Saturday, July 1, 2017

"Young Billy Young" and Bad John Behan


Some rare color promo slides from the 1969 feature film Young Billy Young recently joined the Kellection. This western stars Robert Mitchum as deputy marshal "Ben Kane" and Angie Dickinson as dance-hall gal "Lily Beloit".

Jack Kelly plays a natty but nasty supporting character named "John Behan" in Young Billy Young. Behan owns the Gaslight Saloon where Lily dances and considers Lily his property as well.

In reality, John Harris (or "Johnny") Behan was the sheriff of Cochise County, Arizona, when the famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral occurred in Tombstone in 1881.

The John Behan whom JK portrays in Young Billy Young also differs from the historical Behan in other ways. In addition to serving as a lawman, the real Behan was a prison warden (among various other occupations) and died of natural causes at age 67, whereas JK's fictionalized version is shot dead in the film.

And, while the historical Behan was a known womanizer who had a common-law relationship with a "soiled dove" named Josephine (a.k.a "Sada", "Sadie" or "Sarah") Marcus, it's doubtful he treated her like JK's version treats Lily in the film. 

After the fictionalized Behan accuses Lily of cheating on him with Kane, he savagely beats her.

As I've said before, this Behan is a very bad guy, but JK does a very good job of portraying him.

Please stay tuned for more about JK and his many roles  in TDS!

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