Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
IMDB Rating 8.2/10 110 min - Rated 15 Western | Crime
Stars: Paul Newman, Robert Redford Director: George Roy Hill
In the early 1900s, Butch Cassidy (Newman) and the Sundance Kid (Redford) are members of the 'Hole-in-the Wall' gang. They rob banks and trains. But Butch's ambition is to go to Bolivia, which has silver, tin and gold mines. The two buddies are endlessly pursued by a remote and relentless posse forcing them into the hills. At one stage, they are trapped and cornered by the posse on a ledge at the edge of a steep rock canyon with nowhere else to go. They are faced with a choice between a hopeless shoot-out and a near-suicidal leap. Although the Kid confesses he can't swim, they jump in tandem, the swift current carries them to safety. After a romantic interlude during which both men vie for a schoolteacher Etta Place (Ross), they get to Bolivia where the army catches up with them. This romanticized version of a true story (the opening title claims: 'Most of What Follows Is True') is vastly entertaining and likeable. The film opens with the credits next to a silent sepia-toned 'film within a film' portraying the legendary outlaw gang holding up a train. Paul Newman and Robert Redford (in the role that brought him real stardom) make perfect buddy-buddies, Newman an independent, unconventional thinker, disrespectful of both the law and the establishment; Redford (in a part first offered to Jack Lemmon!), is more levelheaded, more the traditional Western hero. Instead of the ultra-violence typical of other outlaw films of the day, the film, borrowing from Jules et Jim and Bonnie and Clyde, uses an ironic mixture of slapstick comedy and conventional Western action to comment on the clichés of the cowboy genre. There is even the famous anachronistic song, `Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head' which accompanies Newman and Ross doing tricks on a bicycle (which, it is hinted, will soon replace the horse).