The early partnership of outlaws Robert LeRoy Parker and Harry Alonzo Longabaugh, better known as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, in the late nineteenth century American frontier is told. Just paroled from a Wyoming prison on a vow to the state's Governor, affable and otherwise honorable Butch returns to his old stomping grounds of Brown's Hole, Utah, where he meets Longabaugh in a casino shootout gone wrong, the event initiated by Longabaugh. Despite baby-faced and more volatile Longabaugh not looking for a professional union, Butch, impressed by his shooting prowess and eventually renaming him the Sundance Kid, is able to convince him into that partnership for what each can do for the other, Butch to be the brains, and Sundance to be the shooting brawn. Despite wanting some notoriety both as an outlaw but also as an all 'round good guy who deserves some respect, Butch is trying to ween himself off criminal activities largely for the sake of his wife Mary and their two young sons...Written by
Cursed By The Original, Better Than It Is Given A Chance To Be.
Whenever I see anyone comment upon this little film, they immediately begin by blasting it because it cannot compare with the classic; "Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid."
I personally do not see that this prequel film was trying to meet or exceed 'The Original' but rather, provide a fun addition and a playful homage to it.
Stars Tom Berenger and William Katt do a credible job as young, fumbling and bumbling outlaws trying to hit their style and stride without getting killed in the process. No, they are not Paul Newman and Robert Redford, but they are not playing Butch and Sundance as seasoned vets at THE END of their criminal careers, either. Watching this, I have no trouble accepting it as a humorous glimpse at the formative beginning and early misadventures of The Legends; Butch and Sundance.
Other aspects in this film's favor are grand location scenery and some top notch supporting cast members, including the ever-enjoyable Jeff Corey reprising his role from the classic as Sheriff Ray Bledsoe (try not to notice that Sheriff Bledsoe is mysteriously older in this "Early Days" film ....But then, aren't we all?)
No, it is not a perfect movie--but then, it can be argued that The Original has it's flaws as well. (Director George Roy Hill expressed his own regrets on a few aspects of his creation that he was never completely happy with)
Bottom Line: If you can accept NOTHING but Redford & Newman, then stay away from this movie, because they are not in it ...
If however, you can just relax and enjoy the ride, then this is a fun little film.
My advice: Give "Butch And Sundance, The Early Days" a shot-- If it don't thrill you, at least it won't kill you !
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