‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’ Proves that Legends Never Die
Photo: Sunset Boulevard (Getty Images)
Every generation has movies that define them. These are the films that we come across on cable and watch until the end, over and over again. For a lot of our dads, uncles, grandpas, mentors, coaches, (basically, anyone that sported a un-ironic mustache in a Polaroid picture), that film is Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
As the 1969 film celebrates its 50-year anniversary and with the recent passing of the film’s Oscar-winning screenwriter William Goldman (All the President’s Men, Princess Bride), it’s the perfect time to look back at one of, if not the greatest western of all time. Just ask your dad about “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head.”
Although director George Roy Hill received an Oscar nomination, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is considered Goldman’s masterpiece. The GOAT of screenwriting researched it for almost a decade before writing the screenplay about a pair of forgotten Wild West outlaws Robert LeRoy Parker, known as Butch Cassidy (the late, great Paul Newman), and his partner Harry Longabaugh, known as the “Sundance Kid” (Robert Redford), who are on the run from a death squad posse after a string of train robberies. The bosom buddies escape to Bolivia, where they find a second act in their doomed life of crime while also getting tangled up in a love triangle with Etta Place (Katharine Ross).
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was a box office smash that made then B-list actor Robert Redford the Brad Pitt of his day. The film’s slick dialogue and witty banter also set the template for hundreds of buddy action comedies that would try to capture the magic between Newman and Redford. The American Film Institute ranked it as the 73rd-greatest American film on its AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies.
The six-time Oscar-nominated classic still holds up after all these years. If you haven’t seen the film or just want to revisit it, you can stream it on Amazon Prime or iTunes, or just flip through our Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid GIFs below.