Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

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.

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast (lesbianswhowrite.com) with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (iheartlesfic.com), a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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53 Responses to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

  1. I don’t think you can compare the two. This is my problem with the Academy Awards as well. One is a lighthearted, dramedy? crama? Rom-dram? and the other is an hard case action adventure. The acting, directing and cinematography are great in both. I love them both but you have to be in the mood…

    • TBM says:

      I had a hard time with the violence in The Wild Bunch. I know it was a violent time, but for me it was too much. I do agree with you that comparing/judging movies is difficult and in most cases impossible. And now that the Academy includes 10 best pictures that issue is even more difficult.

  2. StillWalks says:

    Butch Cassidy – probably my favourite film of all time 🙂 I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen it. Shawshank Redemption is a great fil too!

    • TBM says:

      I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the film. Westerns usually aren’t my thing, but I loved this one. I’m looking forward to watching Shawshank again.

  3. fgassette says:

    Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is one of my favorite movies. Of course, it helps having Paul Newman and Robert Redford, two of Hollywoods handsome stars, at the time, playing the parts.


    • TBM says:

      They are so good in this flick. Paul Newman has always been one of my faves and Redford hardly ever disappoints. One of these days I want to go to the Sundance film festival.

  4. lazybill says:

    Wow, what a brilliantly ambitious project. Does it not count if you saw the move/read the book/visited the country before you embarked on the project? I’ve seen BC&TSK more than half a dozen times myself and remember my parents going to see it back in the day and talking about the cliff jump. It’s got the lot, hasn’t it? Suspense, humour, drama, action, theatre, great actors at the top of their game and a great Burt Bacharach song. The original ‘buddy’ movie and probably the best. ‘Who are those guys?’

    • TBM says:

      I have to watch all the films on the list in order, from 100-1. As for the books, if I’ve read them before I have to reread them to mark them off the list. However, for the countries, I am counting the ones I’ve been to before I “officially” started this blog. That’s due to time and expense. And if I do actually get too all 192 countries that are on the UN list I might add the ones not recognized by the UN. But that is years and years away and wishful thinking.

      As for this movie, it does have it all. And it doesn’t seem like it’s trying to have it all–it just works out so well. I like how effortless everything seems. And yes, “Who are those guys?!” I love the line.

  5. i liked both of these. the wild bunch is over 2 hours long, and i sometimes start feeling like i want a movie to end after a while 😉 but it has ernest borgnine in it so i forgave the length.

    • TBM says:

      I do get antsy when films are over 2 hours long–and now that seems to be the norm these days. Maybe that’s why I prefer classics: good plot, acting, and quick 🙂

  6. petit4chocolatier says:

    I saw Butch Cassidy and have never seen the Wild Bunch. I love Robert Redford movies. The Way We Were was my favorite. You are about to review one of my favorites and I cannot wait. I have seen The Shawshank Redemption about 10 times. Love it 🙂

  7. pattisj says:

    I saw that, a long time ago, but don’t remember much about it.

  8. I love the Shawshank Redemption if you can love a serious movie where justice is not served until the end

  9. I love this film, it’s got a bit of everything in it including cheesy romantic bicycle scene…and then THAT last scene, brilliant! And next The Shawshank Redemption which we watched a couple of weeks ago…another great film. You’re on a roll right now 🙂

    • TBM says:

      I do enjoy the bicycle scene. I’m loving that the films are been great lately. I’m really curious what I think once I crack the top 20.

  10. Lucid Gypsy says:

    I don’t remember the film but Redford and Newman whew!!!

  11. Lynn says:

    I LOVE this film – and no I didn’t like the Wild Bunch. Robert Redford is THE MAN in this! I mean, Paul Newman is pretty nice but RR …. bbbrrrr..
    Lynn 😀
    Shawshank Redemption – another excellent film

    • TBM says:

      So are you saying that you like Robert Redford 🙂 He’s been in two of the movies so far on my list. This and All the President’s Men.

  12. one of my all time favourites, alongside, boy movies like apocalypse now and platoon. I do like other stuff, but if pushed I’d put this as my top ten in no particular order, Apocalypse Now, Platoon, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Doors, Forest Gump, Dazed and Confused, Pulp Fiction, True Lies, Buffalo Soldiers, and Dogma. looking at it all written down like that makes me realise I like “boy movies.” especially ones about guns and war but also that they all have a true sense of self belief in standing out and being unlike anything else, they all have an individuality that makes them stand out.

    • God the above makes me sound like such a blokey the bloke, I missed off Team America World Police too, again a very unique and on the surface puerile movie that upon further reflection connects on many many levels, P.S. Shawshank Redemption is a fantastic movie but was ruined for me by having read the incredibly deep Stephen King short story first. I’m not normally a Stephen King fan but the book’s brilliant. Another close call for me on this list is The Power of One again missing because of the incredible book. Jamie Uys’s Beautiful People and subsequent God’s Must be Crazy series whilst incredibly niche to the southern African market are also worth seeking out and I believe available via amazon.

  13. Butch and Sundance! I saw it in the theater, and have loved it ever since. Every few years I watch it. My kids love it too. Newman and Redford were an amazing team.

    • TBM says:

      I wish I could have seen it on the big scene. Maybe a theater will show it again for an anniversary. I saw Vertigo last fall in the theater and it just added to the experience.

  14. Caroline says:

    That’s a lot of praise and I haven’t even seen it yet. I will have to see if I can get a copy. I like both actors and think they are certainly great together.

  15. Jo Bryant says:

    This is one of my favourites…I love the ending, which is maybe bizarre but it is perfect to me.

  16. winsomebella says:

    I have not seen that for a while but absolutely loved it when it came out. Paul and Robert had a little something to do with my ardor for it :-).

  17. Fergiemoto says:

    Newman and Redford – that was a good pairup for this flick!

  18. i love westerns – i think butch cassidy is much more entertaining but there are a lot of very good movies in the genre.

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