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Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid...


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some weird stuff with bikeriding and Newman blowing a kiss at a cow even. (which the cow didn't appreciate) :D we're supposed to be enamored of Redford and Newman ingratiating themselves with each other throughout. just an offbeat western is all made so by george roy hill's strange approach to directing. the worthwhile part is the unshakeable posse sequence of course. it makes the film worth watching. finally after losing the posse they wind up back at Etta's and that's when I always turn to something else.

 

am I the only one who roots for the posse and the president of the railroad, one E.H. Harriman, I believe. :lol:

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am I the only one who roots for the posse and the president of the railroad, one E.H. Harriman, I believe. :lol:

 

Probably. "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" was one of the first great modern buddy movies, and the chemistry between the garrulous Butch and the taciturn Sundance was near-perfect. And the 29-minute chase sequence IS great.

 

When it comes to sex appeal, I always will love Katharine Ross. I also remember what costume designer Edith Head said when she won a 1973 Academy Award for her fashions for Paul Newman and Robert Redford in "The Sting."

 

"Just imagine dressing the two handsomest men in the world," she declared, "and then getting this."

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I'd like it a lot more if James Garner had played Sundance instead of dull Robert Redford. Or James Coburn. They were just two of the stars who turned down the role because they felt it was too dominated by Butch: McQueen (the original choice), Brando, and even the as-dull-as-Redford Warren Beatty (who chose to do The Only Game In Town instead -- Beatty also turned down the role of Michael Corleone).

 

Trivia note: the original title of the script was The Sundance Kid and Butch Cassidy, which is especially odd since Butch was always the focus. Screenwriter William Goldman claims he prefers that title.

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I'd like it a lot more if James Garner had played Sundance instead of dull Robert Redford. Or James Coburn. They were just two of the stars who turned down the role because they felt it was too dominated by Butch: McQueen (the original choice), Brando, and even the as-dull-as-Redford Warren Beatty (who chose to do The Only Game In Town instead -- Beatty also turned down the role of Michael Corleone).

 

Trivia note: the original title of the script was The Sundance Kid and Butch Cassidy, which is especially odd since Butch was always the focus. Screenwriter William Goldman claims he prefers that title.

it does seem to me though that director george roy hill has Butch playing off sundance most of the time. I doan get the sense that Butch is the main focus here. He doesn't even have a girlfriend.

anyways weird george roy hill coulda built the film around the superposse chase which woulda given the film a wider appeal beyond the buddy buddy hs.

only other director who's directoral weirdness exceeds Hill's is Robert Altman.

only Altman film I've seen where he tries to address the subject matter straightforwardly without all the personal eccentric weirdness is Countdown.

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I'd like it a lot more if James Garner had played Sundance instead of dull Robert Redford. Or James Coburn. They were just two of the stars who turned down the role because they felt it was too dominated by Butch: McQueen (the original choice), Brando, and even the as-dull-as-Redford Warren Beatty (who chose to do The Only Game In Town instead -- Beatty also turned down the role of Michael Corleone).

 

Trivia note: the original title of the script was The Sundance Kid and Butch Cassidy, which is especially odd since Butch was always the focus. Screenwriter William Goldman claims he prefers that title.

 

Hmmmm...interesting, Doc.

 

However, have you ever considered the idea that maybe the reason the Sundance Kid role made Redford the big star that he became after this film's release was EXACTLY because of how Redford played that character in sort of a "clipped" fashion and which maybe could be considered as being "dull", and that because of that not only gives the viewer the idea of his character being "cool and detached", but that it also played very well off the more outgoing and glib Butch character of Newman's in contrast???

 

(...yep, I think there's a VERY good reason why Redford became the big star that he became AFTER this film's release, and THAT'S 'cause he was very good in it AND perfectly cast AND played the role as the "cool and detached" Sundance Kid about as well as anyone could have...including and maybe especially Garner, who because of his usual "glibness" in films wouldn't have offered up this "contrast" of which I speak)

 

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Hell.  I can remember not too long ago when the ONLY complaints about this movie was---

1. The playing of "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head", a contemporary song which had nothing to do with the scene it was undrscoring.

 

2.  The FREQUENCY with which it was shown.

 

Otherwise, all the preceding gripes are just self-promoting grandstanding.

 

It's obvious that somebody here doesn't much like Robert Redfrod.  And that's fair.  Except it doesn't neccesarily mean the performance OR the movie isn't any good.  I could do the same thing with many "REAL classics" that others just fawn over just because:

1.  Ava Gardener is in it.

 

2. June Allyson is in it.

 

3.  It "stars" the stuffy, one dimensional ADOLPH MENJOU!

 

But there ARE others here who LOVE the three I mentioned.  And I'm big enough to admit that ALL THREE have done roles and gave performances that were unmatchable!  It's just that as a whole, neither of them, for some reason, don't appeal to me!

 

And, PLEASE!   It's DON'T-----NOT "DOAN"!  ( D'OH!)

 

 

Sepiatone

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I'd like it a lot more if James Garner had played Sundance instead of dull Robert Redford. Or James Coburn. They were just two of the stars who turned down the role because they felt it was too dominated by Butch: McQueen (the original choice), Brando, and even the as-dull-as-Redford Warren Beatty (who chose to do The Only Game In Town instead -- Beatty also turned down the role of Michael Corleone).

 

Trivia note: the original title of the script was The Sundance Kid and Butch Cassidy, which is especially odd since Butch was always the focus. Screenwriter William Goldman claims he prefers that title.

I agree that Garner had the acting chops to have been an effective Sundance.

 

However, I think that an even more natural role for him (not that he was offered the part) would have been to have played the gregarious Butch Cassidy. Garner's subtle comedy skills would have really shone in the part, probably even more so than Newman, though I think Paul is great in the film.

 

James Garner as Butch Cassidy, another one of those dream acting assignments about which we can only speculate.

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Yep Tom, it appears you and I are of a similar opinion here.

 

(...and were formulating our thoughts at about the same time too here, eh?!) ;)

Yep, Dargo, I think we're both Garner fans, too. One of the most charming actors that I've ever seen on screen, without doubt.

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I agree that Garner had the acting chops to have been an effective Sundance.

 

However, I think that an even more natural role for him (not that he was offered the part) would have been to have played the gregarious Butch Cassidy. Garner's subtle comedy skills would have really shone in the part, probably even more so than Newman, though I think Paul is great in the film.

 

James Garner as Butch Cassidy, another one of those dream acting assignments about which we can only speculate.

 

I didn't address that issue b/c soon after Fox bought the script Newman was cast as Butch (resulting in the title change).

 

I think Garner would have made an excellent Butch  -- the role is essentially a variation on Maverick anyway.

 

I would like to have seen Garner as Sundance b/c he was a master of comic reaction. Think of all the Rockford episodes where Garner plays straight man to Angel Martin, Lance White, Gandolf Fitch, or somebody else upsetting his laid back outlook.  There's even a Maverick episode like this, where Bret gets involved with a straight-arrow lawman (played by Wayde Preston of the series Colt .45). Wikipedia claims this episode inspired the creation of the Lance White character on Rockford -- the dynamic is certainly the same.

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 Garner, who because of his usual "glibness" in films wouldn't have offered up this "contrast" of which I speak)

 

As I pointed out in a previous post, Garner was quite capable of providing "cool" contrast to over the top characters like Angel Martin and Lance White.

 

We'll have to agree to disagree on Redford. The only interesting performance I've ever seen from him was, strangely enough, at the very beginning of his career -- in the TV version of The Iceman Cometh in 1960.

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I didn't address that issue b/c soon after Fox bought the script Newman was cast as Butch (resulting in the title change).

 

I think Garner would have made an excellent Butch  -- the role is essentially a variation on Maverick anyway.

 

I would like to have seen Garner as Sundance b/c he was a master of comic reaction. Think of all the Rockford episodes where Garner plays straight man to Angel Martin, Lance White, Gandolf Fitch, or somebody else upsetting his laid back outlook.  There's even a Maverick episode like this, where Bret gets involved with a straight-arrow lawman (played by Wayde Preston of the series Colt .45). Wikipedia claims this episode inspired the creation of the Lance White character on Rockford -- the dynamic is certainly the same.

When it comes to comic reactions, who could match Garner? I think the man was pretty well in a class by himself, especially when I watch him in his prime on Rockford Files. He was a genius at expressing frustration (or fear) with only a slight facial reaction, possibly adding a hard swallow in his throat for emphasis. I don't know if any one at the time realized just how really good this actor was.

 

Having said that, I still love Newman and Redford as a team in Butch, but the thought of Garner playing Cassidy makes my mouth water.

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As I pointed out in a previous post, Garner was quite capable of providing "cool" contrast to over the top characters like Angel Martin and Lance White.

 

We'll have to agree to disagree on Redford. The only interesting performance I've ever seen from him was, strangely enough, at the very beginning of his career -- in the TV version of The Iceman Cometh in 1960.

 

I always thought another of his better "cool and detached" performances was as the hot dog skier in "Downhill Racer".

 

(...c'mon Doc, admit the guy could at least play THAT type fairly effectively?!!!...I mean, when it came to "cool", while McQueen could be considered "The King" of such, Redford could possible be considered holding SOME position in that "court"!) 

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So when did Jack Lemmon come into the picture as Butch -- before or after Garner?

 

From what I understand Lemmon was offered the role of Sundance -- but turned it down, allegedly b/c he didn't want to ride a horse, but maybe he didn't want to play second fiddle to Newman either. Or perhaps he just realized he'd be ridiculously miscast.

 

I don't know the order of offers. I've always read McQueen was the first choice for Sundance (he and Newman were then the biggest stars in the world), but he insisted the script be rewritten to build up Sundance's role. When this demand was refused, he left the project. Brando turned the role down for the same reason, which surprises me -- his career was in a tailspin at the time, and he could've used a big commercial picture.

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Brando turned the role down for the same reason, which surprises me -- his career was in a tailspin at the time, and he could've used a big commercial picture.

 

Brando probably would have insisted on kissing his horse, as he did in "The Missouri Breaks"!

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I'm going with Kimball's third reason as to why Lemmon would have turned down the role.  It just sounds so Lemmon like.  He had a good level of integrity, and he no doubt KNEW it wasn't his type of role, and didn't think the money would justify him wasting the time and energy.  Any comedy in this movie works because the principals weren't known for their comedic talents.

 

 

Sepiatone

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When it comes to comic reactions, who could match Garner? I think the man was pretty well in a class by himself, especially when I watch him in his prime on Rockford Files. He was a genius at expressing frustration (or fear) with only a slight facial reaction, possibly adding a hard swallow in his throat for emphasis. I don't know if any one at the time realized just how really good this actor was.

 

Having said that, I still love Newman and Redford as a team in Butch, but the thought of Garner playing Cassidy makes my mouth water.

I would agree with this. I think Redford played sundance the only way he knew how but I think somebody else like Garner coulda done a much better job than Newman. when you laugh at Newman as Butch there's always some back-up comin' from Redford.

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From what I understand Lemmon was offered the role of Sundance -- but turned it down, allegedly b/c he didn't want to ride a horse, but maybe he didn't want to play second fiddle to Newman either. Or perhaps he just realized he'd be ridiculously miscast.

 

I don't know the order of offers. I've always read McQueen was the first choice for Sundance (he and Newman were then the biggest stars in the world), but he insisted the script be rewritten to build up Sundance's role. When this demand was refused, he left the project. Brando turned the role down for the same reason, which surprises me -- his career was in a tailspin at the time, and he could've used a big commercial picture.

 

The only western Lemmon ever did was Delmer Daves oater "Cowboy" with Glenn Ford. It was an excellent film with Lemmon as a man out of his element chasing a girl. It was a good part for him, but to play a real cowboy I think he would have been terribly miscast..

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