Beautiful Bank Robbers — 6 years ago
“Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (1969), directed by George Roy Hill, is the story of two bank/train robbers (Paul Newman and Robert Redford) from the late 1800’s, their gang that deserts them, and their somewhat shared girlfriend who doesn’t (Katherine Ross). The gang turns on the duo, preferring one of the other members to lead them because Butch is taking too long to plan jobs. Butch shows them that he’s still the leader, and then follows his rival’s plans to rob the train coming and going through their area. Unfortunately the owner of the Union Pacific Railroad gets steamed and hires a gang of expert commandos and trackers to take down the Hole in the Wall Gang. Butch and Sundance flee for their lives with the lovely Etta and end up in Bolivia until their eventual demise.
Despite the film’s violent spots, the action has an almost comical quality to it and the score by pop song writer Burt Bacharach, adds a lightness to the otherwise action driven plot. There are some truly funny parts like when Butch and Sundance decide to jump into a river many feet below the canyon ledge on which they are perched, armed trackers closing in on them. The Kid admits he can’t swim and Butch props him up with, “Hell, the fall will probably kill you!” There was also just the tiniest bit of romance as Butch takes Etta for a ride on his bicycle’s handlebars while “Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head” plays on and on (This delightful tune sung by B. J. Thomas, was entirely too popular for its own good at the time, and 35 years later I was yelling “enough already!” by the end of the first stanza.).
Despite my usual hatred of gratuitous gun battles, this movie was tops on my list. If there weren’t so many movies yet to be seen, I’d watch it again several more times (on a lazy Sunday afternoon)—maybe when it’s raining.