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As the first of the modern-day prequels this has something of a bad rep, but baggage aside it's a pretty entertaining yarn. This is the first and only time director Richard Lester ventured into the western genre and he manages to place his own stamp on the film. Much of it takes place during the winter, which provides for a different visual palette (similar to the look of Altman's "McCabe and Mrs. Miller"), and Lester adds his usual throwaway lines to keep things light.
Tom Berenger and William Katt do a good job as Butch and Sundance, and at times Katt's resemblance to Robert Redford is uncanny. Likewise when Berenger wears his hat just so. Joining them are Peter Weller as LeFors (who ends their first encounter by saying ominously, "I'll see you again"), Brian Dennehy as a rustler out for revenge, Vincent Schiavelli as a casino guard, Paul Price (late of Lester's "The Ritz") as a stingy butcher, and John Schuck and Christopher Lloyd as a couple of bumbling outlaws. Also, if you look sharp you can catch Richard Lester's cameo about 34 minutes in, doing a double take during one of the duo's getaways.
All in all, "Butch and Sundance: The Early Days" may not in the same league as the original, but it's a good enough film in its own right, and at least worth a rental.
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