Saturday, January 8, 2011
Movie Review: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
I seem to have a thing for genre pieces and two of my favorites include Sci-Fi and Westerns (and Sci-Fi Westerns!). This Western is well known, famous even, as at the time of its release Newman was already a star and this film brought Redford to America's attention and made over $100MM in the currency of the time.
The film itself is a bit schizophrenic with odd musical choices and tangents that don't always make much sense. Its almost as if part of the director wanted to make a film in the style of the French New Wave but another part wanted to make a straight up, crowd pleasing, standard Americanized Western. Because of this, I can't say the film is "complete" but it is pleasing and certainly keeps your attention.
Newman and Redford have fantastic chemistry and come across as if they actually had been best friends for years. Their interaction with the lead female character played by Katharine Ross is excellent as well and one wishes that the filmmaker spent more time going into their tri-party relationship.
Visually, the film is stunning as the backdrops of the American West are breathtaking and deserve a more dynamic range of colors and definition than the filming in the late '60s can provide--still, you often find yourself wondering--Just where is that location?? I want to go there.
I'll put this near the top of my favorite Westerns so far...not at the top...but as one of the better ones made.