Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" on DVD
Special Edition Classic
1969's original pairing
of Paul Newman and Robert Redford is a witty and charming western comedy
about the decline and fall of a pair of aging outlaws.
Newman is Butch, the
brains, and Redford is Sundance, the brawn - well, fast gun. They lead
the Hole in the Wall Gang and are legends in their own time.
Pickings are getting
a little slim, though, and generous Butch never thought about retirement
savings plans, so they're no farther ahead after their lifetime of thievin'
than they were before.
Nearly every frame
of "Butch Cassidy" is a gem, as is every line of William Goldman's screenplay.
Butch and Sundance come off as the Abbott and Costello of the old West,
bickering and calling each other names at every turn, while all the time
displaying a fondness and respect for each other that has stood the test
Likewise, the direction
of George Roy Hill (for whom the Newman/Redford tandem would have repeat
success in "The Sting") cannot be faulted. He
recreates an elderly old West whose best and most glamorous days are past
- and a Bolivia that's about as welcoming to Butch and Sundance as was
the superposse that chased them there in the first place.
Newman and Redford
are great, with wonderful chemistry between them. Katherine Ross, as Sundance's
main squeeze Etta Place, is also very good, and the supporting cast of
veteran Hollywood character actors (including Jeff Corey, Strother Martin,
Henry Jones, George Furth and Ted Cassidy to name just a few) are gems
who provide a harsh reality to the duo's running attempt at comedy relief.
Fox Home Video has
given this winner of four Academy Awards the THX treatment, and it shows.
The anamorphic widescreen picture is very good, though the "THX-icising"
of the audio track isn't as impressive thanks, undoubtedly, to an aging
monaural source. You get plenty of extras, too, including a 45 minute
documentary on the making of the film, interviews with cast and crew members,
and an audio running commentary by director George Roy Hill, Lyricist
Hal David, Associate Producer Robert Crawford and Oscar-winning Cinematographer
Conrad Hall. There are also some outtakes thrown in to sweeten the mix.
Our review sample
was a preproduction release, so we don't know what liner notes, if any,
Butch Cassidy and
the Sundance Kid is one of those special movies that seems timeless in
its appeal, and Fox has done it justice with this special edition DVD.
Butch Cassidy and
the Sundance Kid, from 20th Century Fox Home Video
110 minutes, Widescreen (2.35:1), Dolby Digital
Starring Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katherine Ross
Produced by John Foreman, Written by William Goldman
Directed by George Roy Hill
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