Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

As much a buddy movie as a western, William Goldman’s script keeps Paul Newman and Robert Redford well supplied with wry lines and double takes.

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“Immensely enjoyable to watch – glowingly photographed, wittily scripted, and with superbly confident performances from Paul Newman and Robert Redford.”
David Wilson, Monthly Film Bulletin, April 1970

“Most of what follows is true,” announces the opening caption, setting the playful tone for this tale of bank-robbing outlaws who find the Old West getting too hot for them, before heading for new pastures in Bolivia.

As that caption suggests, writer William Goldman and director George Roy Hill are less interested in authentic historical atmosphere – or a conclusive answer to the mystery of the real Butch and Sundance’s ultimate fate – than in having fun, with Paul Newman and Robert Redford making a wonderfully relaxed double act.

The laidback 1969 vibe is further enhanced by the hints of ménage à trois with moll Etta Place (Katharine Ross) and music by Burt Bacharach, including the hit song ‘Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head’.

The same year’s The Wild Bunch (1969) offered a very different depiction of the dying days of the West. A sequel, Butch and Sundance: The Early Years (1979), starred the young Tom Berenger as Butch.

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