Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) Movie Review

Director: George Roy Hill

Writer: William Goldman (Screenplay)

Starring: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross, Strother Martin, Henry Jones, Jeff Corey, George Furth, Cloris Leachman

Plot: Wyoming, early 1900s. Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid are the leaders of a band of outlaws. After a train robbery goes wrong they find themselves on the run with a posse hard on their heels. Their solution – escape to Bolivia.


Tagline – They’re taking trains… They’re taking banks… And they’re taking one piece of baggage!

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: True Classic

Story: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid starts in the 1900s where Butch Cassidy (Newman) and his outlaws, including his trusted best shot The Sundance Kid (Redford) are looking for their next score, which sees them doing a double on the same train, the second robbery sees them needing to go on the run from ruthless bounty hunters.

Butch and Sundance go to their normal haunts to escape, which this time just don’t work, they look to head to Bolivia for freedom, only to learn that the toughest lawman and the best tracker are hot on their trail.

Thoughts on Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Characters – Butch Cassidy is the leader of the outlaws, he knows how to talk himself out of any situation, keep his gang in order and he won’t kill anybody unless the situation calls for it, he wants to not leave a trail of bodies behind him. The Sundance Kid is the quickest shot in the land, he never misses his target and is loyal to Butch. The pair together are a lethal combination that will get the robberies done is the most efficient manner. Etta the lover of Sundance, a school teacher who is still single at 26, which has already put her in a bad bracket for the society, she doesn’t get involved in the robberies, but does join them when they go on the run.

PerformancesPaul Newman and Robert Redford are both fantastic giving career highlights in their roles, they have wonderful chemistry which shines through the film and helps on the adventure the two characters find themselves on. Kathrine Ross completes the main cast which sees her standing toe to toe with the male leads.

StoryThe story here follows the notorious outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid who have been robbing banks for years until their latest job does wrong and sees them needing to go into hiding in Bolivia, with trackers and lawmen after them. This is one of the classic movies of all time, it does show one of the most famous outlaw partnerships in American history and we get to follow them when they are at the peak of their reputation, where they must deal with consequences of the people that want to end their robberies. Like most of the westerns for the time, we get the outlaws that come off charming for the most part, which does seem to be the way, lets make the criminals the popular ones and the lawman the villainous figures, sure the pair didn’t kill people and their reputation is key to how the country thought of them. It is a fun watch with comedy playing into how the story is told, which is fun to see.

Biopic/CrimeThe biopic side of the film is how the film is loosely based on the real story behind the two outlaws, it shows us just how the two went on the run after getting caught too deep in the world of the crime that they had become famous for.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show us the world that the two men would be operating in, first the American side as well as the Bolivian side of their adventure.


Scene of the Movie – The last stand.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We could have learnt more about their robberies before the one that went wrong.

Final Thoughts This is a fun western that shows us two of the most famous outlaws in the land, it has excellent chemistry between the leads and flows wonderfully.

Overall: Must watch classic.

James Bond Month – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

Director: Peter R Hunt

Writer: Richard Maibaum (Screenplay)

Starring: George Lazenby, Diana Rigg, Telly Savalas, Gabriele Ferzetti, Ilse Steppat, Lois Maxwell, George Baker

 

Plot: James Bond woos a mob boss’s daughter and goes undercover to uncover the true reason for Blofeld’s allergy research in the Swiss Alps that involves beautiful women from around the world.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 22 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disappointingly Dull

 

Story: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service starts as James Bond (Lazenby) is tracking down Blofeld (Savalas) after his escape from the last film, he starts by getting close to Tracy (Rigg) whose father Draco (Ferzetti) might just know the location of Blofeld.

Once he gets the led James is off on his mission which takes him to the Swiss Alps where he hopes to come face to face with his greatest enemy Blofeld who has started his next plan.

 

Thoughts on, On her Majesty’s Secret Service

 

Characters – James Bond is back, he is still a womaniser only now he doesn’t have the same spark of charisma that he had been showing in previous films, he still must go head to head with Blofeld, but he just doesn’t feel right this time around. Tracey is the Bond girl this time around, she isn’t as easy as the previous one showing a higher intelligence to stay ahead of Bond and not following the traditions that her father wants. Blofeld returns and for some reason doesn’t recognise Bond even after meeting him in the last film, so that is strange. He has a masterplan to take over the world or at least put money in his pocket, well bank account. Draco is the connection to locate Blofeld with him being Tracy’s father it also helps with the locating as part of a deal.

PerformancesGeorge Lazenby doesn’t have the same level of charisma or charm that Sean Connery brings, this only disappoints and takes us away from the film in places. Diana Rigg does bring class the to Bond girl role, showing more commitment to this role that Lazenby. Telly Savalas struggles to step into Donald Pleasence’s shoes in the Blofeld role almost being a parody of the character.

StoryThe story here takes James on his latest mission which is to capture Blofeld after his escape last time out, this takes him in a new direction away from the tropical islands and into the snow-covered mountain ranges as Blofeld is working on his next plan to become rich. The story is a way too long compared to previous films and does drag at times, the fact Blofeld doesn’t remember James is a big issue for me because them coming face to face was a big moment in You Only Live Twice. The highlight of the story comes from the fact we get a surprise ending which does show us that we are ready to continue the battle.

Action/AdventureThe action is a complete mixed bag because certain fights are good, but then the horrible green screen moments just don’t work. The adventure takes James to a new location which is all we want at times.

SettingsWe are set in the Swiss Alps on top of one of the mountains which shows us a base that isn’t easy to escape from and away from the bikinis we have been seeing too often.


Scene of the Movie –
Ski escape.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Blofeld not remember Bond.

Final ThoughtsThis is the weakest in the series to date, we just don’t get drawn in like before and the attempted new technology use only hinders the film.

 

Overall: Weakest Bond film to date.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – M – Midnight Cowboy (1969)

Director: John Schlesinger

Writer: Waldo Salt (Screenplay) James Leo Herlihy (Novel)

Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Sylvia Miles, John McGiver, Brenda Vaccaro, Barnard Hughes

 

Plot: A naive hustler travels from Texas to New York City to seek personal fortune but, in the process, finds himself a new friend.


Tagline – Whatever you hear about Midnight Cowboy is true.

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Powerhouse Performances Classic

 

Story: Midnight Cowboy starts as naïve Texan hustler Joe Buck (Voight) heads to New York City to try his act. Arriving in the big apple things don’t start the way he had planned and after meeting local hustler Ratso (Hoffman) he learns a hard lesson on who to trust.

When the two end up becoming friends they work their act in New York with Ratso trying to save for a trip for Florida, where he see the dream to be. The two on finding a way to get rich and what they gained is a friendship.

 

Thoughts on Midnight Cowboy

 

Characters – Joe Buck is the cowboy from Texas, he has worked the area dry, well he seemed to have had an honest job there, wanting more in the big city he heads to New York, an overly friendly young man gets eaten up in the city to start with before making a friend that tries to teach him how to hustler the big city. Ratso is the New York hustler, he is disabled which makes his role better in the management role which he takes to guide Joe through the situations, though he isn’t well and now needs Joe more than anyone ever in his life. We only focus on these two with their clients that come into the situations they find themselves in.

PerformancesJon Voight in the leading role is fantastic, we see he bring the naivety through in his character that is mostly harmless man trying to find his way in the world. Dustin Hoffman also excels in his role which went against everything people knew about him at the time of the release, showing he was always going to be one of the generations best actors.

StoryThe story here follows a naïve cowboy hustler in the big apple where he learns about trust, friendship and how survive the world of a gigolo. This does show how people will need guidance to understand the world even if it meant giving up everything for that chance. the two friendship is the most important part of the film because we see how Ratso is sick and needs Joe Buck to help him too. We see how the friendship keeps both moving forward in life and that is the important factor in the story.

SettingsWe have the coach journey which heads to New York city which of course is a brilliant because the scale of the city is something Joe Buck wasn’t ready for.


Scene of the Movie –
Coach journey together.

That Moment That Annoyed Me There wasn’t anything.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the true classics in cinema, we have two stunning performances from the leads and a story that teaches us about friendship.

 

Overall: Brilliant must watch film.

Rating

 

 

Easy Rider (1969)

Director: Dennis Hopper

Writer: Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Terry Southern (Screenplay)

Starring: Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Antonio Mendoza, Phil Spector, Jack Nicholson

 

Plot: Two counterculture bikers travel from Los Angeles to New Orleans in search of America.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderful Cultural Event

 

Story: Easy Rider starts as our two hippies Wyatt (Fonda) and Billy (Hopper) pick up their parcel in LA, which leaves them to set out on their adventure to New Orleans for Mardi Grad. Along the way they spend time with fellow hippies before finding themselves in jail.

George Hanson (Nicholson) the town drunk lawyer gets them out of jail and gets invited along to New Orleans with the two and as they continue their journey they must deal with being treated differently.

 

Thoughts on Easy Rider

 

Characters – Wyatt is one of the two friends travelling, he is the more laid back of the two keeping Billy in line when he starts to question moments and never finding himself too out of it on the drugs. Billy is the friend that just wants to get the job done, though when he stops he takes more grass than he needs to have. George Hanson is a lawyer that has a drinking problem, he helps the two get out of jail and joins them on their adventure across country enjoying the drugs for the first time.

PerformancesThe performances from Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper are both great, they completely embrace their characters with their own unique look to defying the hippie era. Jack Nicholson in the supporting role is great too showing just the talent he was going to show us all.

StoryThe story here shows us two hippies travelling across America, which for the time of release would have been one of the truest movies you could see in a story, but not it feels like a glimpse into the past events in America, which once again shows us how American can’t treat people equal. If you have never studied the hippie era you won’t understand most of the story if I am being honest because it is an moment that doesn’t connect to all.

AdventureThe adventure the two friends go on does take them across America, but it is hard to figure out which state they are in for the most part.

SettingsThe settings are hard to tell about in this film, the only one I could pick out was the airport in LA at the beginning.


Scene of the Movie –
The first night the three are together.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not understand the direction of their trip.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that was cultural relevant for the time of release, it hasn’t dated by the best standard and now leaves us watching a time that if you never lived through you wouldn’t understand.

 

Overall: One of the culture books.

Rating

 

 

Original v Remake Weekend – The Italian Job (1969)

jobDirector: Peter Collinson

Writer: Troy Kennedy-Martin (Screenplay)

Starring: Michael Caine, Noel Coward, Benny Hill, Raf Vallone, Tony Beckley, Rossano Brazzi

 

Plot: Comic caper movie about a plan to steal a gold shipment from the streets of Turin by creating a traffic jam.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic Crime Caper

 

Story: The Italian Job starts as Charlie Croker (Caine) gets released from prison and going about his day in his con-artist thieving lifestyle. Charlie has already got a job set up for with the recently killed Beckerman (Brazzi) who has planned a robbery in Italy down to perfection.

Charlie needs to put his own team together for this job which brings him back to his old business associates with Mr Bridger (Coward) financing the job from behind bars. Charlie puts together his team as they head off to Italy for the job with a series of training mistakes.

The job takes a turn when Charlie learns the Mafia are also looking to take out any Englishman trying to steal from their country but can Charlie pull off the biggest heist of his career, that is the question.

 

Thoughts on The Italian Job

 

Characters/PerformanceCharlie is your typical wheeler-dealer criminal that can charm his way into anything or out of anything. He likes his plan and most of all he is the leader for the crime team. Mr Bridger is the financer who is behind bars but has all of the power England seems to want to let him have. The rest of the characters all have odd quirks but don’t get enough screen time to become memorable.

Performance wise this film is a Michael Caine masterclass where he does steal every single scene he is starring in, Noel Coward does seem to have a lot of fun with his overly English character with the rest of the cast all doing their jobs well.stars

StoryThe story is about a crime heist in a different country, we get to see how it all comes together with twists in the story. There really isn’t too much more to go on when you break down the story, it is easy to follow and you all should know how it ends now.

Action/Comedy/CrimeWatching the heist unfold is all the action we need for this film with the crime side of the story being the planning of the heist which also has elements of comedy going on throughout.

SettingsHaving the heist set in Italy does make this stand out from the rest of the films in this genre and is still just as iconic as this film has become.genre

Final ThoughtsThis film will always be remembered for it’s unbelievable final car chase through the streets of Italy and you can see just how brilliant that scene is.

 

Overall: The classic of all heist movies and cliff hanger endings.

Ratingrating