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Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid(1969)
The Sundance Kid is the frontier's fastest gun. His sidekick, Butch Cassidy, is always dreaming up new ways to get rich fast. If only they could blow open a baggage car without also blowing up the money-filled safe inside...Or remember that Sundance can't swim before they escape a posse by leaping off a cliff into rushing rapids. So Butch and Sundance pack their guns, don new duds, and, with Sundance's girlfriend, head down to Bolivia.
For more about Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and the Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid Blu-ray release, see Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid Blu-ray Review published by Greg Maltz on May 14, 2008 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross, Strother Martin, Henry Jones, Jeff Corey
Director: George Roy Hill
» See full cast & crew
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid Blu-ray Review
Not much can be done to polish up the video or audio quality, but Newman and Redford shine in this classic from 1969.
Reviewed by Greg Maltz, May 14, 2008
At a time when spaghetti westerns were achieving broad success, a different kind of western was produced featuring two of Hollywood's biggest stars in an attempt to capitalize on the genre's popularity. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid melds traditional wild west themes and a more fatalistic arch with winsome idealism. The result is a film both stuck in its time and transcending the '60s. But no matter how you view it, the picture and audio are beyond resuscitation. Fox's Blu-ray has an overall presentation stronger than the most recent DVD version, but most viewers will probably prefer the DVD. Perhaps this is because production in 1080p and lossless DTS-HD MA reveals too many limitations of the source material. Or perhaps Fox tried too hard to wow us with the Blu-ray by oversaturating the colors and pumping up the contrast. Regardless of the format, the combination of Paul Newman (Butch Cassidy) and Robert Redford (Sundance) proves a strong draw and the Blu-ray version is certainly not a bad way to enjoy the most wanted duo in the west.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid tells the story of two aging outlaws who have outlived their welcome in the ever-changing west. The film gets rolling as Sundance is accused of cheating in a card game and shows why he has the reputation as the fastest gunslinger. Back at the headquarters of Butch's Hole in the Wall Gang, Butch's leadership is challenged but he remains in charge by fighting dirty when backed into a corner (as much as he'd prefer to talk his way out of a fight). A much more serious problem arises after the gang robs a train guarded by six lawmen on horseback. The riders make short work of the Hole in the Wall Gang and pursue Butch and Sundance day and night, over all types of terrain. The pair barely escape with their lives, and discover that the lawmen have been assembled from the toughest sheriffs and trackers, hired by the railroad company to hunt them until they're dead. With Sundance's girlfriend Etta Place (Katharine Ross), the outlaws travel to New York and make their way to Bolivia. There, they find a new frontier that ultimately offers them the same choices they had back home.
The camaraderie between Butch and Sundance is the main draw of the movie and thanks to writer William Goldman and director George Roy Hill, their interaction does not grow too stale or phoney. In fact, the dialog between the two is chock full of sarcasm and jabs. "You just keep thinking, Butch," Sundance says on a few occasions. "That's what you're good at." Goldman received an Academy Award for best writing, story and screenplay. Newman's more affable approach to his character and Redford's machismo worked very well together, making Goldman's screenplay come off perhaps better than it actually was. The film earned two Oscars for the music, as well. Burt Bacharach's score and hit song, "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head", are featured very prominently in extended sequences that link distinct plot lines or "movements" of the film. During these interludes, there is no dialogue and minimal plot development. The music may have seemed impressive at the time, but by slowing down the film to a crawl and including the '60s-infused pop instrumentation and vocals, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid does not age well. It was an interesting experiment to make a western more "hip", but it seems silly by today's standards and clashes with the themes of robbery and survival.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid Blu-ray, Video Quality
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid Blu-ray, Audio Quality
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Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
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Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid Blu-ray, News and Updates
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