Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid

DVD Rating: *****

Reviewed by: Sarah Artt

Read Sarah Artt's film review of Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid
Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid

This is a two-disc special edition that would satisfactorily pad out the collection of any Western fan.

The first disc contains two commentaries, one by writer William Goldman and the other by four of the key players: director George Roy Hill, cinematographer Conrad Hall, lyricist Hal David and producer John Foreman. Goldman's commentary is by far the most amusing, as he frankly explains that Butch Cassidy is the only movie he has ever written, besides The Princess Bride, that he is completely happy with. Goldman is clearly an old hand at scriptwriting and this new commentary gives him a real chance to impart his unfiltered opinions on the state of movie making today.

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The other commentary is more straightforward, with admiring comments on elegant shots and lots of background on the conditions of shooting in rural locations. Hall, David and Foreman talk most, with only occasional eruptions from Hill, who, during the first scene between Sundance and Etta, informs us that he cast Katharine Ross solely on the fact that "she was the sexiest girl I'd ever seen."

The second disc of this special edition includes an updated Making Of documentary, as well as a fact vs. fiction documentary, where key elements and scenes of the film are discussed by a pair of historians of the American West. Material from the 1994 re-release is also included, with interviews and an additional Making Of doc.

Also included is a recently discovered deleted scene from the original film. It was preserved by one of the assistant directors, who, alongside Goldman, evidently felt quite strongly when it was first cut, though he now acknowledges it as "too contrived". The scene consists of Butch and Sundance viewing the silent film of the Hole In The Wall Gang that appears over the opening credits. Seeing themselves dying on film reinforces their own sense of mortality. While it's an interesting scene, it feels a bit too self-reflective for a film of this kind.

Also included is a brief interview with Robert Redford on the subject of a bet he and Hill had while making the film and you can see why it didn't make the final print. Impressed by Redford's athleticism, Hill bet him there was a sport he couldn't master and challenged him to a fencing match, the outcome of which is the stuff of Hollywood legend.

There are plenty of extras included here, with all three stars interviewed for the documentaries, as well as key members of the crew. If you're already a fan of the movie, then this is the definitive edition to own.

Reviewed on: 13 Jun 2006
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Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid packshot
The witty exploits of two lovable outlaws who go on the lam in South America.
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Product Code: 01061DVD

Region: 2

Ratio: 16:9 Anamorphic Wide Screen / 2.35 Anamorphic Wide Screen

Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

Extras: The Making Of Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid documentary; audio commentary by William Goldman; audio commentary by George Roy Hill, Hal David, John Foreman and Conrad Hall; interview clips; deleted scene; production notes; trailers; alternative credit roll

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