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Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
dir. George Roy Hill / USA 1969 / 110’
subtitles: Polish


Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross, Strother Martin, Jeff Corey, Henry Jones


Oscar 1970 – best cinematography, best original screenplay, best music, best song, Golden Globes 1970 – best music, BAFTA Awards 1971 – best film, best director, best screenplay, best actor, best actress, best cinematography, best editing, best sound track, Grammy Awards 1970 – best score written for a motion picture

Film description

Produced near the end of the 1960s, when the counterculture movement was still in full force, George Roy Hill’s western glorifies two sympathetic outsiders, legendary thieves that rob banks and trains with smiles on their faces. Especially the first part of their adventures – maintained in a happy, almost idyllic mood – shares much in common with hippies. Butch and Sundance avoid violence, squander their booty on fun, and try to act well-mannered even when they have someone on the wrong end of a gun. It seems they are the ones being chased by bandits – the greedy and vengeful bankers, ruthless bounty hunters, heartless sheriffs, and the rest of American patriarchy.

When Butch and Sundance are forced into a grueling escape (we never see the faces of their pursuers), the film takes on darker tones. The joy and comedic accents return in the ‘Bolivian’ sequences, but only for a brief moment, because the final verdict is cast – society cannot tolerate outsiders.

Hill’s film is a treat, if for nothing else than the charming actors, Conrad Hall’s top-notch cinematography, or Burt Bacharach’s melodic score. Possible homoerotic tones have been suggested between the two heroes. They pull out their guns like their penises, says Susan Sarandon in The Celluloid Closet documentary, indicating the filmmakers skillfully entwined multitudinous themes in a simple story.

Bartosz Żurawiecki

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