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March 17, 2019

The Iconic Western Duo: Paul Newman and Robert Redford in the 1969 Crime Drama ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is an American Western film directed by George Roy Hill and written by William Goldman. It was the top-grossing film of its year and top 10 for its decade, though initially received lukewarm reviews from critics. The film was nominated for total seven Oscar categories and won four for Best Cinematography, Best Original Score for a Motion Picture (not a Musical), Best Music, Song and Best Original Screenplay at the 42nd Academy Awards.

The story is loosely based on two Wild West criminal outlaws Robert LeRoy Parker, known as Butch Cassidy (Paul Newman), and his partner Harry Alonzo Longabaugh, the “Sundance Kid” (Robert Redford). Butch was the brains and leader of the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang, while his closest companion Sundance preferred action and skill. After their second robbery on the same train, Butch and Sundance began to get pursued by a special posse. With their persistent track, Butch convinced Sundance and Etta (Katharine Ross), the latter’s lover, that they should escape to Bolivia, which was a paradise for robber according to Butch’s visions.

The role of Sundance was first offered to Jack Lemmon, who turned down because of schedule conflict, plus he also didn’t like riding horses. Other actors under consideration for Sundance were Steve McQueen and Warren Beatty, with the latter declining as he found the film too similar to Bonnie and Clyde (1967). As stated by Goldman, McQueen and Newman both read the scripts at approximately the same time and agreed to do the film. However, McQueen later withdrew due to billing disagreements. The role eventually went to Redford, thus creating one of the most iconic pairs to hit the big screen.

Here, we look at the duo and their charming chemistry in the film through 36 photos...



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