I love movies. I don’t review movies. I either like them or I don’t. I loved “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” The movie is a semi-autobiographical account of two criminals from the “Old West” who were the leaders of the “Hole in the Wall Gang.” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” came out in 1969.
The movie starred Paul Newman, Robert Redford and Katherine Ross. Ross had just been in a gigantic hit that sprung Dustin Hoffman to fame, “The Graduate.”
“Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” had several lines that stuck with people. The first was the question “Who are those guys?” There was a special posse that had been hired by the owner of the train the gang had been routinely robbing. As the posse continued to chase Butch and Sundance they would periodically turn and ask “Who are those guys.” In the film it became hilarious.
Another historic line occurred when Butch said to Sundance who was afraid of jumping off of a cliff into water because he couldn’t swim; “The fall will probably kill you.”
One of my favorite character actors Strother Martin played a business owner who had to get money but kept getting robbed. He said people thought he was crazy but he thought he was “colorful.” He made the statement right before he was shot to death.
Of course in “real life” Butch and Sundance were vicious outlaws. Sundance’s beautiful girlfriend school teacher Etta Place was in fact beautiful but she was “easy” and was Butch’s girl first and then was shared with Sundance.
All of the preceding is simply color before the real reason I am writing this piece. I believe all movies reflect something either about the time they are made or about film style. In the case of “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” consider the times.
The United States was in turmoil. We were against the Vietnam War. Students were protesting against the war and against school rules. They waged sit-ins. African-Americans were protesting for their rights.
The year before in 1968 Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy had been assassinated. John Kennedy had been in 1963. The country was in shock.
Along comes “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” Criminals are portrayed as heroes. The feminine “hero” has sex outside of marriage which reflects what was going on. “Free Love” was the mantra of the times.
1969 reflected a time when law and order was eschewed for personal pleasure and work was considered stupid. As “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid reflected” you should do whatever it takes to be able to live for the moment.
Personal Knowledge, 1
IMBD Website, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
Yahoo Movie Website, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969”