Review: Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid (1969)


A comedy Western that plays more like a buddy cop film than a Western!

Written By: William Goldman
Directed By: George Roy Hill

I’m going to keep this review relatively short, because it is a short review type of film. What works really works, but there isn’t anywhere near the intricacies or depth to the film as most people proclaim. There certainly are elements that are intricate and slick, but for the most part Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid is a fun, if rather frivolous and shallow buddy film.

This is a funny movie and there is loads of chemistry between Paul Newman and Robert Redford. It’s not the best work of either man because they honestly don’t have a lot to work with. But, what they do is make the most of what they are given and that creates a situation with two slick and funny characters in an otherwise bland and uninteresting world. The scenery is well used in some scenes, especially the scenes during the posse chase and the final shootout. But in other moments it seems so small and sparse, almost as if they wanted it to not look like a Western and I can’t understand that choice.

On the negative side, at least what I haven’t already touched upon, there wasn’t much to Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid. Yes, it was funny, yes Butch and Sundance were slick, cool and fun to watch, but that’s about it. There honestly isn’t much to rag on Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid for, but it really is a very shallow movie that is one note and once you get past that note you realize how cursory the film actually is.

In short, Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid is a lot of fun, but don’t expect more than that. Enjoy the interactions between Redford and Newman. Revel in their slickness and how cool they are, and the nice final touch with their I love you moment without actually saying the words before they meet the coalition of forces arrayed against them. However, outside of slickness and fun you won’t get much else, but if you enjoy Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid for what it is you should have a good time with it.




2 responses to “Review: Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid (1969)

  1. You need to take a class in film studies!!!!!!

  2. Bill Thompson

    I’ve already taken a couple, combined with a lifetime of film watching, I’m good to go. So is Roger Ebert for that matter, someone else who didn’t like Butch and Sundance, or wait, do you live in a world where films aren’t an interpretive art at all and instead every film that comes off the assembly line can only be viewed one way? All these years I’ve been mistaken in thinking that every person alive views films differently, when in fact every movie is either great or not based on someone taking a class in film studies!

    All frivolity aside, bring something to the table next time. I don’t care when people disagree with me, I happen to like it, variety is the spice of life after all. But, back your opinion up with actual content, not a tired “film studies” argument. I know very intelligent people who think Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a terrible film, while other equally intelligent people think it’s a masterpiece. Films bring about a great range in feelings from viewer to viewer, that is why interpretive art is so great.

    Now, if by chance your comment was directed at different film conventions put forth in Butch and Sundance, that is neither here nor there. Film convention, innovation and ideas can’t exist by themselves, they have to be tethered to a film that can hold up to scrutiny beyond the esoteric. The Jazz Singer may have been the first talkie, but that doesn’t make it a film that anyone needs to see. Or to go the more idea driven route, Jules Et Jim has all kinds of new film ideas and ways of thinking, but that doesn’t stop it from being a soulless monstrosity not worth the time of day. Yet, there are people who think differently, once again showing the individuality of film and the power of the medium.

    In short, bring some content next time, you can differ from my views all you want, I’m not some sort of dictator that will quash out those who think differently. All I ask is that you actually bring some meat to the table, and not a tired line like the one you tired here.

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