Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
It’s hard to believe that this movie is now 50 years old. I saw it on television last night for the first time in about 40 years. It hasn’t aged a minute.
The question at the top of this post is a line from the movie that gets spoken over and over again when six Pinkerton agents are chasing our heroes down.
I think it’s apt for this post.
The Wild Bunch
Butch Cassidy (real name Robert LeRoy Parker) was born April 13, 1866 in Beaver, Utah Territory.
The Sundance Kid (real name Harry Longabaugh) was an East-Coast (1867) born former cowboy, turned robber.
Their ‘true’ story can be found here.
Westerns have been a part of American culture for as far back as the beginnings of cinema. The wide-open spaces and spectacular vistas helped to produce colourful images, even when filmed in black-and-white.
And who the good guys and the bad guys were was always easy to spot by the colour of their clothes (white and black).
This movie turned the usual story on its head. Now our heroes were really villains (bank and train robbers). And the lawmen seemed ruthless and mean (and sometimes just plain stupid). But the camera loved Paul Newman and Robert Redford together, and we couldn’t get enough of them. Which is why they were paired again in “The Sting”.
And when they jumped off that cliff to escape the Pinkertons, the word they yelled all the way down was “Shiiiiiiiit!”
In my opinion, this was the last of the great westerns. And we shall never see a pairing like these two stars again. You may disagree, and I don’t mind, because I know I’m right.