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Sunday, April 10, 2016

The cheap and cheerful charm of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

We were watching "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" on Netflix the other day.

In the 70s this was the acme of high end film making. The whole nation stopped and watched when it was finally shown on BBC TV.

You watch it now and the first thing that strikes you is how cheap it was. The modesty of the whole enterprise makes it seem as far distant as the silent era. There are no big set pieces or special effects. All the money must have gone to Newman and Redford, who are, it's fair to say, almost hurtfully beautiful.

When the action moves from the West to South America it's done via a montage of stills. And we don't see the big ending. They come out shooting and the frame freezes. They would never do that now, I said to a young person. No, he said, because for a start they would already be shooting a sequel.