Customer Reviews


95 Reviews
5 star:
 (70)
4 star:
 (12)
3 star:
 (5)
2 star:
 (6)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Legends.
How do you ensure somebody's legacy as a hero? In the good old days, you wrote a book. Nowadays, you make a movie -- and if you're lucky and it's really, really successful, you can retrospectively even make legends out of dangerous criminals. Not that that always works, of course. But with two great actors with instant chemistry (Paul Newman and Robert Redford), a script...
Published on Sept. 7 2006 by Themis-Athena

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars A Classic That Is Soon To Fade Along with Its Soundtrack
The film written by William Goldman and directed by George Roy Hill has a solid cast with Paul Newman playing Butch Cassidy and Robert Redford as the Sundance Kid. Unfortunately, some of the scenes and soundtrack take away from the fading West of the early 1900s and bring us back to the takcy tastes of the 1970s.
Both Redford and Newman play solid roles as good old...
Published on Aug. 20 2003


‹ Previous | 1 210 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Legends., Sept. 7 2006
By 
Themis-Athena (from somewhere between California and Germany) - See all my reviews
How do you ensure somebody's legacy as a hero? In the good old days, you wrote a book. Nowadays, you make a movie -- and if you're lucky and it's really, really successful, you can retrospectively even make legends out of dangerous criminals. Not that that always works, of course. But with two great actors with instant chemistry (Paul Newman and Robert Redford), a script (by William Goldman) bursting with one-liners making the audience bowl over laughing every other minute, without once derailing into slapstick, a director's (George Roy Hill's) ingenious use of the occasion to turn a whole genre on its head, and some of the world's most beautiful locations, filmed by an exceptional cinematographer (Conrad Hall) ... you just may pull it off. Case in point: "Butch and Sundance."

While Butch Cassidy (Robert LeRoy Parker) was known as the Old West's Robin Hood for his charm, masterly planning, avoidance of bloodshed -- he really did claim he'd never shot anyone -- and his stance for settlers' rights vis-a-vis the wealthy cattle barons, Sundance (Henry Longbaugh) had the reputation of a loner; a fast draw repeatedly in and out of prison before even turning twenty-one. After several of their Wild Bunch/Hole in the Wall Gang associates had seen the short end of the stick in various encounters with the law, Butch and Sundance determined things were getting too hot in the West and, unlike the outlaws who not much earlier had stood it out until the end (Billy the Kid, the James Gang and the O.K. Corral gunfighters), decided to head for South America. With a woman named Etta Place, possibly a teacher as portrayed here or, perhaps more likely, a prostitute, they first spent several years farming in Argentina - both had done cattle work before turning to robbery, although in the form of rustling (stealing unbranded cattle) -- but eventually reverted to their more profitable, preferred occupation. Most sources believe they died in a 1909 shootout with the Bolivian military in a town named San Vicente; others, however, claim either or both escaped alive, returned to the States under assumed names and died there (Sundance in Casper, WY in 1957 and Cassidy, according to his sister, in Spokane, WA, in 1937).

While their decision to leave the West instead of duking it out with the law and the mystery surrounding their deaths would already have made for a great movie, director Hill cleverly used the material for a 180-degree-turn on the Western genre. The opening credits roll next to sepia-tinged silent shots depicting a Hole in the Wall Gang train robbery, followed by the bold claim that "most of what follows is true" -- which in itself couldn't be further from the truth. What does follow is a wild ride from the Outlaw Trail to Bolivia ... during which our heroes aren't getting rid of their pursuers, no Western music with guitars and harmonicas accompanies them but Burt Bacharach's multiple-award-winning, deliberately anachronistic, upbeat score (plus "Raindrops Are Falling on My Head" during the most romantic scene -- raindrops???), a knife fight is settled by a kick in the groin, and a marshal trying to assemble a posse first meets with a lackluster population, neither willing to bring their own horses and guns nor clamoring to be supplied with such by him, and in short order sees his meeting usurped by a bicycle salesman. Add to that Oscar-winning cinematography, repeatedly using black-and-white lighting techniques even after the film's switch to color (e.g. in Sundance's first visit with Etta), reverse lighting to make daytime shots look like nighttime (during several scenes of the pursuit) and sepia-tinted shots for period feeling (besides the opening, also to sum up the trio's stay in New York), a Bolivian bank robbery with a crib sheet containing "specialized vocabulary" that Butch, contrary to initial claims, doesn't know in Spanish, and an immortalizing freeze-frame ending -- and you have one heck of an entertaining movie, shot in some of the West's most spectacular settings and in Mexico (as Bolivia's stand-in).

"Butch and Sundance" turned Redford into a megastar -- Hill lobbied hard for the then-perceived "playboy"'s casting, and his instincts proved so dead-on that Newman's entourage became worried the movie's expected primary star would be sidelined (a feeling never shared by Newman himself, though, who has been friends with Redford ever since). In a twist worthy of Goldman's Oscar-winning screenplay, fearsome loner Sundance became one of Redford's most popular roles, and his independent film festival's namesake. The movie renewed popular interest in the Outlaw Trail, which Redford himself traveled later, too (chronicled in a fascinating, alas out-of-print book). Its script is littered with memorable one-liners; from both heroes' "Who *are* those guys??" to Butch's comments on the small price to pay for beauty, on Sundance's gun-prowess ("like I've been telling you -- over the hill"), on vision, bifocals and Bolivia, on Sundance's asking Etta (Katherine Ross) to accompany them, although if she'll ever "whine or make a nuisance," he'll be "dumping her flat" ("Don't sugarcoat it like that, Kid ... tell her straight!") and his downplaying the final shootout because their archenemy LaForce isn't there; Sundance's "You just keep thinking, Butch," his comments on the secret of his gambling success (prayer), on not being picky about women (followed by a litany of required attributes), on the excessive use of dynamite, and his one weakness ("I can't swim!!"); and finally Strother Martin/mine-owner Percy Garris's deadpan delivery of the Shanghai Rooster song, of "Morons ... I've got morons on my team" and his assertion not to be crazy but merely colorful. The famous freeze-frame ending has repeatedly been cited, both cinematographically (e.g. "Thelma and Louise") and in dialogue (e.g. 1998's "Negotiator"). And although initially almost uniformly panned by critics, the movie won quadruple Oscars and multiple other awards. In true Hollywood fashion, it has made two fearsome outlaws legends forever ... and in the process, also won legendary status itself.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is not a western, April 29 2004
By 
Robert E Wilson "robewil" (West Covina, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Perhaps the most common misconception about this film is that it is a western. It's not and those who criticize its "flower power" music or non-western sentiments don't understand what this film is really trying to say.
It's actually, more of an anti-western. First of all, it takes place at the turn of the twentieth century. The old west is dead but our two anti-heroes (Butch and Sundance) haven't figured this out. The movie is full of symbolism indicating the changing times (the bicycle, for example). Butch even muses about adapting to the new era when he briefly talks about the two of them enlisting in the army, actually getting real jobs, and buying a ranch. But he always goes back to his old way of thinking in the end. This is shown symbolically when Butch tosses the bicycle aside. Because of this, he is doomed to die like the old west. Butch and Sundance are in pursuit of the old west at the same time the new era is chasing them (in the form of faceless lawmen always at a distance). They finally end up in Bolivia, a backwards land that seems to suit them. But even there, their fate eventually catches up with them.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent "plus book" Edition, Nov. 6 2011
Achat vérifié(Quest-ce que cest?)
If you don't own this movie in high-def yet, this is the version you want. I've stated in other reviews what a big fan I am of the "plus book" iterations of movies and how the quality differs in the text. THIS MOVIE PLUS BOOK IS WORTH EVERY PENNY.
I appreciate how people review the actual movie and their personal take on it. I read them quite often, but I will forgo this and just say the transfer from my DVD copy a few years back to blu-ray is astounding. Don't get me wrong, this is NOT one of those "it looks like they filmed this last week" movies. It does look dated, so I can only imagine how crappy the source material was and the job that they undertook to clean it up to where it is now. The sound is only a slight improvement from the DVD material, here now in DTS HD Master, but what do you really expect from a 40 year old movie? The reading material in front of the disc is what makes these "plus book" editions worth buying, and this one does not disappoint for bits of trivia, an essay on the movie itself, and then the standard micro-biographies of the major players. This a worthwhile purchase for anyone that doesn't own the movie yet, and worth a second look if you're a fan looking to upgrade your edition for collector purposes.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Newman and Redford were easy to like, Jan. 24 2011
By 
Steven Aldersley (Oshawa, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Ce commentaire est de: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Directed by George Roy Hill
Starring Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross
110 minutes

***Spoilers within***

Video:
Video codec: MPEG-2
Video resolution: 1080p
Original aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
English: Dolby Digital Mono
French: Dolby Digital Mono
Spanish: Dolby Digital Mono

Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish, Cantonese, Korean

I don't like westerns, but this isn't a traditional western.

The film has a stylized look featuring photographs and a sepia tinge in many of the scenes to remind us that we are looking at an old story. I didn't care for it, but I understand why the choice was made.

I remember seeing the film in the early 70s on TV. Our newspaper's film critic had a ratings system consisting of excellent, very good, good, average and poor. He invented a new rating just for this movie: marvelous. I have no idea why I remember that.

The movie won four Oscars:

Cinematography - Conrad L. Hall (Cool Hand Luke, American Beauty, Road to Perdition, Marathon Man)
This was deserved. Some of the chase scenes were spectacular.

Original Song - Burt Bacharach/Hal David
Raindrops is certainly memorable, but I don't think it fit the feel of the movie and shouldn't have been included.

Score - Burt Bacharach
Good overall, but could have done without raindrops and some of the music used during the montage scenes.

Screenplay - William Goldman (Heat, Princess Bride, Marathon Man, Absolute Power, Misery)
Thoroughly deserved. The dialogue carried the movie and Goldman knew when to shut up.

I loved the movie as a child. I'm not quite sure why. I remember that my grandparents loved it too. Newman and Redford work well together and there's a lot of clever humour.

Watching it as an adult who has only started to analyze films in the past three years, I noticed a few more things:

It avoids most of the cliches that westerns rely on. For instance, Sundance was accused of cheating while playing cards. In every other western, there would have been a shootout with the accuser dying. In this, it's used as a plot point to show us how good Sundance is and there isn't a need for anyone to be shot.

The chase scene is my favorite part of the movie. In particular, I like how sparse the dialogue is during this extended sequence. We see everything unfold and hear the horses galloping, but dialogue is only present when it has to be. It reminds me of No Country For Old Men somewhat. The sounds are a part of the story and it works well. The cinematography during this sequence is exceptional.

It's surprising how little we see of the Hole in the Wall gang. We meet them and see two robberies, but that's all. It shows that Butch survived more on his wits than any ability to fight. When he's challenged, he cheats.

The scene with the dynamite leads to probably the funniest line in the film.

The story relies on the chemistry between Newman and Redford. We like them and root for them even though they are technically the villains. Redford in particular says a huge amount without actually opening his mouth. His expressions clearly convey what he's thinking. The friendship between the two is obvious in everything they do and say while facing their trackers. Katharine Ross also has an important role. When she's flirting with Butch, we learn more about the depth of his friendship with Sundance.

The whole tracking scene is a great idea with an collection of the best lawmen available at the time. They clearly demonstrate their expertise by killing members of the Hole in the Wall gang without missing their intended target. The movie then avoids the cliche of them later missing when facing Butch and Sundance. We don't see a shootout with our heroes winning. They are up against superior odds and are lucky to get away. That was a good choice.

The trip to Bolivia was quite well done too and their subsequent crime spree. I like the attention to detail. The language was a barrier and was dealt with properly. In the final scene, we are shown a real problem when Butch and Sundance run out of ammunition. Again they face overwhelming odds. On first viewing, I expected them to escape. But the choice to show what happens in the face of overwhelming odds was the correct one.

The final shot was a good way to end the story and makes me think of The 400 Blows as it ends with a still.

I still don't like westerns in general, but I have always liked this movie. It's carried by the charisma of two wonderful actors of the time and brings back a lot of good memories for me.

The Blu-ray presentation is weak. The sepia shots look terrible and it looks like a DVD for most of the 110 minutes. The main exception is the final scene which was shot in sunlight and has better detail. A film of this quality deserves better treatment. That said, I would still buy the BD and own the best possible version of the film.

The Sundance Festival was named after Robert Redford's character and he was the inaugural chairman with Katharine Ross also on the first jury in 1978.

Overall 4.5/5
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Legends., Nov. 2 2008
By 
Themis-Athena (from somewhere between California and Germany) - See all my reviews
How do you ensure somebody's legacy as a hero? In the good old days, you wrote a book. Nowadays, you make a movie - and if you're lucky and it's really, really successful, you can retrospectively even make legends out of dangerous criminals. Not that that always works, of course. But with two great actors with instant chemistry (Paul Newman and Robert Redford), a script (by William Goldman) bursting with one-liners making the audience bowl over laughing every other minute, without once derailing into slapstick, a director's (George Roy Hill's) ingenious use of the occasion to turn a whole genre on its head, and some of the world's most beautiful locations, filmed by an exceptional cinematographer (Conrad Hall) ... you just may pull it off. Case in point: "Butch and Sundance."

While Butch Cassidy (Robert LeRoy Parker) was known as the Old West's Robin Hood for his charm, masterly planning, avoidance of bloodshed - he really did claim he'd never shot anyone - and his stance for settlers' rights vis-a-vis the wealthy cattle barons, Sundance (Henry Longbaugh) had the reputation of a loner; a fast draw repeatedly in and out of prison before even turning twenty-one. After several of their Wild Bunch/Hole in the Wall Gang associates had seen the short end of the stick in various encounters with the law, Butch and Sundance determined things were getting too hot in the West and, unlike the outlaws who not much earlier had stood it out until the end (Billy the Kid, the James Gang and the O.K. Corral gunfighters), decided to head for South America. With a woman named Etta Place, possibly a teacher as portrayed here or, perhaps more likely, a prostitute, they first spent several years farming in Argentina - both had done cattle work before turning to robbery, although in the form of rustling (stealing unbranded cattle) - but eventually reverted to their more profitable, preferred occupation. Most sources believe they died in a 1909 shootout with the Bolivian military in a town named San Vicente; others, however, claim either or both escaped alive, returned to the States under assumed names and died there (Sundance in Casper, WY in 1957 and Cassidy, according to his sister, in Spokane, WA, in 1937).

While their decision to leave the West instead of duking it out with the law and the mystery surrounding their deaths would already have made for a great movie, director Hill cleverly used the material for a 180-degree-turn on the Western genre. The opening credits roll next to sepia-tinged silent shots depicting a Hole in the Wall Gang train robbery, followed by the bold claim that "most of what follows is true" - which in itself couldn't be further from the truth. What does follow is a wild ride from the Outlaw Trail to Bolivia ... during which our heroes aren't getting rid of their pursuers, no Western music with guitars and harmonicas accompanies them but Burt Bacharach's multiple-award-winning, deliberately anachronistic, upbeat score (plus "Raindrops Are Falling on My Head" during the most romantic scene - raindrops???), a knife fight is settled by a kick in the groin, and a marshal trying to assemble a posse first meets with a lackluster population, neither willing to bring their own horses and guns nor clamoring to be supplied with such by him, and in short order sees his meeting usurped by a bicycle salesman. Add to that Oscar-winning cinematography, repeatedly using black-and-white lighting techniques even after the film's switch to color (e.g. in Sundance's first visit with Etta), reverse lighting to make daytime shots look like nighttime (during several scenes of the pursuit) and sepia-tinted shots for period feeling (besides the opening, also to sum up the trio's stay in New York), a Bolivian bank robbery with a crib sheet containing "specialized vocabulary" that Butch, contrary to initial claims, doesn't know in Spanish, and an immortalizing freeze-frame ending - and you have one heck of an entertaining movie, shot in some of the West's most spectacular settings and in Mexico (as Bolivia's stand-in).

"Butch and Sundance" turned Redford into a megastar - Hill lobbied hard for the then-perceived "playboy"'s casting, and his instincts proved so dead-on that Newman's entourage became worried the movie's expected primary star would be sidelined (a feeling never shared by Newman himself, though, who has been friends with Redford ever since). In a twist worthy of Goldman's Oscar-winning screenplay, fearsome loner Sundance became one of Redford's most popular roles, and his independent film festival's namesake. The movie renewed popular interest in the Outlaw Trail, which Redford himself traveled later, too (chronicled in a fascinating, alas out-of-print book). Its script is littered with memorable one-liners; from both heroes' "Who *are* those guys??" to Butch's comments on the small price to pay for beauty, on Sundance's gun-prowess ("like I've been telling you - over the hill"), on vision, bifocals and Bolivia, on Sundance's asking Etta (Katherine Ross) to accompany them, although if she'll ever "whine or make a nuisance," he'll be "dumping her flat" ("Don't sugarcoat it like that, Kid ... tell her straight!") and his downplaying the final shootout because their archenemy LaForce isn't there; Sundance's "You just keep thinking, Butch," his comments on the secret of his gambling success (prayer), on not being picky about women (followed by a litany of required attributes), on the excessive use of dynamite, and his one weakness ("I can't swim!!"); and finally Strother Martin/mine-owner Percy Garris's deadpan delivery of the Shanghai Rooster song, of "Morons ... I've got morons on my team" and his assertion not to be crazy but merely colorful. The famous freeze-frame ending has repeatedly been cited, both cinematographically (e.g. "Thelma and Louise") and in dialogue (e.g. 1998's "Negotiator"). And although initially almost uniformly panned by critics, the movie won quadruple Oscars and multiple other awards. In true Hollywood fashion, it has made two fearsome outlaws legends forever ... and in the process, also won legendary status itself.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Legends., Nov. 2 2008
By 
Themis-Athena (from somewhere between California and Germany) - See all my reviews
How do you ensure somebody's legacy as a hero? In the good old days, you wrote a book. Nowadays, you make a movie - and if you're lucky and it's really, really successful, you can retrospectively even make legends out of dangerous criminals. Not that that always works, of course. But with two great actors with instant chemistry (Paul Newman and Robert Redford), a script (by William Goldman) bursting with one-liners making the audience bowl over laughing every other minute, without once derailing into slapstick, a director's (George Roy Hill's) ingenious use of the occasion to turn a whole genre on its head, and some of the world's most beautiful locations, filmed by an exceptional cinematographer (Conrad Hall) ... you just may pull it off. Case in point: "Butch and Sundance."

While Butch Cassidy (Robert LeRoy Parker) was known as the Old West's Robin Hood for his charm, masterly planning, avoidance of bloodshed - he really did claim he'd never shot anyone - and his stance for settlers' rights vis-a-vis the wealthy cattle barons, Sundance (Henry Longbaugh) had the reputation of a loner; a fast draw repeatedly in and out of prison before even turning twenty-one. After several of their Wild Bunch/Hole in the Wall Gang associates had seen the short end of the stick in various encounters with the law, Butch and Sundance determined things were getting too hot in the West and, unlike the outlaws who not much earlier had stood it out until the end (Billy the Kid, the James Gang and the O.K. Corral gunfighters), decided to head for South America. With a woman named Etta Place, possibly a teacher as portrayed here or, perhaps more likely, a prostitute, they first spent several years farming in Argentina - both had done cattle work before turning to robbery, although in the form of rustling (stealing unbranded cattle) - but eventually reverted to their more profitable, preferred occupation. Most sources believe they died in a 1909 shootout with the Bolivian military in a town named San Vicente; others, however, claim either or both escaped alive, returned to the States under assumed names and died there (Sundance in Casper, WY in 1957 and Cassidy, according to his sister, in Spokane, WA, in 1937).

While their decision to leave the West instead of duking it out with the law and the mystery surrounding their deaths would already have made for a great movie, director Hill cleverly used the material for a 180-degree-turn on the Western genre. The opening credits roll next to sepia-tinged silent shots depicting a Hole in the Wall Gang train robbery, followed by the bold claim that "most of what follows is true" - which in itself couldn't be further from the truth. What does follow is a wild ride from the Outlaw Trail to Bolivia ... during which our heroes aren't getting rid of their pursuers, no Western music with guitars and harmonicas accompanies them but Burt Bacharach's multiple-award-winning, deliberately anachronistic, upbeat score (plus "Raindrops Are Falling on My Head" during the most romantic scene - raindrops???), a knife fight is settled by a kick in the groin, and a marshal trying to assemble a posse first meets with a lackluster population, neither willing to bring their own horses and guns nor clamoring to be supplied with such by him, and in short order sees his meeting usurped by a bicycle salesman. Add to that Oscar-winning cinematography, repeatedly using black-and-white lighting techniques even after the film's switch to color (e.g. in Sundance's first visit with Etta), reverse lighting to make daytime shots look like nighttime (during several scenes of the pursuit) and sepia-tinted shots for period feeling (besides the opening, also to sum up the trio's stay in New York), a Bolivian bank robbery with a crib sheet containing "specialized vocabulary" that Butch, contrary to initial claims, doesn't know in Spanish, and an immortalizing freeze-frame ending - and you have one heck of an entertaining movie, shot in some of the West's most spectacular settings and in Mexico (as Bolivia's stand-in).

"Butch and Sundance" turned Redford into a megastar - Hill lobbied hard for the then-perceived "playboy"'s casting, and his instincts proved so dead-on that Newman's entourage became worried the movie's expected primary star would be sidelined (a feeling never shared by Newman himself, though, who has been friends with Redford ever since). In a twist worthy of Goldman's Oscar-winning screenplay, fearsome loner Sundance became one of Redford's most popular roles, and his independent film festival's namesake. The movie renewed popular interest in the Outlaw Trail, which Redford himself traveled later, too (chronicled in a fascinating, alas out-of-print book). Its script is littered with memorable one-liners; from both heroes' "Who *are* those guys??" to Butch's comments on the small price to pay for beauty, on Sundance's gun-prowess ("like I've been telling you - over the hill"), on vision, bifocals and Bolivia, on Sundance's asking Etta (Katherine Ross) to accompany them, although if she'll ever "whine or make a nuisance," he'll be "dumping her flat" ("Don't sugarcoat it like that, Kid ... tell her straight!") and his downplaying the final shootout because their archenemy LaForce isn't there; Sundance's "You just keep thinking, Butch," his comments on the secret of his gambling success (prayer), on not being picky about women (followed by a litany of required attributes), on the excessive use of dynamite, and his one weakness ("I can't swim!!"); and finally Strother Martin/mine-owner Percy Garris's deadpan delivery of the Shanghai Rooster song, of "Morons ... I've got morons on my team" and his assertion not to be crazy but merely colorful. The famous freeze-frame ending has repeatedly been cited, both cinematographically (e.g. "Thelma and Louise") and in dialogue (e.g. 1998's "Negotiator"). And although initially almost uniformly panned by critics, the movie won quadruple Oscars and multiple other awards. In true Hollywood fashion, it has made two fearsome outlaws legends forever ... and in the process, also won legendary status itself.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Legends., May 18 2004
By 
Themis-Athena (from somewhere between California and Germany) - See all my reviews
How do you ensure somebody's legacy as a hero? In the good old days, you wrote a book. Nowadays, you make a movie - and if you're lucky and it's really, really successful, you can retrospectively even make legends out of dangerous criminals. Not that that always works, of course. But with two great actors with instant chemistry (Paul Newman and Robert Redford), a script (by William Goldman) bursting with one-liners making the audience bowl over laughing every other minute, without once derailing into slapstick, a director's (George Roy Hill's) ingenious use of the occasion to turn a whole genre on its head, and some of the world's most beautiful locations, filmed by an exceptional cinematographer (Conrad Hall) ... you just may pull it off. Case in point: "Butch and Sundance."
While Butch Cassidy (Robert LeRoy Parker) was known as the Old West's Robin Hood for his charm, masterly planning, avoidance of bloodshed - he really did claim he'd never shot anyone - and his stance for settlers' rights vis-a-vis the wealthy cattle barons, Sundance (Henry Longbaugh) had the reputation of a loner; a fast draw repeatedly in and out of prison before even turning twenty-one. After several of their Wild Bunch/Hole in the Wall Gang associates had seen the short end of the stick in various encounters with the law, Butch and Sundance determined things were getting too hot in the West and, unlike the outlaws who not much earlier had stood it out until the end (Billy the Kid, the James Gang and the O.K. Corral gunfighters), decided to head for South America. With a woman named Etta Place, possibly a teacher as portrayed here or, perhaps more likely, a prostitute, they first spent several years farming in Argentina - both had done cattle work before turning to robbery, although in the form of rustling (stealing unbranded cattle) - but eventually reverted to their more profitable, preferred occupation. Most sources believe they died in a 1909 shootout with the Bolivian military in a town named San Vicente; others, however, claim either or both escaped alive, returned to the States under assumed names and died there (Sundance in Casper, WY in 1957 and Cassidy, according to his sister, in Spokane, WA, in 1937).
While their decision to leave the West instead of duking it out with the law and the mystery surrounding their deaths would already have made for a great movie, director Hill cleverly used the material for a 180-degree-turn on the Western genre. The opening credits roll next to sepia-tinged silent shots depicting a Hole in the Wall Gang train robbery, followed by the bold claim that "most of what follows is true" - which in itself couldn't be further from the truth. What does follow is a wild ride from the Outlaw Trail to Bolivia ... during which our heroes aren't getting rid of their pursuers, no Western music with guitars and harmonicas accompanies them but Burt Bacharach's multiple-award-winning, deliberately anachronistic, upbeat score (plus "Raindrops Are Falling on My Head" during the most romantic scene - raindrops???), a knife fight is settled by a kick in the groin, and a marshal trying to assemble a posse first meets with a lackluster population, neither willing to bring their own horses and guns nor clamoring to be supplied with such by him, and in short order sees his meeting usurped by a bicycle salesman. Add to that Oscar-winning cinematography, repeatedly using black-and-white lighting techniques even after the film's switch to color (e.g. in Sundance's first visit with Etta), reverse lighting to make daytime shots look like nighttime (during several scenes of the pursuit) and sepia-tinted shots for period feeling (besides the opening, also to sum up the trio's stay in New York), a Bolivian bank robbery with a crib sheet containing "specialized vocabulary" that Butch, contrary to initial claims, doesn't know in Spanish, and an immortalizing freeze-frame ending - and you have one heck of an entertaining movie, shot in some of the West's most spectacular settings and in Mexico (as Bolivia's stand-in).
"Butch and Sundance" turned Redford into a megastar - Hill lobbied hard for the then-perceived "playboy"'s casting, and his instincts proved so dead-on that Newman's entourage became worried the movie's expected primary star would be sidelined (a feeling never shared by Newman himself, though, who has been friends with Redford ever since). In a twist worthy of Goldman's Oscar-winning screenplay, fearsome loner Sundance became one of Redford's most popular roles, and his independent film festival's namesake. The movie renewed popular interest in the Outlaw Trail, which Redford himself traveled later, too (chronicled in a fascinating, alas out-of-print book). Its script is littered with memorable one-liners; from both heroes' "Who *are* those guys??" to Butch's comments on the small price to pay for beauty, on Sundance's gun-prowess ("like I've been telling you - over the hill"), on vision, bifocals and Bolivia, on Sundance's asking Etta (Katherine Ross) to accompany them, although if she'll ever "whine or make a nuisance," he'll be "dumping her flat" ("Don't sugarcoat it like that, Kid ... tell her straight!") and his downplaying the final shootout because their archenemy LaForce isn't there; Sundance's "You just keep thinking, Butch," his comments on the secret of his gambling success (prayer), on not being picky about women (followed by a litany of required attributes), on the excessive use of dynamite, and his one weakness ("I can't swim!!"); and finally Strother Martin/mine-owner Percy Garris's deadpan delivery of the Shanghai Rooster song, of "Morons ... I've got morons on my team" and his assertion not to be crazy but merely colorful. The famous freeze-frame ending has repeatedly been cited, both cinematographically (e.g. "Thelma and Louise") and in dialogue (e.g. 1998's "Negotiator"). And although initially almost uniformly panned by critics, the movie won quadruple Oscars and multiple other awards. In true Hollywood fashion, it has made two fearsome outlaws legends forever ... and in the process, also won legendary status itself.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars The Witty Western Classic Finally On DVD, May 9 2004
By 
Rudy Avila "Saint Seiya" (Lennox, Ca United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Released in 1969, Butch Cassidy And The Sun Dance Kid became a popular hit, a kind of classy Western parody. It has remained very popular to this day. On DVD with special features, including commentary from the director and actors, it's a great treat for fans of the film who remember seeing it back in '69. Directed by George Roy Hill (who would later direct The Sting) and written by William Goldman of The Princess Bride and Stepford Wives fame. It stars Paul Newman as Butch Cassidy, an idealistic, impetuous and daring bad boy whose ambition is to rob banks and make it big in a trail of fortune that extends to South America, specifically Bolivia. Robert Redford plays his sidekick, Sun Dance Kid, who is more realistic and level-headed. This is a Western but at the same time it seems to mock the genre. Butch's character is lively and adventuresome in a blatant way that is not present in Western heroes. The immense use of humor in the film and music that seems inappropriate to a Western makes it a humorous film. I especially laughed at the scenes in which Butch and Sun Dance had trouble translating Spanish into English to get the money they wanted from the hapless villagers. This seemed to come up a number of times and it's especially funny because the Spanish speaking villagers don't quite grasp what is going on.
The music score is a bit unusual. There is no heroic sounding themes or Western ballads. Instead we get music that was popular in 1969, such as "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" both the vocals and the instrumental versions. The jazzy, upbeat and fugue-style madrigal type of group singing in "South American Getaway" (which was used in a car commercial recently) as the heroes escape on horseback is also quite unusual. It's a great film that looks beautiful (shot on location in South America) and has great acting, a great script. Everyone loves this film. It's a movie everyone can agree on. Too bad it did'nt win any awards. It certainly deserved some type of recognition. But 1969 was a very big year and in the wake of modern cinema, Midnight Cowboy won the Best Picture Oscar instead.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars you want a great movie, you got one, Jan. 27 2004
By 
J. Mcelwaine "for the love of music" (lindenhurst, new york United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is by far the best western i have ever seen and one of the best overall films i have seen. Redford and Newman are amazing as the comedic outlaws that have left a mark in the history of westerns. Katherine Ross is delightful as the Sundances' girlfriend and a soulmate to them both.
This film consists of all things that make a good movie it has a wonderful story, strong characters to back it up, and the cast that makes it all work. I only wish movies were still made like this where acting and character strength was the foundation as opposed to special effects which take away from a story. It has all the compelling aspects of film and emotion from action to romance and it even squeezes in a significant amount of humor. A film that everyone,any age, will love.
I love the way Redford and Newman feed lines off one another, their chemistry is amazing. It was the beginning to one of the most charming and humorous hollywood duos. You finish watching the film and you find yourself qouting some of the funniest scenes with newman and redford.
It is a movie that consists of beatiful art direction, and cinematography and the costume designing was in itself superb.
i am twenty four and i love this film, it is a film that will be loved for many years to come. i would recommend it to anyone who wants to see two of the greatest actors ever and one of the best films ever.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, Funny, Heartbreaking, Lyrical, Exciting, Nov. 10 2003
By 
Timothy G. Morrison "chwelve" (Provo, UT United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
How often do you hear these words all to describe the same movie? Better yet, how often does it turn out to be true? But "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" is all that and more, one of those few wonderful movies that is able to evoke a broad range of honest emotions in its running time of a little less than two hours.
The plot concerns the various picaresque adventures of Butch and Sundance, played to perfection by Paul Newman and Robert Redford. But the plot, what there is of it, is really of secondary importance. What's more important is the film's heartfelt, funny, and heartbreaking tribute to the Old West and the relationship between two nonconformists who wanted to stay there.
William Goldman's script perfectly captures the Old West's coming of age, but it captures another changing era equally well: that of the 1960's. Many have said the film is dated, I don't believe a word of it. It is most certainly a film from its time, capturing the time period's changes, its hope for a better tomorrow, and its more than occasional paranoia. I think the use of a distinctly 1960's style is not only acceptable, it is essential. The film has many of the markings of a traditional western, both in content and in style--the first color sequence showing Butch and Sundance riding back to the Hole in the Wall Gang looks like it could have come from just about any classic western, as do many other scenes throughout the film. But added to these are touches of modern filmmaking--the use of zooming, the three musical montages, etc. The style is a visual representation of the meeting between the old and the new; The Old West becoming The West, no Old involved. For the same reason, many have condemned the Burt Bachrach score; I praise it. I think the score perfectly underlines Butch and Sundance's breath of life in a seemingly decaying world, and is another wonderful example of the marriage between the Wild West and the Tame West. The "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" sequence perfectly and brilliantly establishes the relationship between the three principles, and, even more, it sets the tone for the entire film. Butch and Sundance are waking up from a dream, a dream they prefer to reality. The bicycle sequence is just one of the picture's many brilliant and entertaining stylistic touches that helps to enhance the characters and tone rather than draw away from them. The cinematography is beautiful, from the opening scenes shot brilliantly in sepia tones to the final, heartbreaking freeze-frame with bullets riddling the soundtrack.
In addition to all this, it is fun to watch. These are two real guys we genuinely care about, who we can sympathize with and root for. They are the quintessential likeable underdogs, and words can't describe the acting by Newman and Redford. There are so few movies today that have this classic and stylish sense of fun, few movies that can mix comedy with drama and action with characterization without feeling uneven, and there are so few films currently in theaters that really ENTERTAIN. The movie is melancholy, but it is also full of the joy of life, and is one of those rare movie experiences that leaves you completely uplifted without feeling cheated. There's no emotional manipulation here, because everything rings true with the surprising but inevitable found in great art, and the characters follow their natural, but nonetheless heartbreaking, paths.
Keep thinking, indeed, Butch. It's what your best at.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 210 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid [Blu-ray]
CDN$ 14.99 CDN$ 9.98
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews