Cleverly billed as a 'mostly true story', Butch Cassidy (Paul Newman) and the Sundance Kid (Robert Redford) are definitely two of the most charismatic outlaws from the storied history of the Wild West. They are the leaders of the Hole-in-the-Wall gang filled with bank and train robbers who make their living taking the money away from the rich banks. Butch plans all the robberies and The Kid executes them. Because they are so successful and charming their legend grows, so much so that one town forms a 'super posse' to hunt down the two. Once they realize that the super posse is on their trail Butch and the Kid decide that they have to get out of the United States. After running to keep ahead of the posse by sheer luck they end up losing them. They realize, though, that they cannot go back.
Butch, the Kid and the Kid's girlfriend, Etta (Katharine Ross – Donnie Darko, The Stepford Wives) run off to of all places, Bolivia. The old saying that you can't teach an old dog new tricks rings true with these two and they are shortly back to their ways of thieving. Their luck definitely starts to run out when they are finally cornered and outnumbered by the Bolivian army. As they are used to being in tight scrapes the two try to figure a way out of this with their lives.
What can be said about this classic cowboy film? It won 4 Oscar Awards (Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, Best Original Song, and Best Original Screenplay) and it generally considered one of the best Westerns ever made. There are numerous reasons why. The chemistry between the leads is what makes the whole film. Newman and Redford actually seem like the buddies that they portray onscreen and everything they do seems so natural that they almost seem to be doing no acting at all.
Another strong suit of the film is the script by William Goldman (Misery, All The President's Men), which is funny and occasionally touching. It is consistently good all the way through. Though director George Roy Hill (Slap Shot, The World According to Garp) does a great job what stands out most is the way the film looks and was shot, which a large part of the credit must go to cinematographer, Conrad L. Hall (American Beauty, Cool Hand Luke). The film looks beautiful! The deserts, towns and scenic landscapes of the West never looked better. Even the music by revered composer Burt Bacharach (Arthur, The First Wives Club) is perfect with "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" being my favourite cowboy song ever.
There is very little not to like about this film, which is an adventure film that provided the impetus for moviemakers to start making more 'buddy' movies and it will also make you laugh. You cannot ask for much more from a film.
-1994 documentary: The Making of Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid
-25th Anniversary Interviews.
-All of What Follows is True: The Making of Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid
-The Wild Bunch: The True Tale of Butch and Sundance
-History Through the Lens: "Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid: Outlaws Out of Time"
-"Tent" deleted scene with commentary by George Roy Hill
-Alternate credit roll