Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) Poster

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Newman and Redford at Their Best
kyle_c31 July 2002
"Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" is rightfully hailed as one of the greatest westerns ever made, although much of the movie takes place in South America. It is a great look at two likeable outlaws, full of witty dialogue and exciting action sequences.

Butch Cassidy (Paul Newman) and The Sundance Kid (Robert Redford) are two bank robbers, chased by the law. The plot follows them as they travel to Bolivia after a railroad president hires a posse to hunt them do. The story is mostly composed of short pieces telling a little story about them. There is really no connection all the way through, for the most part.

The story isn't about the plot, however. It is about Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. It is a close look at two criminals, the talented Sundance Kid, and Butch Cassidy, the one who does all the thinking. The charisma and screen presence of the two actors and the way they work together is what drives the film. Watching the two interact, with a superb script full of great dialogue, is what makes this movie so exciting.

See this movie if you are a fan of westerns, or just a fan of good movies. It is exciting, superbly made (with lots of interesting silent scenes to music and montages of photographs), but it also has a lot of depth.

**** out of ****
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Violent and bloody, but romanticized by the insouciant charm of Newman and Redford...
Nazi_Fighter_David20 November 2002
Warning: Spoilers
George Roy Hill's film has its excitements and it claims the fashionable climactic bloodbath, but mostly it's played for fun…

It's a highly individual Western; a triumph of style, in fact… The style is dominant, intelligent, flowing with charm; the playful teasing, and Newman supplied with a hat on a bike, and the contemporary lyrical Bacharach pop tune… It's a style that flowers in the Newman-Redford relationship, which is one of the most affecting in movies…

All this gives it the feel and look of fanciful myth carried to a point unusually removed from reality... Backgrounds are sketched rather than etched… You are never really moving toward the west in time and place... With belief suspended, feelings are only light1y involved…

But it's derring-do at its most flamboyant and given a tangy taste by its essentially modern sense of humor... When Butch and Sundance ride back from relaxation to their Hole-in-the-Wall lair and find they have a mutiny on their hands—Harvey Logan (Ted Cassidy) wants to take over—Butch doesn't quell it with bullets but with a boot up Logan's backside… It's that kind of picture…

Similarly, when too much dynamite scatters the haul from a rail hold-up, this is a moment for wry, amusing comment… And when the posse pursues the pair this is one posse that 'heroes' can't easily shake off… It's always there, cleverly made more irksome by long-shot, so that finally only a 'death defying leap' as the circuses say, can separate hunted from hunters….

"Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" is undoubtedly a captivating tour de force… Its flavor is preserved from cloying by just the right edge of wistfulness provided by Katharine Ross as the schoolteacher girl-friend who goes along and who suggests the transience of it all…

Newman and Redford good-natured fellowship is felt from the opening to the final scene… Sundance seems closer to the traditional Western character... He is strong, silent, willing to face confrontations and shoot it out… Butch is an atypical outlaw, enormously charming and courteous, has never killed anyone, and tries to avoid showdowns…

Throughout the film, Newman is engagingly spontaneous in his expressions, gestures and timing of dialog…While Sundance is practical, Butch is a hopelessly ridiculous optimist and romantic dreamer… While they flee the posse, he continually expresses optimism, but beneath is a child-like need for reassurance… Small indications of his self-awareness emerge at other times, undercutting his casual exterior… For instance, despite the naturalness of the ménage-à-trois, Butch is really the outsider, and he knows it… In the lovely still-photo montage of their New York holiday, Butch watches with wistful longing as they dance, but then smiles—aware of his isolation but content in their happiness…

"Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" earned seven Academy Award nominations including Best Picture... It won four (Cinematography, Score, Song, and Original Screenplay).
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One Of The All-Time Great Westerns
ccthemovieman-115 June 2006
One of the best and most-liked films of the 1960s, this is still a fun movie to watch today. When I saw this on DVD on a nice flat-screen set, I was amazed how good this looked. I had seen it several times before on VHS and hadn't realized how good this was photographed. I just discovered Conrad Hall was the cinematographer, which explains it. Few, if any, were better than him.

One remembers this western for several things: the two leads looking over their shoulders incredulous that their pursers seem to be always there; Paul Newman riding a bicycle to the tune of "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head," the beautiful Katharine Ross, the chemistry of Newman and Robert Redford as a two-man team, on and on. Those three lead actors, with the repartee between them, and the likability of each, make them fun to watch as they dominate this picture.

It's just solid entertainment and another example of good film-making that doesn't need a lot of R-rated material to make it successful. Photography-wise, the western scenery was great, there were some wonderful closeup shots and I really liked the tinted old-time footage inserted in here.

So, when you combine all the elements, it's no surprise this film won so many awards and endures so well.
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One of the best of the 60s & 70s
garage5inc20 April 2003
This is pretty much the ultimate action western movie I can think of. This movie has everything you could want, and it appeals to almost any type of viewer. Paul Newman, one of if not the best actor of our time is the lead along with Robert Redford, the two go together perfectly, I dare say this is one of the best combinations in Hollywood history.

Anyways the story takes place in the midwest, Newman and Redord run "The Hole in the Wall Gang" named after their hideout. They rob trains and take big scores, later the Pacific railroad gets together the best tracker and lawmen in the entire Western United States to track and kill Butch and Sundance. They must manage to evade their elite counterparts, the movie is 100 percent entertainment, especially during the chases. The movie is based on true events and is spectacular.

This movie won Best Score, Best Song (Raindrops) which was very good untraditional music in a western, it fit good in this movie, Best Cinematography, shot by Conrad L. Hall who also did Road To Perdition, arguably the best cinematography done to this very day, and Adapated Screenplay, all for the right reasons. George Roy Hill, Paul Newman, and Robert Redford all went on to create "The Sting" in 1973, which is possibly one of the best movies ever made. I praise this movie, 10/10
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A One of a Kind
alexkolokotronis18 February 2008
This has got to be one of my favorite westerns. It has everything you could possibly want for every movie fan. They're so many great aspect and I will attempt to display some of them.

The acting, what can I say about it. It was a perfect fit for Redford and Newman who are both friends in the movie and real life. They deliver exhilarating, funny and electrifying performance. It is so great I can't even put it into words. These two actors were robbed of an at least an Oscar nomination. It has to be the biggest Oscar snub ever. Watching this movie my only wish is that Redford and Newman would have done more movies together.

The writing was great and creative. I have never witnessed a movie that was so serious and yet so funny. The writing totally propelled this movie forward. The fact that Butch and Sundance went to Bolivia trying to outrun the law was hilarious. This has got to be some of the best writing ever.

The directing by George Roy Hill was as well amazing displaying the chase scenes and just sitting back and letting the writing and directing take over. But most of all he let Robert Redford and Paul Newman do their thing. You could see that they were both feeding off each other and George Roy Hill never seemed to interrupt their chemistry.

I would advise anyone and everyone to watch this. They are just so many laughs, many fun action scenes and of course Paul Newman and Robert Redford.
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Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid: A post modern Western
latsblaster18 June 2003
George Roy Hill's funny Western is still modern and hasn't aged bad at all. Paul Newman is charming and charismatic, and Robert Redford is energetic. I don't know why some Western-fans doesn't like it because it is filled with powerful and spectacular gunfights, humor, friendship and beautiful pictures - which is the reasons why you watch Westerns, isn't it? I am fully aware of the fact that 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid' was an unusual Western when it came. After this there were other attempts or experiments made like this but I don't think that they succeeded. 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid' has also the rare ability to even smell, taste or feel classic when you watch it ... Robert Redford was never better than here.

Rating: 9 of 10.
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Another Winner From the "Class of 1969"
tfrizzell24 August 2001
"Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" is a great film just due to the pairing of Paul Newman and Robert Redford. These two work so well together that the film would have been impressive no matter what. However, with a smart story and great direction by George Roy Hill, "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" was the smash-hit of 1969 as it achieved box office dominance and won more Oscars (four) than any other film that year. It did not win the Best Picture or Best Director Oscars as "Midnight Cowboy" and its director John Schlesinger took home those honors, but it has stood the test of time and is right up there with the other imperative films of that important year ("Midnight Cowboy", "Easy Rider", and "The Wild Bunch"). The two titled characters are two shrewd outlaws who love to rob trains and banks. However, the law has about had it with the outlaws and the two decide that Bolivia is the place they need to be. Also along for the ride is school-teacher Katharine Ross who obviously has feelings for both men. They both want to go straight in Bolivia, but temptation is too big for them and in the end tragedy will occur for the titled characters. Of course this film is based on real people, but so little is known about them that the film-makers were able to take many liberties with the tale. The film-makers went for comedy and action, but it is the drama and the likable characters that make "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" one of the best films produced in the 1960s. 5 stars out of 5.
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"For a Moment There I Thought We Were In Trouble"
cocaine_rodeo23 December 2001
This is a great movie all around. It's a great Western, it's a great comedy, it's a great action, and it's a great drama. George Roy Hill did an excellent job with this movie. Paul Newman is one of my favorite actors, and who doesn't like Robert Redford? I just recently saw this movie and I was very pleased when it was over. They also managed to make this an accurate depiction, because, like the tagline states, for the most part, it's true.

Paul Newman and Robert Redford do outstanding jobs as Butch and Sundance. They have make a great team, and it's fun to watch them rob trains and banks, and narrowly escape from the Pinkerton Posse. This movie also has great performances. The two actors make you like Butch and Sundance, and you want them to escape.

I also thought it was interesting when I learned that the real Hole In The Wall Gang (besides Butch and Sundance)would soon become the Wild Bunch, or so I'm told. I find this movie a total enjoyment and can be enjoyed by anyone. I think that even the most shrill person can find things they like about this movie, so check it out, because it is and always will be a classic! 10/10
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I can't believe people are slating this movie!
ubercommando31 August 2004
OK, for those of you who aren't sure whether "Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid" is a good, or even great movie, just do the following:

Scroll up to "memorable quotes". Go on, do it and then read what follows. I'll be right here when you get back.

Finished? Did you read those lines? THAT, my friends, that and the fact they are spoken by some great actors is what makes this film so wonderful. They are perfectly balanced between being funny, endearing and also revealing about the characters. There's genuine emotion and warmth in a lot of that.

Conrad Hall, George Roy Hill, Burt Bacharach et al all contributed marvelously but I love the cast; such quality and for some of them, in small, but memorable roles: George Furth, Ted Cassidy, Kenneth Mars, Strother Martin, Katherine Ross and the stars at the top; Newman and Redford who did perfect justice to Goldman's script.
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The Lost Boys go West
gjf221b5 February 2001
Warning: Spoilers
Seeing this film again on DVD -- more than 30 years after the first time I saw it -- I'm struck by two things. First, it holds up well for a movie so redolent of a particular time (the 1960s, of course, not the 1890s). Second, whether the filmmakers fully intended it this way or not, it's really a very good film about a topic Westerns don't tackle often: arrested adolescence.

Most great Westerns -- ``My Darling Clementine,'' ``Rio Bravo,'' ``The Wild Bunch,'' ``Unforgiven'' -- are about adults. ``Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid'' is about two guys who, physically, are pushing 40, but whose mental age is stuck somewhere around 16. They may be charming, but their whole lives revolve around their narcissistic pal-ship. For them, being outlaws doesn't seem to be about expressing anti-social impulses or even getting money they haven't earned, but merely about hanging out with each other. Their talk with each other is mainly brittle ritualized patter and stock jokes, mixed with Butch's pipe dreams. They can't talk about anything serious even at the end, when they must realize -- at some level -- that they're about to die. Screenwriter William Goldman emphasizes the oddly callow, adolescent tone of their relationship by repeatedly having them express surprise when they stumble over some bit of biography -- their real names, or the fact that Sundance is from New Jersey -- that you'd think real friends would have known about decades ago.

The movie's whole point is that Butch and Sundance can't develop any type of dramatic arc. Harshly changing times demand they change with the times or die -- and they can't change and ultimately choose, by default, to die. They do get a huge lucky break when they get away from the Superposse _ but all they can think to do with it is change not what they're doing, but merely where they're doing it. They can't even change enough to keep Etta Place with them, even though both Butch and Sundance really do love her, in their way. (Etta, in contrast to Butch and Sundance, is harshly realistic about her life and her limits -- she knows she isn't strong enough to die with them or to see them die.) Butch and Sundance, as far as we can see, don't care about much outside themselves and Etta.

This is why the movie's ending -- that famous freeze frame -- is so perfect. Butch and Sundance are secure, together, in their niche in history. They don't have to worry about changing times or the baffling world outside themselves any longer. They've won out over time and change -- the only way anybody ever can.
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A Perfect Script For a Near-Perfect Movie
director161625 January 2001
"Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" is one of the greatest movies ever made. It is my favorite film of all time, and the biggest reason for that is because of its script by William Goldman. It's very rare in film that a script has perfect lines in it from beginning to end, but this film is an example of what can be achieved by Hollywood screenwriters. It was William Goldman's script of this movie that sparked my passion for the American cinema. Though most Westerns of the cinema past have serious and gritty tones to them, this film has just the right mix of comedy, wit, and adventure. The greatest team in Hollywood history, arguably, is the team of Paul Newman and Robert Redford. The presence by these two Hollywood legends has help cement this film as one of the greatest movies ever made - according to organizations like the American Film Institute. The direction by George Roy Hill is first rate, and much credit also has to be given to cinematographer Conrad Hall, who did a great job giving this film the superior look of the Old West.

Katherine Ross adds to this film in the role as the beautiful Etta Place, as does the score, which makes us feel good about going to the movies. This was the film that, for the first time, got audiences to root for "the bad guys". This film should be shown in every film school to show film students how to make a theatrical film. I will always love this movie, and indeed, this movie is something special. It is also special to me because the REAL Sundance Kid was born in my hometown of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania.
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One word.....Excellent
bama111131 July 2000
I can remember seeing this movie, at the Colony Theater in Portsmouth Virginia, when it was first released. Since then, I've seen it at least 30 times, most recently last night. In my humble opinion, Paul Newman & Robert Redford made an excellent movie twosome 30 years ago [and expanded on it a few years later, in The Sting]. In reading the reviews submitted about this movie it makes me happy to see that most of the people agree with my opinion. How could you not like these characters, along with Etta, "those guys" following them and eventually Strother [who will always be remembered for his "what we have here is a failure to communicate" in Cool Hand Luke] Martin? Not to mention the scenes where Etta enters the picture, when Butch has to fight Logan, when they have to jump in the water and, of course, the ending sequence of events. I won't say "they don't make them like they used to", but this one is a keeper. And if you agree with my evaluation, and have a DVD player, watch the DVD that has interviews, etc., to give you an even better picture of this excellent movie.
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overrated western does not hold up well
kgowen-118 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this movie when it first came out, like, almost 40 years ago. Was it really that long ago? I guess it was. Anyway, I remember it as being a good movie and I haven't seen it since. So now I have kids who are teenagers and so I think, hey, maybe they'd like to see a good western, funny and entertaining, so I put it in my Netflix queue, and it finally came up last week and we watched it last weekend.

What a disappointment.

For the life of me, I cannot understand why I ever liked this movie or how it got the reputation it has. It is simply a bad movie that does not hold up well. What makes it bad? The one attribute I would give this movie is boring. Really boring. The scenes just dragged on and on and it got so that I just wanted it to end. Like the bicycle/Raindrops-keep-fallin'-on-my-head scene. What was Hill thinking? If he wanted to establish a relationship between Newman and Ross, the length of that scene could have been cut by about two thirds. Likewise later on, when the camera was panning across sepia photographs of the three main characters to illustrate them making their way down to Bolivia. Again, way too long. We already got the point, but still the sequence dragged on interminably. I actually hit the FF button on my DVD remote at one point and even at 2X, I was surprised how long it took to get to the end of that sequence.

And the chemistry between Redford and Newman was almost lifeless, like a glass of soda left out overnight. I don't why, but all the lines (like "who ARE those guys?") I remember as being funny just fell mostly flat. Also, a good actress can light up the screen; but Katherine Ross was about as incandescent as an sick firefly. True, she was not given much to do in this film, but what she did get, she did poorly, reciting her lines mostly in a dull monotone. It's as if she was anticipating her later role in "The Stepford Wives" (which, incidentally, was a much better movie than this one).

So I don't know why everybody thinks this movie is so wonderful; I did not find it so and I guess I will have to be in the minority.
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Sometimes it's hard to see what others see
hall89524 August 2010
Usually if you find that you don't like a film which has been deemed a classic you can at least see what it may be that leads people to think so highly of the film. That is not the case with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. I don't get it. I'm not seeing what so many others apparently are seeing. I see an incredibly overrated film that is not even remotely worthy of the near mythical status it has attained. Whatever it is that supposedly makes this film a classic is well and truly lost on me.

The biggest problem with the film is that nobody involved apparently could decide what kind of film it was they were making. Was it a serious Western or a comedy Western? The film ends up stuck in some sort of netherworld in between. It's much too jokey to take very seriously but not nearly funny enough to be labeled a comedy. The film tries to be multiple things and ends up not being much of anything at all. It's a film that never really convinces, things always seem a bit off. Just the very concept that the "good guys", the guys we're meant to sympathize with and root for, are actually the bad guys was always going to be a little jarring. Hooray for the train robbers! It could have worked but it really doesn't. No fault of the actors as Paul Newman and Robert Redford, Newman especially, make the characters of Butch and Sundance respectively easy to like. And Sundance's girl, played by Katharine Ross, certainly has her charms as well. But even if you end up liking these characters it's still hard to like the movie.

You would think it would be hard to make a boring movie based on the exploits of notorious bank and train robbers. But that's pretty much what we have here. This film moves at a snail's pace, moments of excitement are few and far between. The interminable chase sequence dropped into the middle of the film surely doesn't help. If I had to watch Butch peer into the distance and say "Who are those guys?" one more time I'd scream. Get on with it already. Honestly for much of its running time this movie has you desperately trying to stifle yawns. And when the movie tries to have a little fun it generally doesn't work. So many jokes which fall flat. And that famous, yet exceedingly dopey, bicycle sequence. Hard to take the movie seriously after that. Good song though. I just have no idea what in the world it's doing in this movie. One thing you can say for the movie is that it is beautifully photographed. Cinematographer Conrad Hall's Oscar was well earned. And Newman and Redford, both of course terrific actors, do have very good chemistry and Ross fits in well also. The interactions among the three lead performers provide some good moments. But there are not nearly enough of those moments to salvage the film. It's dull and drawn out, it's neither serious enough to work as a real Western or funny enough to get by on comedic value. The film just doesn't work. But it's a "classic". I don't get it.
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The Last of the Old Western Gangs (Also: Bonus Information about the Real Wild Bunch and the Pursuing Detective)
romanorum12 May 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Let me state right now that "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" is one of the greatest westerns of all time. It even deserves its place in the top 100 of America's best movies (#73). This writer even rated the film nine stars. It deserves all of them. On the other hand, its heroes are really anti-heroes. Yes they are the criminals, but because they are good-looking and likable and charming and humorous we root for them. But this is not the message of the traditional westerns that were about the noble guys who won in the end (played by William S. Hart, Tom Mix, Gene Autry, John Wayne, etc.) and the dastardly dudes who got what they deserved (real folks like Bill Longley, Black Jack Ketchum, John Wesley Hardin, Ike Clanton, etc.). These bad guys were so unabashedly immoral that people booed them in movie theaters. But for several years before 1969, the framework of the original American Western was transforming. Perhaps movie audiences became bored with the good guys winning. Then there were the attitudes of the counter-culture. So characters of ambiguous morality began to become central; if they still lost at film's end, they at least got sympathy.

Our movie is about the "Wild Bunch," last of the outlaw gangs of the old American West. Its specialty was robbing banks and trains on horseback. But the frontier had closed in 1890, and even the remaining wild western pockets were becoming less of a haven. Not only was the telegraph expanding, but the telephone and automobile were already invented. Civilization and technology were making the old time gunslingers obsolete. The Pinkerton detectives and the Union Pacific Railroad were becoming more resourceful. There were less and less places of refuge, although Butch Cassidy's band did well enough at Hole-in-the-Wall pass (north of Casper in Wyoming).

The feature is finely crafted, although it probably gathers more from the legend rather than from historical fact. There are many wonderful things to enjoy: The gorgeous cinematography of Conrad Hall (filmed in USA/Mexico) and fine Western settings, the music by Burt Bacharach, the script by William Goldman, the direction of George Roy Hill. The film gathered four Academy awards: Cinematography, score, song ("Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head"), and original screenplay. There are quite a few memorable scenes: Opening Thomas Edison Company silent movie that features The Hole-in-the-Wall Gang, fancy gun-work by the Sundance Kid in the sepia-toned vignette, Butch and Logan in the knife fight during the gang rebellion, the blown-up express car with flying dollar bills, continuous posse chases, the Newman-Ross bicycle scene, an angry bull, the cliff jump on horseback, the near-botched bank robbery in Bolivia where the two men clumsily attempt to speak Spanish, the ending freeze frame shootout. Although folks get shot in this film, we are spared the endless gore that characterized some filmmakers, like Sam Peckinpah.

The Chemistry between Paul Newman, already a big star, and upcoming Robert Redford is masterful. Butch Cassidy (Paul Newman) is the talker, the planner, the brains of the outfit; the Sundance Kid (Robert Redford) is silent and brooding, but also quick with a gun. Wittily the two leads play off against one another in a sardonic manner. A third important lead, the lovely Katherine Ross (Etta Place), plays a delightful foil between the two men. By the way, two surviving photographs confirm that the real Etta (Ethel) Place was one of the most attractive females of the Old West. Some of the real gang members are also characters: Harvey Logan (Ted Cassidy), Flat-Nose Curry (Charles Dierkop), and News Carver (Timothy Scott).

Bonus Information: Butch Cassidy (née Robert Leroy Parker), born in 1866, called his gang "The Wild Bunch," not "The-Hole-in-the-Wall Gang." As befitting the grandson of a Mormon bishop, he was affable and eschewed excessive gunplay. "I have never killed a man," he claimed. Butch Cassidy really did blow up a United Pacific railroad express car to smithereens near Wilcox, Wyoming on 2 June 1899. (Employee E.C. Woodcock was staggered, but survived.) Pinkerton agent Charles Angelo Siringo was already hot on the trail. Siringo's name was not used in the movie. Instead we hear Lord Baltimore and Joe Lefors and the United Pacific posse. But it was Charlie Siringo (Siringo knew Lefors) who trailed Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (née Harry Alonzo Longabaugh) for 25,000 miles, as he wrote in one of his books. Because of an error by another, Siringo just missed capturing Butch and Sundance. (By the way, Siringo tracked desperadoes from Alaska to Mexico.) In 1900 an attempt at amnesty between Butch and Utah Governor Wells failed. Nevertheless, the Old West was dying, and Butch, Sundance, and Etta Place, after visiting New York City (1901), "relocated" to South America in Argentina. Sundance may have married Etta in December 1900. More than once Sundance and Etta returned to the USA; apparently they attended the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904. Pinkerton agent Frank Di Maio, who took over from Charlie Siringo in Argentina, had discovered the exact location of Sundance and Etta, but either a tip or the rainy season ruined his chances of capture. Etta Place returned to the USA for good in 1906/1907; her subsequent history is largely unknown. Butch and Sundance met their eventual demise at San Vincente, Bolivia in November 1908 or at Montevideo, Uruguay in 1912. Flat- Nose Curry, News Carver, and Harvey Logan were already dead. Curry was shot to death by a sheriff in 1900; Carver was killed by lawmen in 1901. To escape capture in 1904 after he had escaped from jail, Logan shot himself. Not mentioned in the movie was William Ellsworth "Elzy" Lay, last of the Wild Bunch. Although he was captured, tried, and sent to prison in 1899, he did a very good deed in jail. So he was pardoned by New Mexico Governor Otero in 1906. Thereafter Lay went straight for the rest of his life; he died in 1934.
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Deserves its reputation as a classic
Bob Pr.22 August 2012
After the special posse of experts is finally formed and is pursuing them too well, Butch Cassidy (Paul Newman) and the Sundance Kid (Robert Redford) move their bank robbing business to South America accompanied by the Kid's girlfriend, Etta (Katharine Ross).

This was the breakout role for Robert Redford's movie career (Redford named the "Sundance Institute" and the annual "Sundance Film Festival" that he founded in honor of this effect). While some respected critics, e.g., Roger Ebert & many others (see the 50% ratings of 'rotten' by 'top critics' reviews of this film on "Rotten Tomatoes") regard this movie as overdone or only "so-so," or "not western enough," most viewers find it still greatly entertaining and interesting.

I agree with the majority: it remains remarkably fresh and fun. There's so much clever banter throughout between the two stars, it borders on comedy (so much we become oblivious to the scores of people we see killed during the story's unfolding). Its Oscar winning screenplay very much draws on actual people and events (but please see Wikipedia's article on Butch Cassidy for how closely the movie mirrors reality). The actual lives and activities of Butch & the Sundance Kid are almost over the top--and so is this movie, too.
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Newman & Redford.
AaronCapenBanner14 September 2013
Paul Newman & Robert Redford play Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid in director George Roy Hill's take on the historical pair of western outlaws who amiably(!) rob banks and trains with their hole-in-the-wall-gang, who soon find themselves wanted men who must flee across the west, taking refuge where they can, and especially with their lady friend Etta Place(Katherine Ross) before they make that fateful trip to Bolivia...

Though Paul Newman & Robert Redford are undeniably appealing as the title characters, and the hit song, "Raindrops keep falling on my head" is wonderful, film itself is far too protracted and tedious to succeed; it just didn't hold my interest, though both "Unsolved Mysteries" & "In Search Of..." did excellent jobs focusing on Butch, and whether or not he survived that Bolivian gunfight(no word on Sundance). I'd much rather watch those accounts than this film...
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Am I the only one who wasn't as into this movie as others?
Kristine13 July 2006
I have heard a lot about Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, story and movie wise. I enjoyed The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly so much that I decided to give Western movies another shot, maybe I just didn't appreciate them more when I was young. But Butch Cassidy was pretty slow paced and doesn't even have much of a story. So why the big fuss? Robert Redford and Paul Newman had good chemistry and I did believe in their friendship and partnership sort of speak. This movie was also beautifully shot, so there are a few points where I can say I had a positive view on the movie.

But I felt like there was no story and it just wasn't really my type of movie that I could get into. I hope most of IMDb users understand, we've all been there. But if you want my opinion for those of you who don't enjoy Westerns, only stick to The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. If you want to, give Butch Cassidy a chance, but I did warn you.

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"Who are those guys?"
classicsoncall15 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
"Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" is in my all time top ten movies, and has been for quite awhile. At the same time, I can't say that it's my favorite Western, as the film almost transcends the genre to become the quintessential buddy movie. In their respective roles as Butch and The Kid, Paul Newman and Robert Redford develop a magnetism and charisma that give the movie it's tremendous appeal.

I recall the first time I saw this movie upon it's release in 1969 and how original many of the scenes and concepts played out, from Butch's put down of Harvey Logan's (Ted Cassidy) challenge at Hole in the Wall, Sundance's gunpoint strip by Etta (Katharine Ross), and the humorous exchanges between the bandits and E.L. Harriman's trusted train guard Woodcock (George Furth). Life on the run never seemed as glamorous as Butch and the Kid attempting to outwit "those guys". Even the final scene, with the Mexican troops encircling the "yanquis bandidos" location, I kept wondering how they were going to get out of this one.

The film also cleverly introduces one of the year's top hit tunes with "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head", though if you want to be critical, it wasn't raining during the segment in which it runs, which on reflection doesn't seem to make sense. But the upbeat tempo of the tune does support the light hearted action on screen and just works.

Some veteran character actors perform admirably here as well. Of particular note is Jeff Corey as Sheriff Ray who carefully orchestrates his own bondage by the boys lest he be considered in cahoots with them; and Strother Martin as the Bolivian paymaster who hires Butch and Sundance as the proverbial foxes in the hen house to guard the company payroll. The scene with the Mexican bandits was reminiscent of an earlier era's treatment in "Treasure of the Sierra Madre", though with dire consequences for the banditos this time around.

At just under two hours, the film seems to fly by, a testament to intriguing and involved story telling. Even when you know it's over for Butch and Sundance, you're hoping for one more exchange before lights out, such is the camaraderie one feels for the film's protagonists. This is a movie I return to at least once yearly for a good old dose of action and humor, and it still delivers time after time.
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Stands the test of time...
kiwifilm6 October 2002
Revisiting Butch and Sundance in 2002, 33 years after initial release, this film certainly stands the test of time... it was as funny yet poignant today as it was back then. Not all films last 33 years when so many other films of the period just look dated. This one still has legs!
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Purely fantastic from beginning to end
Gem_1426 July 2001
I may be young, but this is one of my favourite films (among others of Paul Newmans, unsurprisingly). What a movie!! It is funny, enjoyable and understandable, which is more than I can say for so many Westerns. I do not usually enjoy them, but Newman and Redford are superb actors who work brilliantly together, producing a film that deserves more recognition these days.
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A reminder of how film-making can be an art: acting, screenplay, score and filming all.
MiriamEB5 July 2000
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was, for Hollywood-skeptical me, a reminder of how film-making can be an art. It is just so beautifully crafted! Paul Newman and Robert Redford shine as the title characters - I could not take my eyes off of them on the screen. The supporting cast plays off them wonderfully, and the screenplay, full of wit and charisma, is the best I've ever seen. There are some wonderful filming sequences in this movie, used innovatively to compliment the scenes and plot. The score is memorable - not just sweeping soundtrack stuck into the frames of a western, it is really music, beautiful and creative in of itself. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is a poignant classic - they don't make 'em like this anymore.
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Western? No – but a warming and funny gentle comedy
bob the moo2 August 2002
Cassidy and Sundance are part of the Hole in the Wall gang. However the West is becoming harder for criminals and soon they find themselves the target of a posse. Wherever they go they are followed. Eventually they travel to Bolivia to escape the heat, but can they manage to go straight?

This is one of the slightest and flimsiest westerns of modern days. Even Young Guns has more cohesive plotting than this. However that's not what this is all about. For all it's lightness it is really, really good fun. To all intents and purposes it's a comedy regardless of the period it is set in. The plot does little but provide some funny chases and ample oppourtunity for the two stars to play off each other to great effect.

Ross is good but really this is only Newman and Redford's film, and they play it well. Both have a great rapport with the other and it adds to the bickering etc. Their lines are all great and the film lives and dies with them. It has slow portions and bits that don't really work too well, but as long as Newman and Redford are on screen then fun is never too far away.

Overall this is not a great western, but as a classic buddy comedy it's bang on. Funny and warming every time you watch it this is a great film.
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"Do you know what you are doing?" "Theoretically."
pastfind26 February 2002
After viewing this movie for the first time, and while simultaneously reading about Robert Leroy Parker, I felt it appropriate to give my two cents. The character development and chemistry between Redford and Newman is excellent. As is the case with their performance in The Sting, the two really excel together as a team. The shootout in the end best demonstrates the comradery and the brotherhood that the two share. I can't figure out why the soundtrack from this movie won so many awards. It wasn't terrible but it sure wasn't spectacular. Oh well, such is politics. The balance of humor and drama was superb, transitioning between each other like clockwork. The sets and the actual geography of the sets was incredible. I think I spent more time marveling at the mountains and the rock formations then the characters at times. If you are looking for a fun film to watch, or a unique western, I suggest this film whole-heartedly.
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Gags and one-liners... but no atmosphere
spazmodeus28 May 2003
This movie foreshadows well the modern Hollywood blockbuster. It gets all its mileage out of individual gags that are sort of strung end-to-end, and there you have the movie. Everything is a bit light and fluffy, and the whole production seems to say "Look! Heartthrob actors, dressed up like cowboys, doing cowboy stuff!" It certainly has entertaining portions (along the lines of Hollywood's usual "something for everyone"), but I wouldn't call it a good movie. Best watched after Sergio Leone's masterpieces have faded from memory. I didn't take that advice and found myself thinking "this is so weak!"
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