Classic comedy western starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford as Butch and Sundance, two outlaws who are finding it increasingly difficult to make a living in the Wild West. With big business constantly extending its influence, and the law following hot on its heels, the everyday business of robbing banks and trains is becoming more and more of a strain, so much so that Butch and Sundance eventually decide to cut their losses and, accompanied by their friend Etta Place (Katharine Ross), head for a new life in Bolivia. However, when they reach their destination, it seems their problems are only beginning, especially when they discover they now have to rob banks speaking Spanish. The film won several Oscars, including Best Song (for 'Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head'), Best Cinematography and Best Screenplay.
Any list of cinema's finest double acts would be incomplete if it didn't feature Paul Newman and Robert Redford on it. And for their finest on-screen union? Appreciating there's strong competition from The Sting
, it's surely Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
that stands proudest.
In many ways the ultimate buddy movie, George Roy Hill's movie follows Butch Cassidy, as played by Newman, and his more down to earth partner, Redford's Sundance Kid. The pair embark on an adventure that starts off feeling just a little conventional, before unfolding into one of the most impressive chase movies of all time. And with an ending that's earned its place in cinema lore, and a great love interest in Katharine Ross, it's a film that never loosens its grip on your eyes and ears for a minute.
The Blu-ray? Impressive. The extra features package is the highlight, but there's been some notable work done to get the most out of the picture and audio here too. The 1080p upgrade isn't a dramatic one though, although given the age of the materials being worked with, it's still worthwhile. The audio is both clean and crisp, meanwhile. A home cinema workout? Perhaps not, but still a solid upgrade.
The film itself, though, remains quite, quite brilliant, and it's rare to see two movie stars who work so well with one another. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is one of those moments where it seems that pretty much everything went right. This Blu-ray firmly immortalises it. --Jon Foster
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