Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)


Paul Newman and Robert Redford star in this influential, genre-bending Western about two outlaws who hole up in Bolivia to hide from a pursuing ‘superposse.’ William Goldman’s celebrated screenplay would become the progenitor of countless buddy films for decades to come. Paul Newman has referred to the film as “a love story between two men.” What’s remarkable is that the camaraderie between the two men is absolutely effortless. You won’t find any contrived dialogue or clunky direction in a futile attempt to foster a bromance. Goldman and director George Roy Hill keep the banter short and sweet, elegant and restrained. They keep it real. It may not have redefined the Western, but Butch and Sundance did offer up a different kind of Western — one that was funny, poignant, and even musical. It’s that last quality that I have to take issue with, though. I’m all for dropping the score in dramatic scenes, but I feel the film could have used a little more underscoring. And the song, “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head,” dates the movie in the worst way possible. With Katharine Ross.

Academy Awards: Best Cinematography, Original Screenplay, Score, Song

Nominations: Best Picture, Director, Sound

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