Saturday, September 27, 2008

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

I am not a big greiver, being wholly atheist a person's death is nothing magical to me, it just is fact. That being said, I was a fairly big fan of Paul Newman despite being too young to have appreciated his work when it was new. A favorite is one I was describing to my wife today — Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

It is true that this movie is a western and based loosely on real people, but in fact it is about much more. Butch (Newman) and Sundance (Robert Redford) are outlaws in the West that is no longer the wild west. Their era is over, and they are no longer needed or wanted. Technology has changed to the point where they cannot act regardless. Desperate to live the life they are accustomed to, they move to South America which they see as the west they know beginning anew.

This film is more tragedy than comedy, though it is funny. It is also more tragedy than western. Butch and Sundance's world has died, and they refuse to change. It is an example to us whose world change and need to accept it, and it is likely (though I am no film scholar) an example for the times it came out in (1969).

Check this film out sometime. It is a great vehicle for Newman, and was important enough for Robert Redford to name his film festival after his character.

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