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Blackthorn (2011)

2:27 | Trailer
In Bolivia, Butch Cassidy (now calling himself James Blackthorn) pines for one last sight of home, an adventure that aligns him with a young robber and makes the duo a target for gangs and lawmen alike.


Mateo Gil


Miguel Barros (scriptwriter)
6 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Sam Shepard ... James
Eduardo Noriega ... Ing. Eduardo Apodaca
Stephen Rea ... Mackinley
Magaly Solier ... Yana
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau ... James Joven
Pádraic Delaney ... Sundance
Dominique McElligott ... Etta
Luis Bredow Luis Bredow ... Doctor
Cristian Mercado ... General of the Bolivian Army
Daniel Aguirre Daniel Aguirre ... Iván
Martin Proctor Martin Proctor ... Caballero Inglés
María Luque María Luque ... Tabernera
Raúl Beltrán Raúl Beltrán ... Jefe Indígena
Luis Aduviri Luis Aduviri ... Lugarteniente Indígena
Claudia Coronel Claudia Coronel ... Indígena Perseguidora 1


In Bolivia, Butch Cassidy (now calling himself James Blackthorn) pines for one last sight of home, an adventure that aligns him with a young robber and makes the duo a target for gangs and lawmen alike.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Sam Shepard is Butch Cassidy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The song that Blackthorn sings when the two of them finally get a horse is the same song that Clint Eastwood sings in Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970) when he is drunk. See more »


At the very beginning of the film there is text reading "Butch Cassidy was ONE THE MOST wanted outlaws in America..." The OF that should be included in the sentence is curiously missing. See more »


[first lines]
James Blackthorn aka Butch Cassidy: Dear Ryan, I reckon you're feeling a little lonely now that your mother's gone. You're too young for something like this. I know she must have told you about me, and I for one never stopped thinking about you. Even though I've never seen you, I'd bet my best memories that I'd recognize you in the blackest night. These past years have been hard on us all. Very few of us are still around. The land were I live now is a good one. Quiet people, peaceful for the most part. But it's not ...
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Wayfaring Stranger
Arranged by David Gwyn (as David Gwynn)
Guitar by David Gwyn (as David Gwynn)
Performed by Sam Shepard
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User Reviews

What if Butch Cassidy didn't die in 1908?
5 May 2014 | by WuchakkSee all my reviews

Released in 2011, "Blackthorn" is the unofficial sequel to the 1969 Western hit "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." It took 42 years, but it was worth it.

THE PLOT: Almost 20 years after Butch Cassidy was supposedly shot-down in Bolivia he is shown alive and well, living in a ranch house in the mountains under the name James Blackthorn. He has a "nephew" (or, more likely, a son) in the USA and decides to take his stolen loot, retire there, and live happily ever after. Unfortunately for him, a young outlaw (Eduardo Noriega) puts the kibosh on his plans, but they eventually team-up, perhaps because the dude reminds him of his younger days or of his deceased best friend, the Sundance Kid.

Another reviewer pointed out that Butch Cassidy is essentially regarded as a real-life Western Robin Hood. Yes, he was an outlaw, but he stole from the rich (the banks, trains and such) and gave to… well, himself. Okay, so he wasn't exactly Robin Hood, but people give him a pass because he fought the system and won, at least until his reported death at the age of 42 in 1908. But there are theories and support for the idea that he didn't die and this movie explores this possibility.

The reason I bring up the whole Robin Hood ethic -- i.e. steal from the rich, etc. -- is that the movie illustrates that, outlaw though he may have been, even Butch Cassidy had an intrinsic moral code that he followed. Those who broke that code were not worthy of his time, respect or compassion. Period.

Another reviewer seemed to read too much into this element and interpreted the movie as a Socialist vehicle with didactic politics: The idea that being singularly rich is intrinsically evil and therefore those less fortunate are morally justified in demanding (i.e. stealing) their wealth. But I don't think the filmmakers necessarily support this view any more than the makers of the original movie did in 1969. It's basically just Butch's personal justification for his lifestyle. He's a thug who unsurprisingly made excuses for his foolish way of life and he keeps payin' the price: Everyone around him dies prematurely, he's left alone & weary, and his stolen loot seems to keep falling through his fingers, one way or another. Yeah, Karma's a real biyatch.

When my wife or I watch Westerns we always ask each other: "Was it as good as Dances With Wolves"? The inevitable answer is always, "No, but…" Of course, few Westerns are as good as "Dances With Wolves"; it's the "but" that will determine if the movie is worth seeing. In the case of "Blackthorn," this is definitely watchable for a number of reasons, including the intriguing ideas noted above. It's just a solid modern Western with many of the requisite staples that mark the genre, such as excellent landscape cinematography (in this case Bolivia, shot on location), a quality modern Western score, shoot-outs, brooding outlaws, saloons, booze, posses, mines, escapes, beautiful women, Pinkertons, Natives, cowboys, horses and locomotives. Speaking of posses, the posse-pursuit in this film is at least twice as long as the elongated posse sequence in the original movie, and probably longer.

"Blackthorn" borrows from Westerns like "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (naturally), "The Shootist" (1976), "Unforgiven" (1992) and the more modern "Seraphim Falls" (2006). The association with the first film is obvious. It's reminiscent of "The Shootist" and "Unforgiven" in that the story involves an aged and meditative outlaw who doesn't have much further to go. It brings to mind "Seraphim Falls" (and Jack Nicholson's "The Shooting" from 1966) with its long, surreal chase scenes in the desert. The modern gloss also brings to mind "Seraphim." Lastly, the basic tone is akin to "The Long Riders" (1980). What makes "Blackthorn" unique is its setting in Bolivia; and, to a lesser degree, the time period, 1927.

FINAL SAY: I suppose you could say that this is a character study and Sam Shepherd is excellent as Butch Cassidy. Like "Unforgiven," it's a brooding, elegiac Western focusing on less-than-respectable characters with flashes of Western-styled violence. It also has something interesting to say, although it's nothing enlightening or deep.

The film runs 98 minutes.


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Official Sites:

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Spain | France | Bolivia | UK


English | Spanish

Release Date:

1 July 2011 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

Blackthorn See more »

Filming Locations:

La Paz, Bolivia See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,254, 9 October 2011

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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