BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID (50th Anniversary Edition) (Blu-ray) and FOUR SCREENPLAYS By William Goldman

Yes, it’s been 50 years since Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid made movie history. The critics panned it, calling it “not a real Western.” But for a film that cost $7 million, the Box Office was $100 million ($700 million in 2019 dollars). I loved the film back in 1969 and I loved it when I watched it again last week. It’s a great buddy movie packed with wit and humor as two outlaws who find America too hot from their “career” of robbing trains decide to move on. Cassidy, Sundance, and Etta (Sundance’s girl friend played by Katherine Ross) travel to Bolivia to continue their reckless ways.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid won four Academy Awards: Best Cinematography; Best Original Score for a Motion Picture (not a Musical); Best Music, Song (Burt Bacharach and Hal David for “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head”); and Best Original Screenplay.

This edition includes Audio Commentaries: The first features director George Roy Hill, lyricist Hal David, associate producer Robert Crawford, and the late cinematographer Conrad Hall. The second commentary track has screenwriter William Goldman who provides some detail on how his script took true life events from history and glamorized them for the film while reshaping the Westerns that followed.

All Of The Following Is True: The Making Of ‘Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid’ (HD, 36 mins): This documentary is from 2005 and delivers a good overview of the movie’s production. Paul Newman, Robert Redford, and Katherine Ross together with director George Roy Hill, screenwriter William Goldman, and composer Burt Bacharach share insights. They discuss the whole beginning of the project, give us their views on some scenes like the ‘Raindrops …’ bicycle sequence, and speculate about the movie’s legacy.

The Wild Bunch: The Fact vs. Fiction of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (HD, 25 mins) The real Butch and Sundance are discussed by some Academics and then compared to the on-screen characters with references to many movie clips.

Deleted Scene (SD, 3 mins)

Theatrical Trailers (HD, 6 mins total) – The original movie preview and additional two trailers for the movie.

Are you a fan of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid? GRADE: A

18 thoughts on “BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID (50th Anniversary Edition) (Blu-ray) and FOUR SCREENPLAYS By William Goldman

  1. Steve Oerkfitz

    A very enjoyable movie. Although I hate it when the movie stops dead in it’s tracks for the Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head sequence. It’s a rather insipid song and not period appropriate. I would give the movie a B+.

    1. george Post author

      Steve, you share the distain for the “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” sequence with scriptwriter William Goldman. In his introductory essay to the script of BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID, Goldman says Director George Roy Hill insisted on the scene (which isn’t in the original script) and even instructed Burt Bacharack and Hal David what kind of song he wanted. You see the result.

  2. Jeff Meyerson

    Yes, I did. The “I can’t swim” scene was hilarious. Love Katharine Ross. She met her fifth husband, Sam Elliott, first on this picture (he played Card Player #2). They married 15 years later (she had her third and fourth marriages in between).

  3. Deb

    I guess fifth time was a charm for Ross because she and Elliott are still married, iirc.

    I love the movie and I especially like the sepia-toned montage scene when Butch, Sundance, and Etta are living it up before leaving for South America. Although, just like “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head,” the background music in the scene is not particularly appropriate, I like the music none-the-less. I think I read somewhere that Karen Carpenter was one of the singers, but that may be an urban legend.

    1. george Post author

      Deb, I’m working on a post about The Carpenters so I’ll investigate whether Karen Carpenter had any part in the music for BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID.

      1. george Post author

        Jeff, I’m afraid it’s an Urban Legend. I came up empty in my search for a connection between Karen Carpenter and BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID.

      2. Deb

        Another urban legend bites the dust. Perhaps it was just the Bacharach-David connection, because about a year after BCATSD was released, the Carpenters shot to fame with “Close to You,” a B-D composition.

      3. george Post author

        Deb, maybe the confusion about “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” results from The Carpenters’s “Rainy Days and Mondays” hit from 1971.

    1. george Post author

      Rick, at the time–1969–BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID broke a lot of barriers in Hollywood. But some people, including William Goldman, think the movie killed Westerns in Hollywood.

    1. george Post author

      Michael, I’ve heard this critique of BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID killing off the traditional Western in several articles. But scriptwriter William Goldman makes an even stronger argument.


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