Sunday, May 5, 2013

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Whenever anyone asks, "What's your favorite all time movie?", I guess I would have to respond, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), made long ago by today's standards, but still a classic to which all 'buddy movies' since made have been compared.

It starred Robert Redford as the Sundance Kid. Paul Newman as Butch Cassidy, and Katharine Ross as Etta Place, friends to both.  They played true historical figures in a true story of their lives together.

Paul Newman was cast first for the movie by George Roy Hill and Newman thought he would be the Sundance Kid, because he considered the Kid the better part.  Then, Steve McQueen was about to be cast in the movie by Hill, but before that happened McQueen became intimidated by Newman's stature as an actor, and believe it or not, Newman's good looks, and McQueen bolted from the movie.

Then, the search was on for another actor to play opposite Newman.  Newman knew of and had seen Redford play in other movies and suggested him to Hill.  Hill called Redford in and cast him in the role of the Sundance Kid and Redford accepted the role.  Newman was flabbergasted when Hill told him he had cast Redford as the Kid, because Newman thought he would play the part.  Hill told Newman he only saw him as Butch Cassidy and Newman thought about it for a while and decided the two parts were equally good and was happy to play Butch Cassidy.  So that is how we ended up with these two great actors in these rolls.  Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid became Redford's break-out role as a bonafide movie star.

 The charming bicycle scene and "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head."
I don't think there are two more handsome, talented or quality actors, or authentic men like Robert Redford and Paul Newman.  They played these characters with affection and playfulness and made the audience love them and cheer for them, even though they were bank and train robbers.  The wonderful personalities of Redford and Newman transferred to their characters and made us laugh at their silly antics and then cry at the end when they were ambushed and killed in South America.

And, the bicycle scene between Newman and Katharine Ross was charming, light and fun, and the affection these two characters had for each other came across as pure and beautiful.
Robert Redford as the Sundance Kid and Paul Newman as Butch Cassidy.
Robert Redford as the Sundance Kid.

Katharine Ross as Etta Place.

Paul Newman as Butch Cassidy.  Hard to believe he is deceased now.
Butch Cassidy and the Hole in the Wall Gang.

The Academy Award winning song "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head."

The end of Butch and Sundance as they come out guns blazing.