directed by George Roy Hill
USA 1969

 

It was a real stroke of genius to put Paul Newman and Robert Redford - perhaps two of the most charismatic screen actors of all time - in the same movie together. Rarely have two co-stars looked more at ease, more effortlessly in control and enjoying themselves, yet all the time radiating that star quality so lacking in many of today's actors. To say they don't make 'em like this anymore has become such a cliché, but it still holds true for a handful of films, including this one.

From the opening exchange between Newman's Butch and the bank clerk ("Why'd they close the old bank? It was so beautiful"/ "People kept robbing it"/ "Small price to pay for beauty") through the long, arduous pursuit to the final shootout between our heroes and the entire Bolivian army, the film resides in that strange limbo between gritty western with real characters with whom we empathize every step of the way, and ironic, knowing pastiche filled with anachronistic references and wisecracking antagonism between the leads. We secretly know that underneath the dusty coats and hats, it's just Paul Newman and Robert Redford kidding around, but somehow that makes their plight all the more agonizing for us. If it was just a couple of bank robbers dodging bullets while trapped on a narrow ledge two hundred feet above a raging mountain river, we wouldn't be too concerned, but that's Paul Newman and Robert Redford out there, for God's sake! Someone help them!

Excerpt from Ben Stephens Taken from EUFS Programme 1996-97 located HERE

****

Calling Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid a great Western is like calling Dom Perignon a really great bottle of grape juice. Yeah, that's correct, but you're missing the point entirely.

Butch and Sundance is more than a Western: It's an iconic, American experience, a classic adventure tale, and a singular slice of late-'60s moviemaking that has never really been repeated. The story is a surprisingly, "mostly" accurate tale of two of history's best-known outlaws. The film comprises two major sequences: First, the duo robs a series of trains on the frontier, then spends a lengthy amount of time on the run from the hired guns the railroad is paying to hunt them down. The heat gets so severe that it leads them to the second sequence: Self-imposed exile to dingy Bolivia, where they rob banks instead, only to have the federales try to hunt them down. The final moments of the film are unforgettable.

Excerpt from Christopher Null's review at FilmCritic.com located HERE.

 

Theatrical Release: September 23rd, 1969

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DVD Comparison: 

20th Century Fox (Special Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. 20th Century Fox (2-Disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC

(20th Century Fox (Special Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. 20th Century Fox (2-Disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC RIGHT)

DVD Box Cover

Distribution

20th Century Fox (Special Edition)

Region 1 - NTSC

20th Century Fox (2-Disc Collector's Edition)

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:50:20 1:50:20

Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.8 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.1 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate : 20th Century Fox (Special Edition)

Bitrate: 20th Century Fox (2-disc Collector's Edition)

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 1.0), DUBs: French (Dolby Digital 1.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0)
Subtitles English, Spanish, None English, Spanish, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by: director George Roy Hill, Hal David, Robert Crawford and cinematographer Conrad Hall -Dolby Digital 2.0
• Vintage Making-Of Documentary (45 min.): • Contains interviews with Cast and Crew, • Behind-the-scenes footage and film footage
• 1994 interviews with Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross, William Goldman and Burt Bacharach

DVD Release Date: May 16th, 2000
Keep case

Chapters 24

Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox (Anniversary Edition)
 

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
Disc 1:
• Commentary by George Roy Hill, Lyricist Hal David, Associate Producer Robert Crawford and Cinematographer Conrad Hall.
• Commentary by Screenwriter William Goldman.
Disc 2:
• 2005 documentary "All Of What Follows is True: The Making of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
• "The Wild Bunch: The True Tale of Butch & Sundance" featurette
• "History Through the Lens: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid: • Outlaws Out of Time" documentary
• 1994 documentary: "The Making of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"
• 1994 Interviews with Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katherine Ross, writer William Goldman, and composer Burt Bacharach
• Production Notes
• Alternate Credit Roll
• Deleted scenes
• Production notes
• Trailers
 

DVD Release Date: June 6th, 2006
Transparent Keep Case inside cardboard box

Chapters 28

 

 

Comments Fox did a pretty decent job back in 2000 with this title - anamorphic, progressive, some good extras including a director commentary. In most online locations it has been out-of-print for quite a while.  So Fox decided to re-issue it as a '2-disc Collector's Edition'. In the new release there is some minor improvement. The image is marginally sharper and detail is negligibly superior. Colors were a shade saturated at times on the original release, but are more balanced on the new. The optional subtitles are just about the same, the only difference is that the new release tends to include more dialogue in each subtitle, but the font and visibility are duplicated (see example below).

There are enhanced extra features on this new 2-disc edition. Included are the original George Roy Hill etc. commentary plus a new 2nd commentary by screenwriter William Goldman. The new DVD package also duplicates the 94' interviews and 'Making of' featurette. In addition to that they have added quite a bit more on the second supplement disc - additional featurettes, deleted scenes, an alternate credit roll and more.  I found all are worthwhile without any real superfluous fillers. It is a good release but I only suggest purchasing for those who do not own the original or those extremely keen on the film. Most viewers may not notice the subtle improvement in the image and many may not be overly impressed by the extras although I did enjoy Goldman's commentary and it is worth listening to. My logic says purchasing new it is only about $4 more than the original release, but upgrading is $15 more. The new edition does have a Spanish DUB option if that is important to you.

The film has been a favorite of mine for 25 years (since I first saw it as a young boy). I'm glad this new edition package came out as it gave me the opportunity to revisit the film. Perhaps slightly tarnished with age it still holds up fairly well with Newman and Redford having the best 'buddy' charisma I can recall in a film. Although this is not a hard-edged western, it still has some of those elements in certain scenes - overall it is a great balance of fun and adventure - a perfect film for a young man... or those who still remember what it is like to be one. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is part of that cinema lore where you can confidently say 'they don't make them like this anymore'.   

 - Gary Tooze

 

 






DVD Menus

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Disc 2 of 2-Disc Collector's Edition

 


Screen Captures

 

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Subtitle Sample: Not exact frame

 

 

 


 

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(20th Century Fox (Special Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. 20th Century Fox (2-Disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 


 

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(20th Century Fox (Special Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. 20th Century Fox (2-Disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 

 


Recommended Reading for Western Genre Fans (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

 

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Report Card:

 

Image:

20th Century Fox (2-Disc Collector's Edition)

Sound:

20th Century Fox (2-Disc Collector's Edition)

Extras: 20th Century Fox (2-Disc Collector's Edition)
Menu: 20th Century Fox Special Edition

 
DVD Box Cover

Distribution

20th Century Fox (Special Edition)

Region 1 - NTSC

20th Century Fox (2-Disc Collector's Edition)

Region 1 - NTSC




 

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