The Celluloid Kid (McFarland, $39.95)

billy-the-kid-on-film-by-johnny-d-boggWho knew that the first actor to portray Billy the Kid on film was a woman (Edith Storey)? And who knew that reading about so many awful films featuring the famed New Mexico outlaw could be so much fun?

Johnny Boggs’s Billy the Kid on Film, 1911-2012 is a fascinating survey of the good, the bad, and, yes, the ugly of Billy the Kid flicks (think Billy the Kid vs. Dracula, but don’t waste your time).  Boggs tells us what each film got right and, more often than not, what it got wrong, providing us with some good Kid history to go along with the stories behind the productions. I highly recommend this book.

Mark Lee Gardner, author of Shot All to Hell: Jesse James, the Northfield Raid, and the Wild West’s Greatest Escape

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