The influential 1969 Western, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, is set to return to the US in a limited big screen engagement. Directed by George Roy Hill, this film has been celebrated on a number of levels; for its re-working of the Western, for its mix of humor and melancholy, and for the first on-screen pairing of Paul Newman (Butch Cassidy) and Robert Redford (Sundance Kid).
Fathom Events, which promotes special cinematic events, has partnered with Turner Classic Movies (TCM) to show Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid as part of the ‘TCM Big Screen Classics’ series. The iconic film will screen in more than 650 theatres across the US on Sunday, January 17th, and Wednesday, January 20th, at 2pm & 7pm local time both days. Here is a trailer for the event:
Butch Cassidy, whose real name was Robert Leroy Parker, led the famous outlaw gang, The Wild Bunch, of which The Sundance Kid (real name Harry Longabaugh) was a member. Targeting trains, banks and mining companies in the American West at the close of the 19th century, Cassidy and Sundance faced the increasing reach of law enforcement in that era. To escape, Cassidy and Sundance, along with Sundance’s girlfriend, Etta Place, left the West to move to South America in 1901. (Katherine Ross plays Place in the 1969 film.)
The current historical consensus is that Cassidy and Sundance met their end in a shoot-out with soldiers in San Vincente, Bolivia, on November 7th, 1908. Numerous anecdotal stories, however, claim that perhaps at least Cassidy did not die in South America and in fact returned to the United States. The Pinkerton National Detective Agency (now Pinkerton Government Services), which pursued the Wild Bunch across the American West, has never officially closed their file on Cassidy or The Sundance Kid.
For further information about screenings and tickets, visit the official Fathom Events link at BC & SK – enter a zip code to find the screening nearest you. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won four Oscars; Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Song, and Best Cinematography. This writer had the opportunity to view the film a few years ago on a big screen and such dimensions add a freshness to a film that has held up well since its initial release.
(Copyright – Chad Beharriell)