So fair warning this post has no research behind it, this is just my moment to fan-girl over the movie Young Guns. Having been born and raised a Texan means a lot of things, many of which I have discussed or will be discussing in future post, but one of the Texas beloved images is that of the ‘wild wild west.’ Now we can go round and round on what is wrong with that, but that’s not what I am here for today. Today I am here to love on this movie that I fell in love with as a kid. The movie was supposed to be centered around the story of ‘Billy The Kid’ who is woven into the fabric of Texas legends (even though he was born in New York) every major city claims AT LEAST one William H. Bonney story, including my hometown who has a gravesite for him. That’s what the movie was about, The Kid’s prime days as a rough rider and the friendship and brotherhood of his crew. It really is a good movie, I still love it.
Although I have love for Emilio Estevez who plays Billy The Kid (he is Charlie Sheen’s brother, Charlie’s birth name is Carlos Estevez, their family are descendants from Spain) but back to the movie, so growing up Texas, Latina, in the 80s, I was all about Lou Diamond Phillips or better known as ‘Chavez’ in the movie. I saw him first in La Bamba and then followed by the Young Guns movies… I was in love, that was my original ‘man crush’ of my childhood.
He was olive skinned like me, he had dark hair like me, and I could see some of my features in him, on the big screen! I remember his role as Chavez specifically, because he was proud of his heritage in the movie. At the time I didn’t know exactly what I was, or what it meant to be Mexican American, but I knew that Chavez and I were part of the same tribe somehow, so I identified that way. Watching the movie all these years later, I still love it and still love ‘Chavez’ even more so now, because now I understand the cultural truths he was speaking in the movie. I love the scenes where everyone is blended family in ‘Old Mexico’ / Texas because that is how we started out, we were a blended people, now I know these things.
The wild west is something we are born with in Texas, I think it’s what makes us always live to the fullest, regardless of our differences as Texans I think we do always go hard and live hard.
Fun fact, later in life I would find out Lou Diamond Phillips’ father was military, so he was born in the Philippines, but he was raised in Texas! Graduated from a University in Texas and everything! He’s a Texan! He has a diverse mixed heritage, according to wiki: “His father was an American of Scottish-Irish and one-quarter Cherokee descent, and his mother, a native of Candelaria, Zambales, is Filipina, with distant Chinese, Japanese, Hawaiian, and Spanish ancestry” So basically he is good looking to many cultures, we all love him.
Watching it the other night if I had to pick, I’d still pick Chavez for all the reasons mentioned, but a new favorite was Doc, I now have a new affection for his intellect that I didn’t notice as a child.
The renegade, restless spirit represented in this one story, that made all kids in the 80s remember our ‘wild west’ roots always deserves some love, can I get an amen! Thanks for that, Young Guns!