Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is the likeably entertaining and amusing comedy/drama of the friendship and camaraderie shared between the two buddy leads - legendary, turn-of-the-century Western outlaws. Although often compared to other cultish outlaw films including director Arthur Penn's Bonnie and Clyde (1967) and Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch (1969), the whimsical revisionist Western film varies considerably in its tone and mood.
Historical antecedents for the two daring "Robin Hood" outlaws actually exist: "Butch Cassidy" (outlaw Robert LeRoy Parker) and "The Sundance Kid" (outlaw Harry Longbaugh) - were notorious figures who were sadly anachronistic for their turn-of-the-century times. In the early 1900s, they came toward the tail-end of a long stream of bank/train robbers and highwaymen in the 19th century. Their exploits were perfect for a film that was intended to portray outlaws who mock and defy authority and the Establishment.
Instead of the ultra-violence typical of other outlaw films, the screenplay of the good-natured Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (by William Goldman) and the direction of George Roy Hill focuses on the endearing mis-adventures of the bandits/heroes, using impudent slapstick comedy, conventional Western action, contemporary music, and humorous dialogue to characterize the past and irreverently poke fun at typical western film cliches. The film revived the career of actor Paul Newman (in most of his previous films, he had been a rebellious loner - The Hustler (1961), Hud (1963), and Cool Hand Luke (1967), and made Robert Redford a star, and it was one of the most popular (and highest-grossing) westerns ever made. Of the seven Academy Award nominations, Goldman was awarded an Oscar for his screenplay and Conrad Hall was honored for his cinematography. Two other awards went to Burt Bacharach for Best Song and Best Original Score.
Script and notes
Created in 1996, by Tim Dirks.
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