Friday, February 11, 2011

495. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

Running Time: 110 minutes
Directed By: George Roy Hill
Written By: William Goldman
Main Cast: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross


"Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" departs the streaming section of Netflix tomorrow, so with some time to kill tonight, waiting for my wife to get off work, I decided to watch it for the second time in my life. I liked it MUCH more this time around.

Butch Cassidy (Newman) and The Sundance Kid (Redford) are two outlaws who are the heads of the "Hole in the Wall Gang", a group of men who rob banks and trains looking for loot and usually making out like bandits. The film starts by getting us acquainted with the gang, mainly Butch and Sundance, with a great scene of Sundance playing poker, where we learn that he is the fastest draw in the west to another great scene where Harvey Logan challenges Butch for control of the gang...he fails. From there we meet Etta (Ross), Sundance's love interest and a good friend to Butch. After that the gang gets back together to pull another job, but are halted by posse that has formed, seemingly to take them down. The hunt for Butch and Sundance by the posse takes up a big chunk of the movie, but, trust me, I'm not complaining, as the entire chase through the hills is quite gripping and just as frustrating for the viewer as it is for the characters. Eventually Butch and Sundance outsmart the posse and get back to Etta, where they offer her a chance to go with them to Bolivia, a place where Butch thinks they'll find a lot of success. The trio head to Bolivia and find nothing but pigs and dirt, so decide to start another gang, this time, with just the trio. They rob banks throughout Bolivia, but before that they must receive Spanish lessons from Etta, who is also a teacher.


As I write this, I have "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" playing, because it's such a soothing song and such a great scene in the movie (that I was forced to rewind and rewatch) when Newman rides his new bicycle around with Etta. This scene was also so sad for me to watch, and realize that Newman is no longer with us. What a great movie this is, that I for the life of me cannot remember why I didn't like the first time around. I mean, what's not to like? It's probably the most funny, different type of Western there is and if someone were to come to me and say "Recommend me a Western...I've never see one and want to see one", this is the one I'd give them, because it seems like it would be a good Western for beginners.

I mentioned above how frustrating the big chase scene is, and it really is, not just for the characters, but also for the viewer. We never see the chasers up close and not until the chase is completely over do we find out their identities. The entire time Butch and Sundance are asking themselves and each other..."Who ARE Those Guys?" and we're right there with them, asking the same question and we're frustrated right along with them, when you think they've got the right idea on how to lose these guys and the guys just keep on coming.

Newman and Redford were wonderful together, but surprisingly I think I enjoyed Redford just a hair more than Newman. Don't get me wrong, Newman was fabulous here, but Redford, who I wasn't expecting too much out of, really surprised me, by making the character of Sundance his own and working that character in just the right ways. To me, Sundance was the more likable character...such a cool, quiet character, the kind of guy you really love to root for.

RATING: 9/10 Great, great movie and don't be surprised to see "The Sting" show up on the blog sometime in the next week.


February 10, 2011 9:20pm


  1. Nice review, and a great flick. Newman was always amazing, and is missed. A nice countrt-point to Butch & Sundance is "Way of The Gun" , an enjoyable, if not always successful, quasi reimagining of Butch and Sundance.

  2. Ho hum.. well, there is nothing in this film to object to or dislike.. it fills out time, is enjoyable.. But..
    Well, what dose it do? It's Hollywood gloss. Far from the worst of it's kind, but
    Sorry, I feel I'm being excessivly scathing. Perhaps after reading reviews about much deeper stuff, i'm less inclined to look at something light. Ignore me. I'm off to watch 'Interiors' or something simuly depressing to cheer myself up!

  3. CSS - Thanks for the compliments, they are much appreciated.

    Ray - To me this movie forces me to feel the exact same emotion as the characters, that being frustration. I loved the entire chase through the hills as Butch and Sundance are trying to elude men that they don't even know. Also Redford and Newman just do such a brilliant job.


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