Dating from 1969, "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" has never lost its popularity or its unusual appeal as a star-driven Western that tinkers with the genre's conventions and comes up with something both terrifically entertaining and--typical of its period--a tad paranoid. Paul Newman plays the legendary outlaw Butch Cassidy as an eternal optimist and self-styled visionary, conjuring dreams of banks just ripe for the picking all over the world. Robert Redford is his more level-headed partner, the sharp-shooting Sundance Kid. The film, written by William Goldman ("The Princess Bride") and directed by George Roy Hill ("The Sting"), basically begins as a freewheeling story about robbing trains but soon becomes a chase as a relentless posse--always seen at a great distance like some remote authority--forces Butch and Sundance into the hills and, finally, Bolivia. Weakened a little by feel-good inclinations (a scene involving bicycle tricks and the song "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" is sort of Hollywood flower power), the film maintains an interesting tautness, and the chemistry between Redford and Newman is rare. (A factoid: Newman first offered the Sundance part to Jack Lemmon.) --"Tom Keogh, Amazon.com"
On the DVD: This anamorphic widescreen print of the 2.35:1 Panavision original looks marvellously crisp, highlighting the sepia tinting and washed-out, over-exposed look of the film nicely and making the best of the deep focus cinematography. The mono soundtrack sounds clean and clear in Dolby 2.0. The commentary track is hosted by documentary-maker Robert Crawford with contributions from George Roy Hill, cinematographer Conrad Hall, and lyricist Hal David (who chips in during the "Raindrops" sequence). The 40-minute documentary dates from 1968 and is narrated by director Hill, who talks in detail about the making-of process, comments on his relationship with the three principals (Katharine Ross was the difficult one apparently), and adds little nuggets such as how they sprayed the bull's testicles to make him charge at the end of the bicycle scene. Also included are a series of absorbing 1994 interviews with all the main players: Newman, Redford, Ross, writer William Goldman, and composer Burt Bacharach. Trailers, Production Notes and an Alternate Credit Roll complete an attractive package. --"Mark Walker"