1969 Running time: 112 Certificate: pg Rating: 5

Synopsis

Paul Newman and Robert Redford star as the legendary bank robbers whose notoriety eventually catches up with them - but only after a barrel-load of adventures that take them from the Old West to Bolivia and back again. Katharine Ross holds her own amidst the gunfights and bravado as the pretty lady who wins the boys' hearts. William Goldman won an Oscar for a script that shoots as sharply as the characters, while Conrad Hall's splendid cinematography took another and Burt Bacharach's music two more, including Best Song for 'Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head'.

Director

  • George Roy Hill

Cast

  • Paul Newman

  • Robert Redford

  • Katharine Ross

Review

Perhaps the best Western of the 1960s and surely the most likeable, with Paul Newman and Robert Redford at their most charismatic.

It's a sentimental but richly entertaining look at two of the West's last great train-robbers, at a time when posses were professional and highly-organised, and outlaws were going out of style.

In the hands of these stars, Butch and Sundance become larger than life, with a dry, desperate humour all their own. When Butch, the not-so-brainy brains of the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang, is challenged for the leadership by a hairy ape called Logan, he takes Sundance to one side. 'I don't mean to be a sore loser,' he mutters, 'but when it's done and I'm dead, kill him'. He means it too.

The dialogue shines with wit like this, the action is spot-on, the photography Conrad Hall's best-ever. Even the supporting players are beautifully drawn: Katharine Ross as Etta, Strother Martin as Percy, Henry Jones as the bike salesman, Timothy Scott as News Carver (forever searching for a mention of himself in the gang's exploits) all ride high in a superb film.