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Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

tomatometer

89

Average Rating: 8.2/10
Reviews Counted: 45
Fresh: 40 | Rotten: 5

With its iconic pairing of Paul Newman and Robert Redford, jaunty screenplay and Burt Bacharach score, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid has gone down as among the defining moments in late-'60s American cinema.

57

Average Rating: 6.7/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 3

With its iconic pairing of Paul Newman and Robert Redford, jaunty screenplay and Burt Bacharach score, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid has gone down as among the defining moments in late-'60s American cinema.

audience

93

liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 69,056

My Rating

Movie Info

Opening with a silent "movie" of Butch Cassidy's Hole in the Wall Gang, George Roy Hill's comically elegiac Western chronicles the mostly true tale of the outlaws' last months. Witty pals Butch (Paul Newman) and Sundance (Robert Redford) join the Gang in successfully robbing yet another train with their trademark non-lethal style. After the pair rests at the home of Sundance's schoolmarm girlfriend, Etta (Katharine Ross), the Gang robs the same train, but this time, the railroad boss has hired

PG,

Western, Action & Adventure, Classics

William Goldman

May 16, 2000

20th Century Fox

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All Critics (45) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (40) | Rotten (5) | DVD (36)

You have to admire the craft and assurance of the thing even as its artificiality hits you in the face.

May 27, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (6)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Every character, every scene, is marred by the film's double view, which oscillates between sympathy and farce.

October 1, 2008 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine | Comments (3)
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The John Foreman production is episodic, but George Roy Hill's direction is so satisfying in catching the full value of the Goldman screenplay that a high degree of interest is sustained.

October 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One of the funniest, if slightest, Westerns of recent years.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

William Goldman's script is constantly too cute and never gets up the nerve, by God, to admit it's a Western.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Comments (15)
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Funny and poignant tale of two famous outlaws.

January 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Fine escapist entertainment.

July 25, 2010 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

One of cinema's greatest ever advertisements for pure entertainment...

October 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Although much of its freshness has faded, this still-amusing film reinvented the Western for a new generation.

October 1, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

A cool, charming, anachronistic Western, with great chemistry between Newman and Redford, that reimagines the genre for youths of the era by turning the outlaws into mythic figures.

January 12, 2007 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Looking at the film with a totally modern set of eyes, completely detached from the hype of Newman and Redford in the late 60s, I didn't find a connection to the movie.

June 8, 2006 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures | Comments (4)
7M Pictures

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.

June 3, 2006 Full Review Source: Bullz-Eye.com
Bullz-Eye.com

iconic, American experience, a classic adventure tale, and a singular slice of late-'60s moviemaking that has never really been repeated

May 25, 2006 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

Note-perfect performances, a screenplay steeped in both nostalgia and a timely sense of insight, and anti-heroes you can't help but love: it's no surprise that the always re-watchable Butch And Sundance was once labelled the most likeable film ever made.

May 10, 2006 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

A charismatic, fun and ultimately poignant classic Western.

March 3, 2006
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

Possibly the most likable movie ever filmed.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

More of a witty buddy movie in Western clothes.

October 27, 2005 Full Review Source: FulvueDrive-in.com
FulvueDrive-in.com

overrated western box office hit

May 28, 2005 | Comments (2)
Classic Film and Television

Made like Cassidy's memorable fight with a fellow gang member: It gave true, old-fashioned Westerns a swift kick to the groin.

January 28, 2005 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

One of the most popular, deservedly, westerns of them all.

October 16, 2004
Kansas City Kansan

Audience Reviews for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Fantastic dialogue, but, wow, this movie is a direct rip-off of Arthur Penn's BONNIE AND CLYDE.
July 1, 2013
Kevin Cookman

Super Reviewer

A disappointing hippie Western that is too light for its own good and errs in tone by diluting the urgency of the story with tongue-in-cheek humor and endless landscape shots that make it painfully slow - not to mention how hard it is to care about its unidimensional characters.
November 27, 2012
blacksheepboy

Super Reviewer

It may have only big name actors, but at it's core, it's pure hollywood storytelling at it's finest. I was so completely focussed on each character, that by the time each action scene occurred, it was the last thing that was interesting on the screen. The dialogue, the acting, and the scenery are all perfect representations of a western town, and the story is so brilliantly told that it held a smile on my face for the entire duration of the film. It is beautifully shot, but not quite perfectly edited, I did feel the need to voice my opinion on some edits, but overall, this is a near perfect western that I can watch over and over again, even if it does stray away from it's known formulas for most of the film, but that is why I found it so unique. "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" is easily of my favourite films. Definitely worth it's praise!
October 17, 2012
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

For my 300th review I recently viewed the "classic' film Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid. My recollection of this film was that it was very fresh, exciting, and cutting edge filmmaking. Sadly, as is so often the case when something is a very much a product of it's time, it now seems trite, overblown and an experiment gone wrong.

Not to say that Newman and Redford don't command your attention, but there is so much that went astray in this 70's retooling of the western genre (in truth, more of a buddy film if you ask me). Starting with the music - I'm sure signing the then very hot Burt Bacharrach to write the soundtrack seemed like gold at the time, and yeah, it did produce a hit song (a hit song in a western???? Oh well, remember Rio Bravo had Ricky Nelson crooning and strumming guitar... at least that marginally fit the theme, while here, the canned popcorn sounds didn't resonate at all. Frankly it got in the way of the film, as if saying, hey, listen up, I'm Burt Bacharrach and this is my groovy sound!).

The film starts off well enough, with the sepia toned intro moving into real life while still being sepia. The color doesn't come in until the two stars are riding towards Hole In The Wall, giving the 60's viewer a wow moment of the red rock canyonlands. Of course the print I was viewing must have been an old one, for the color was pretty washed out, sad to say.

The filming itself isn't bad, with some really nice use of shading, but there were many a script decision made that went sideways. In trying to stay grounded in The Western, there were too many scenes of horses riding like hell - it made me wonder, seeing both heroes on the back of a single galloping horse - surely the poor horse couldn't keep going nearly as long as the film suggested. Further there are the requisite "shoot the bad guy and watch him fall off the roof" kind of stuff - and then the film attempted to say something more meaningful by cranking up a guy's death scream, then doing a close up of his shot up body writhing in pain. OK, nice attempt, but you can't have it both ways - fantasy and realism cannot truly coincide if you're attempting to make a worthwhile narrative.

The real topper though was in the middle of the film, which was running fairly well except for the overuse of the horse chases. For whatever reason, the director decided to get all artsy again, showing a full 5 minutes of "postcard" pictures that conveniently had the stars front and center. WTF? A minute of this "art" would have been too much, so this went on waaaaay too long.

In the end what you get with this film is a look into the time in which it was filmed. It was the beginning of an era where boundaries in storytelling were being challenged. Hooray for that, but now the film seems very rooted in those times and very dated. I'm sure it was racy at the time to suggest that there may have been some hanky panky between the Katherine Ross, the female lead and both Newman and Redford - but it was couched in such a way as to be vague and non threatening to the conservative sensibilities.

Newman and Redford hold this thing together, exhibiting an easy charm and chemistry and do the most difficult thing of all, seeming natural in a film that wasn't. I've heard that a new film focusing on the Kid's later years (assuming that he somehow survived that final shootout)is in the works - it will be interesting to see how this film will be treated.
October 25, 2011
maxthesax
paul sandberg

Super Reviewer

    1. Butch Cassidy: I don't want to sound like a sore loser, but when it's over, if I'm dead, kill him.
    2. The Sundance Kid: With pleasure.
    – Submitted by Barto S (5 months ago)
    1. Butch Cassidy: Let's you and me jump in that river.
    – Submitted by Jesse K (14 months ago)
    1. The Sundance Kid: I'll do anything you want me to but I won't watch you die.
    – Submitted by Jesse K (14 months ago)
    1. Etta Place: I won't watch you die...
    – Submitted by Victor M (18 months ago)
    1. Butch Cassidy: I havenīt shot anybody!
    – Submitted by Victor M (18 months ago)
    1. Butch Cassidy: I get sick being right all the time.
    – Submitted by Victor M (18 months ago)
View all quotes (24)

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