Young Guns is a 1988 action/western film, directed by Christopher Cain and written by John Fusco. The film stars Emilio Estevez, Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips, Charlie Sheen, Dermot Mulroney, Casey Siemaszko, Terence Stamp, Terry O'Quinn, Brian Keith, and Jack Palance.
Young Guns is a fictionalized retelling of the adventures of Billy the Kid during the Lincoln County War, which took place in New Mexico during 1877–1878. It was filmed in and around Los Cerrillos, New Mexico. Historian Dr. Paul Hutton has called "Young Guns" the most historically accurate of all prior Billy the Kid films. It opened #1 at the box office, eventually earning $45 million from a moderate $13 million budget. A sequel, Young Guns II was released in 1990.
Billy quickly challenges Dick's authority as leader, vowing revenge against Murphy and the men responsible for killing Tunstall. The men call themselves "The Regulators" and arrest some of the murderers, but hot-headed Billy is unable to wait for justice. He guns down unarmed men and goes on to kill one of his fellow Regulators in the paranoid (but correct) belief that he was still in league with Murphy. The men are stripped of their badges, which they find out about by reading a newspaper. That same paper also confuses Dick for Billy, showing a picture of Dick labeled "Billy the Kid," a nickname to which Billy takes an immediate liking.
While the local authorities begin their hunt for Billy and the boys, The Regulators argue about continuing with their warrants or to go on the run. One of the men on their list of warrants tracks them down, barricades himself in an outhouse, and Dick dies in an intense shootout. Billy appoints himself as the new leader, the gang becomes famous and the U.S. Army is charged with bringing them to justice under Murphy's corrupt political influence.
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