Anne Jeffreys in Billy the Kid Trapped (1942)

Billy the Patsy

Billy, Fuzzy and Jeff (Buster Crabbe, Al St. John, Malcolm 'Bud' McTaggart) find themselves facing the noose after they are charged with a murder, a murder which they had nothing to do with. But the night before the sentence is to be carried out some outlaws start shooting on the jail and the three friends are able to escape in the chaos. It seems someone wants them out so they can keep on taking the flack for a series of other crimes which means the three friends whilst on the run from the law are going to have to discover who the real criminals are to clear their own names.

I don't remember the quote but someone once said something like 90% perspiration 10% inspiration and that sort of works when it comes to "Billy the Kid Trapped". 90% of the movie is typical as we have Buster Crabbe as Billy the hero of the piece who with his comedy sidekicks finding themselves mistakenly in trouble and then spend the movie clearing their names, skirting danger in the process. And alongside the typical themed story we have typical action and a typical love interest with Anne Jeffreys playing the attractive Sally.

But there is the other 10% and that is simply who is behind the killings and crimes which Billy and his pals are being pursued for and why? Technically there is nothing special about this as many a movie has some devious mastermind be it a gang leader or corrupt official behind things but this one is kind of creative as long as you don't think about it too hard.

What this all boils down to is that "Billy the Kid Trapped" is a routine Buster Crabbe western from the 40s which means 90% of it could have been lifted from any other western and then you have the 10% which is a little bit more original. It's entertaining but nothing special.