When the idea for my 50 year project began to germinate I looked over the American Film Institute’s top 100 movies list. I saw the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid on it. That weekend the movie was on the telly so I watched it even though I knew I would have to watch it again for my project. Since that weekend over two years ago I’ve watched the film three or four times. As I sit here writing this review I’m trying to put my finger on why I love this film, but I can’t. The acting is superb, but one expects that when watching Paul Newman and Robert Redford. Maybe it’s a good thing that I can’t say exactly why I love this film. It’s one of those films that comes together brilliantly: the acting, writing, directing, the score, and cinematography all seem effortless. The film won four academy awards for Best Cinematography, Best Original Score for a Motion Picture, Best Music (Song), and Best Writing. It was also nominated for Best Director, Best Picture, and Best Sound.
For those who haven’t seen it, the movie is about two Wild West outlaws. Robert LeRoy Parker, a.k.a. Butch Cassidy (Paul Newman) and his partner Harry Longabaugh, a.k.a. the “Sundance Kid” (Robert Redford) are wanted men. They, including Sundance’s girlfriend, Etta (Katharine Ross), leave America and migrate to Bolivia and do their best to launch a life of crime in a new country. This isn’t as easy as it sounds considering they don’t speak Spanish. Apparently it’s not easy robbing a bank when you can’t say, “This is a robbery!” Will the outlaws survive in a new land? The film is loosely based on fact, however I don’t know much about this part of history so I’m not sure how much is accurate.
This is the second western that I’ve viewed for my project. The other one was The Wild Bunch and I wasn’t a huge fan. Both movies were released in 1969. If you haven’t seen either one of these films, I recommend Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. For those who have seen both, which do you prefer?
Up next is The Shawshank Redemption, a movie I have seen but not for many years.