Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
Starring: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross, Strother Martin, Henry Jones
Directed by: George Roy Hill, Produced by: John Foreman
This revisionist Western comedy, which served as the prototype of the buddy film for years to come, stars Paul Newman and Robert Redford as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, respectively. At the turn of the 20th century, the twosome have become notorious for the skill with which they rob banks and trains--with the help of the Hole in the Wall gang. But their last few jobs have been botched, and after Butch and Sundance return from a brief vacation, Harvey Logan (Ted Cassidy) challenges Butch's leadership.
After comically snuffing the rebellion, Butch agrees with one of the gang on risking the double robbery of a Union Pacific payroll train. Despite blowing up the entire baggage car, they survive the first stage of the robbery and spend some down time with Sundance's girl, schoolteacher Etta Place (Katharine Ross). But after hitting the train on its return trip, Butch and Sundance are relentlessly pursued by a posse of world-class lawmen planted on board by the wily railroad president. Realizing that their days are numbered, the outlaws head for Bolivia.
The film, which launched the career of Redford and boosted director George Roy Hill's to another level, owes its ineffable charm to the terrific chemistry between its two stars, to William Goldman's warm and witty screenplay, and to a director capable of walking a tightrope between the comic and the elegiac.
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