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Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Starring: Robert Redford, Paul Newman
Director: George Roy Hill
Rated: PG
RunTime: 112 Minutes
Release Date: October 1964
Genres: Classic, Action, Western, Drama

*Also starring: Katharine Ross, Strother Martin, Henry Jones, George Furth, Cloris Leachman, Jeff Corey, Ted Cassidy, Kenneth Mars

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Review by Brian Koller
3 stars out of 4

"Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" is one of the most successful and beloved Westerns of all time. The film stars attractive and likeable Paul Newman and Robert Redford, there are many action scenes and humorous lines, and there is good cinematography.

Still, I found the film to be somewhat disappointing. It is a good movie, but the personalities of the main characters (engaging nice guys) do not match their actions (ruthless bank robbers). Many scenes rely too heavily on the dialogue interplay between Newman and Redford, which is only mildly entertaining. The film has some slow moments, such as the series of still photographs showing Redford, Newman and Katherine Ross living it up prior to visiting Bolivia. The comic relief characters, such as Woodcock (who blathers on about his loyalty to the unseen Mr. Harriman) and the Bolivian old-timer (who not only constantly spits, but keeps up a monologue about his success in doing so) are charmingly eccentric but not completely credible. Ross is never wanted by the police in Bolivia despite participating in robberies there. They are highly conspicuous, yet spend much time at restaurants, taverns, etc.

Newman and Redford are bank and train robbers in the old west at the turn of the century. The railroad hires a team of crack lawmen and trackers to hunt them down. Newman and Redford, with their mutual girlfriend Katherine Ross, flee to Bolivia, where they resume robbing banks. But they are soon hunted there, as well.

There are some spoilers in what follows.

Clues to the film's ending are obvious. A friendly sherrif tells them that their days are numbered and that they will die a bloody death. Ross says that she doesn't want to be present when they are killed. I felt that these hints, especially Ross's, were too heavy-handed.

"Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" won the Golden Globe for Best Picture, and was nominated for Best Picture by the Academy, correctly losing to "Midnight Cowboy". "Butch Cassidy" is also noted for the Burt Bacharach score.

Copyright 2001 Brian Koller

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