6/28/08

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID
Paul Newman (Butch), Robert Redford (Sundance), Katherine Ross (Etta Place)

Directed by George Roy Hill (The Sting)

From IMDB: Butch and Sundance are the two leaders of the Hole in the Wall Gang. Butch is all ideas; Sundance is all action and skill. The west is becoming civilized, and when Butch and Sundance rob a train once too often, a special posse begins trailing them no matter where they run. Over rock, through towns, across rivers, the group is always just behind them. When they finally escape through sheer luck, Butch has another idea: "Let's go to Bolivia." Based on the exploits of the historical characters.

Robert Redford was so very, very pretty. Brooding, deadly, sarcastic, and aged 33--enough to make a heart go fluttery. Like whoa and like damn. I mean, he's barely recognizable as the same person today. That's just kinda creepy.

Okay, I didn't just pull this film out of the Wayback Machine to watch it some 39 years late. It's for research. But I don't want to give away too much just yet. Suffice it to say, I do wonder what happened to Etta Place when she went back to the States...

I can see how this became a classic. It's funny as all get out, with a brilliant screenplay by William Goldman of The Princess Bride fame. I laughed out loud a number of times, because of both the writing and Newman and Redford's delivery. Droll and flippant, these two were absolutely perfect. The perfect actors and the perfect chemistry. No wonder Etta seemed torn, deciding between the two. Hmmm...

It's funny though, about Etta Place. Rarely, especially in Westerns, are the actual historical people better looking than the actors who portray them. I mean, Jesse James bore little resemblance to Brad Pitt, Billy the Kid made Emilio Estevez look like a god, and Harry "Sundance Kid" Longabaugh, while not repulsive, was no hot tamale Robert Redford. But Etta Place was a serious looker, like a sadfaced version of Breakfast Club-era Ally Sheedy. Poor Katherine Ross looked a bit mannish, yet her portrayal was seriously wussy. One dimension much? There's gotta be more to this woman... Etta Place and The Sundance Kid in New YorkOh yeah, the movie. What is with the piss-all-over-it horror of "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head"? I mean really. Was that even necessary? Terrible. This scene didn't belong anywhere near the same film. So after I fast forwarded through that bit, it was great fun. Now I'm off to do more research...

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