of it being as Crazy Awesome as he can manage without getting shot.

A sequel followed, memorable mostly for the Bon Jovi song on its soundtrack.


Contains the following tropes

 William Bonney: "If you got three or four good pals, why, then you got yourself a tribe. Ain't nothin' stronger than that."

 Dick Brewer: We've got a warrant for you, old man.

Buckshot Roberts: I ain't got no business with that war no more, peckerhead son of a bitch. I'm on my own. I've come to pick up the 150 dollars Sheriff Brady has put out for the Kid. The rest of you are only worth about 110, but I'll take it.

Doc: What a sweet disposition.

Buckshot Roberts: All right, let's dance. *starts shooting*

  • Catch Phrase: "Yoohoo! I'll make you famous..."
  • Decoy Protagonist: Dick Brewer.
  • Downer Ending: The whole gang except Billy and Hendry die in part 2. Old Billy fails to secure a pardon and dies soon after.
  • Face Heel Turn: Pat Garrett.
  • Famed in Story: By the time Young Guns 2 rolls around, Billy has acquired quite a bit of notoriety, with stories of his exploits being written and released in proto-comic book form; the stories may be period-appropriate Fanfic at best, but the trope itself is Truth in Television.
  • The Gunslinger: Billy, though notable for using treachery rather than a fast draw to get the drop on opponents.
  • The Gunfighter Wannabe: Charlie
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Doc.
  • Heroic Sociopath: Billy.
  • Infant Immortality: Subverted. The first person in Billy's gang to die in the second film is Tom.
  • Intoxication Ensues: "Did you see the size of that chicken?"
  • It Works Better with Bullets: Billy the Kid does this to a bounty hunter in the first. Pretending to be awestruck by the bounty hunter's boasts, he asks if he can touch the gun with which the hunter plans to kill Billy the Kid. The bounty hunter hands it to him, and Billy secretly unloads it before handing it back. Billy then reveals his true identity. The bounty hunter tries firing several times with the empty gun before Billy shoots him down.
  • Jerkass: Dave.
  • Kill'Em All: By the end of the second film, the only survivors are Dave (who gets beheaded when he reaches Mexico), Hendry, and Billy (allegedly).
  • Knife Nut: Chavez.
  • Miss Kitty: Jane in the sequel.
  • Noble Savage: Chavez, who's referred to as "the Indian" a few times, is portrayed as "the wise one" of the bunch and acts as a de facto shaman during the peyote sequence, bordering on Magical Native American.
  • Too Dumb to Live: A sheriff in the second film tries to shoot Billy, even though Billy already has a gun on him and warns him several times not to. Guess what happens.

  Billy: "That was stupid, Bill."

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