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Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

As the first film to pair winning duo Robert Redford and Paul Newman, Butch not only garnered four Oscars (and another three nominations to boot); it gave Redford the name for his cinematic empire: Sundance.

The Synopsis: As a kinder, gentler take on the outlaw myth, William Goldman’s script tells the “mostly true” tale of early 20th century, real-life, American fugitives Robert Leroy Parker and Harry Longbaugh (better known as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid). Following a string of train and bank robberies, the disarming duo is on the lam and looking for respite from the authorities. They escape to Bolivia with The Kid’s lover (schoolteacher Etta Place) in the hope of turning their luck around. Wistful and charming, director George Roy Hill’s 1969 runaway hit includes the single “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” by Burt Bacharach and Hal David.

Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

1.    The script’s original title was The Sundance Kid and Butch Cassidy.

2.    Writer William Goldman got an unprecedented $400,000 for drafting the screenplay.

3.    Fox studio executives resisted casting Robert Redford as The
Sundance Kid because he was “too clean-cut”; initially, they wanted to
hire Steve McQueen or Marlon Brando to play the role.

4.    Due to a back injury, George Roy Hill directed the film while lying down.

5.    A stunt man was hired to do the bike tricks, but failed. Instead, Paul Newman took over.

6.    The director and stars loved to play elaborate practical jokes on each other.

7.    Screenwriter William Goldman admitted he “ripped off” the cliff-jumping scene from Gunga Din. 

8.    After the sneak previews, the director re-cut the film ­because it was too funny.

9.    Horses make Paul Newman extremely nervous. 

10.  Co-star Katharine Ross and Butch’s cinematographer, Conrad Hall, were a couple.

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