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Blackthorn [DVD] 
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It's been said that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were killed in a standoff with the Bolivian military in 1908. In Blackthorn, Cassidy(Sam Shepard) survived and is quietly living out his years under the name James Blackthorn in a secluded Bolivian village. Tired of his long exile from the US and hooing to see his family again before he dies, Cassidy sets out on the long journey home. However, when an unexpected encounter with an ambitious young criminals derails his plans, he is thrust into one last adventure, the likes of which he hasnt experience since he glory days with the Sundance Kid. Also stars Nickolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones) and Oscar nominee Stephen Rea.
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Top Customer Reviews
However, I don't think that this film deserves to 'stay under the radar'. I'll admit that I was initially sceptical about a film based on the premise that Butch Cassidy and his mate Sundance survived the shootout in Bolivia portrayed at the end of the Newman/Redford film, and that it contained imagined flashbacks to their younger days. I was expecting a flimsy cash-in. However, thanks to Sam Shepard and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (playing the old and young Butch, respectively), and a splendidly bitter and drunken turn from Stephen Rea as ex-Pinkertons agent Mackinley, this film becomes a moving and involving Western in its own right. In addition, there is some excellent music from Shepard and stunning photography throughout (particularly the shots of the salt flats that Shepard and his fellow refugeee from justice have to traverse).
Basically, Butch Cassidy is living out his days as James Blackthorn, and is on his way home after selling his horses in Bolivia. However, he becomes entangled with a Spaniard played by Eduardo Noriega, and reluctantly agrees to help him escape his pursuers. However, misty-eyed old age has caused him to misjudge the situation and Blackthorn learns some harsh truths with Mackinley's help.
Intelligently scripted and sublimely shot in Bolivia and Argentina this film takes the Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid legend a step beyond their supposed fatal shootings, made so famous in George Roy Hill's famous film. What if they had survived? The what if factor, leads us into a further South American adventure with the door open to a sequel, which sadly is unlikely to happen. Butch is on his way home when he comes across a Spaniard fleeing from a vengeful posse. This is a very South American style posse. During this meeting Butch loses all his money. The Spaniard has supposedly robbed a wealthy mining tyrant of his money and offers Butch a half share if he helps him out of the fix he is in. Butch helps him, but things turn out to be not quite the way they seem, and there is an interesting twist to the story.
Set in 1927 the film is cleverly interspersed with scenes of Butch, Sundance and Etta Place in their earlier days, culminating in Butch being left all alone. The scenery is stupendous and surely there can be no better place to film a western today than the arid wastes of Bolivia.Read more ›
Superb lead roll.
It’s now 1927 and James Blackthorn (the older Butch Cassidy played to grizzly perfection by the hugely watchable Sam Sheppard) lives a simple life as a horse-breeder in a tiny farmstead in the Bolivian Mountains - occasionally visited by his local lover/maid Yana (great work by Magaly Solier). He writes letters to his nephew Ryan in America signed by Uncle Butch telling the lad they will soon be joined at last and live out a good life together.
But on the way back from a horse trade/card game in a nearby town – a desperate Spaniard called Eduardo Apodaca robs him of $6000. The man from Madrid claims he only shot at Blackthorn’s horse because he himself is being hunted – but not for fame to prove the legend still lives – but for $50,000 hidden in a mine – the fruits of a greedy land boss who’s fleeced the locals of everything. The charming Eduardo promises he’ll pay back Blackthorn everything he’s lost – and the two outlaws form a wary and unlikely alliance out of necessity as they try to evade a posse of 12 Chilean horsemen who know the terrain and seem relentless in their pursuit.
Cleverly flashing back to the younger Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid between 1900 and 1908 - what happened to them and their feisty lady in tow Etta Place - slowly begins to unfold.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderful surprise,a moving intelligent film with great performances and fantastic cinema photography.Published 2 months ago by sir fozz
Proving that very good westerns can still be made (the best of all 21st century ones has to be Meek's Cutoff). Read morePublished 4 months ago by EM Eames
The film takes you on a wonderful journey of what may have happened to Butch Cassidy as evidence suggests he may have lived on ....and Sam Shepard as usual is top drawer.Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
Not a bad western, intriguing idea on Butch Cassidy's Survival.Published 13 months ago by anonymous
Given the premise [and it being a sequel], I didn't think this was going to amount to much...it was on TV one night and I liked it so much I bought this DVD - a simple story, well... Read morePublished 13 months ago by RTK