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500 Five-Star: Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid (1969)

November 15, 2011


There’s something extraordinarily lovable about Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  I say ‘something’; I know exactly what it is.  It’s Robert Redford and Paul Newman doing what they’re best at; being charming, lovable, and most importantly, just downright memorable in the titular roles.  Even Freddy Got Fingered would be watchable with these two involved.  Butch Cassidy would have been a fine film in its own right, but with Redford and Newman starring, it’s a masterpiece.  It might be a Western, but camerarderie and subtle comedy values are the main aims here.  Cassidy and Sundance are bad guys, they’re outlaws, but they’re portrayed more as the fun guys whose gang you long to be a part of.  There may be gunfights, and robberies, but that’s ok because it’s all done with a joke and a wink.  Even those moments which, in retrospect, seem completely ridiculous (you know what I’m talking about: a certain song about raindrops) make perfect sense at the time.  The photography is gorgeous, the screenplay clever and lighthearted, the ending simple and yet tremendously touching…it’s a classic, simple as that.



I’d wanted to see Butch Cassidy for a long time, and while it was more than the worth the wait, I’m just sad that I didn’t have it in my life so much earlier.  Funny, emotional and smart, featuring possibly the best double act in cinematic history.  Of course Empire were right.


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