Frankenkeith didn't make it (we missed you), so we settled down as a foursome to watch an old favourite of more or less everybody's: Paul Newman looking young and rugged alongside the more chocolate-box perfect Robert Redford in George Roy Hill's 1969 caper "Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid".
As a drama it's a lightweight piece of fluff; short on in-depth introspection, short on careful analysis of relationships. But it's very very long on great fun, wisecracking entertainment.
Newman and Redford spark off each other in a manner which suggests they were having a ball during filming (and if they weren't they're even better actors than they get credit for), ably supported with a straightforward performance by Katharine Ross as Etta Place. The locations used for many of the chase sequences are drop-dead gorgeous, the wide open spaces of Colorado being used to great effect by cinematographer Conrad Hall.
If you're after a "proper" western with any level of realism you should steer well clear of this version of the Butch & Sundance story, but to expect realism would be to miss the point. It's meant to be a funny, rollicking romp through the "wild west", with a touch of excitement but mostly with a sly wink and a decent one-liner. And that's exactly what it is.Deservedly regarded as a classic by plenty of people who know a great deal more about film than I do, there's a reason this film still rides high in DVD rental charts. An excellent, professional piece of escapism. More!