Our Summer of ’69 series, which celebrates a revolutionary time in American cinema, continues with the beloved classic, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Far ahead of its time, the film was initially panned by critics due to its unusual pacing set to an anachronistic soundtrack and how it dismantled the mythos of the outlaw by showing a pair of men alternating between panicked and silly. Despite the lukewarm critical reception, the film went on to win four Academy Awards, including for William Goldman’s screenplay and Hal David and Burt Bacharach’s original song, “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head.”
Paul Newman and Robert Redford are electrifying together as Butch and Sundance, respectively—a pair of bandits making their living by holding up trains and blowing up safes. However, the landscape begins to shift under their feet when the railroad sends an unstoppable posse after the pair, forcing them to flee to the greener pastures of Bolivia. When they arrive, they wreak havoc on the quiet country, becoming the most notorious bandits of the area. The perfect pairing of Redford and Newman is the motor that drives Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, lighting up the screen with an unmistakable chemistry until the very last frame.
“Made like Cassidy’s memorable fight with a fellow gang member: It gave true, old-fashioned Westerns a swift kick to the groin.” — Phil Villareal, Arizona Daily Star
“One could [say] that Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid set the benchmark for buddy action-comedies to come, but there would never be another film that comes even close to exuding the same kind of charm Newman and Redford deliver in their roles.” — Jason Zingale, Bullz-Eye.com
“Very funny in a strictly contemporary way—the last exuberant word on movies about the men of the mythic American West who have outlived their day.” — Vincent Canby, New York Times