Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the famous 1969 Western starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, has been named the “most iconic Western of all time” in a new poll. The survey, conducted by the UK’s HISTORY Channel to mark its launch of Redford’s docu-drama series The West, saw the Newman-Redford film win almost half the vote. For a preview of the Redford series, visit the post Redford’s The West .
Directed by George Roy Hill, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid has been celebrated over time for a number of reasons; its contemporary re-working of the Western, its mix of humor and melancholy, and for the first on-screen pairing of Newman (as Cassidy) and Redford (as The Sundance Kid). The film, which also starred Katherine Ross as Sundance’s girlfriend, Etta Place, was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won four.
The real Butch Cassidy, whose birth name was Robert Leroy Parker, was the leader of the outlaw gang, The Wild Bunch, which targeted trains, banks and mining companies at the close of the 19th century, primarily in the Inter-mountain American West. Under the pressure of improving law enforcment, Cassidy and gang member, The Sundance Kid (real name Harry Longabaugh), along with Sundance’s girlfriend, Place, escaped to South America in 1901. That journey is dramatized in the film. Here is a trailer:
Understandably, the judgement as to which Western is the “most iconic” is bound to be subjective, but the total % of the vote that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is interesting. Also intriguing are the poll results that showed that almost two-thirds of adults enjoy viewing a Western film. The top ten “Most Iconic Westerns” from the UK History Channel poll were as follows:
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (1966)
The Magnificent Seven (1960)
A Fistful Of Dollars (1964)
True Grit (1969)
High Noon (1952)
For A Few Dollars More (1965)
The Alamo (1960)
How do you feel about the above list? Which other Westerns do you think could have made the top ten? Which film do you think should be #1? Leave your comments below!
(Copyright – Chad Beharriell)