Thursday, April 28, 2011

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Two years after Cool Hand Luke, Paul Newman is back. And I have to admit, I am in love – it is almost a crime to be so good-looking! Anyway, getting off tracks here. So, in 1969 Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, also starring Robert Redford, was released, for our great pleasure. It is a Western film, directed by George Roy Hill. Based very loosely on the true story of Butch Cassidy, the film tells the story of outlaws Robert LeRoy Parker (Butch, Paul Newman) and Harry Longabaugh (Sundance Kid, Robert Redford). 


First things first: the film is classified as a Western, I would call it a comedy. I loved when they arrive in Bolivia and try and rob a bank, but their first attempt just does not even start as they have not realized people spoke Spanish! This is simply hilarious. And Etta (Kid’s girlfriend) giving them lessons on how to say “this is a robbery”, “put your hands in the hair” and “open the safe” is just too good! Even the ending is comic ; although it is tragic, it goes too quick to generate sadness.


The quotes are perfectly balanced between funny, engaging and revealing about the characters.


Butch Cassidy: Kid, there's something I ought to tell you. I never shot anybody before.

Sundance Kid: One hell of a time to tell me!


Woodcock: Butch, you know that if it were my money, there is nobody that I would rather have steal it than you. But, you see, I am still in the employment of E. H. Harriman of the Union Pacific Railroad!


[while being chased]

Sundance Kid: You remember the time you and me and Etta went to Denver one summer for a vacation?

Butch Cassidy: I'm glad you brought that up, Kid. That's an important topic, considering our situation.

Sundance Kid: The night we went gambling, you remember?

Butch Cassidy: We had dinner at the hotel. Etta had roast beef and I had chicken, and if I can remember what you had, I'll die a happy man.


Butch Cassidy: We're going to run out unless we can get to that mule and get some more.

Sundance Kid: I'll go.

Butch Cassidy: This is no time for bravery. I'll let ya!


While Sundance is practical, Butch is an optimist and a dreamer. Butch is the talker and the thinker, confident and charming , Sundance is cynical, tough and into the action. The first time Etta is shown is when Kid enters her room and orders her to strip: it is at first very shocking but as we gradually learn they are lovers the scene becomes funny and romantic. But the real highlight is the relationship between Butch and Sundance – even though the real ones were probably not as likeable and charming! Their only loyalty, in the end, is to each other, in life and death.

Newman and Redford make the two characters likeable, and their crimes seem petty. We end up rooting for them even though they are criminals!


Sheriff: You should have let yourself get killed a long time ago when you had the chance. See, you may be the biggest thing that ever hit this area, but you're still two-bit outlaws. I never met a soul more affable than you, Butch, or faster than the Kid, but you're still nothing but two-bit outlaws on the dodge. It's over, don't you get that? Your times is over and you're gonna die bloody, and all you can do is choose where.

 The great performance of Newman and Redford, the great music including "Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head" by Burt Bacharach, and some great humour make this film a very nice way to spend an evening. Highly recommended!


To summarize and to conclude:


Butch Cassidy: Boy, I got vision, and the rest of the world wears bifocals.

1 comment:

  1. Hey there,
    This is a nice review.
    Yes this film could eb easily considered comedy and andventure too.
    The bycicle sequeence is just film history made and it makes me happy just to watch it. Judos to director of photography.