Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (’69) is such a rakishly charming, beautifully composed film (one of Conrad Hall‘s finest), but I’ve seen it too many times. There comes a point with certain classics when they turn into amber, and there’s no getting past the fact that you know each and every line, shot, action sequence, musical cue, etc.

That said, I’ll always love the opening poker game sequence (shot in sepia-tone b&w) and the final shoot-out scene with the federales. I love the way the surrounded Redford drills so many soldiers, picking them off like wooden ducks…dead center.

Why did this five-man collaboration (George Roy Hill, William Goldman, Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Hall) connect as well as it did? Because it tapped into the anti-authoritarian spirit of the late ’60s in a kind of jovial, laid-back way, and because it lulled viewers into thinking that living outside the law could somehow feel warm and soothing (and at the same time tragic) as long as they had Redford and Newman’s company.

One of the greatest romantic screen pairings of all time, and a totally hetero current from start to finish.

I wonder how it would’ve played without the Burt Bacharach intrusions? I was never much of a “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” kinda guy.