Wednesday, August 28, 2013


I had intended to participate in several episodes of Hit Me With Your Best Shot this season, but ended up missing most of them (most regrettably Dead Ringers) due to forgetfulness or laziness. As a "punishment“", I decided to take part again in the week of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. It's not that I had ever deliberately avoided this film, but I had also never felt like I would much care for it. But then it was chosen for the Hit Me series, and I also happened to see an old Married... with Children episode on TV the other night where Al and Peg go to the video store and the only movie they can agree on renting together is... Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, so I took it as a sign that it's time for me to finally see it.

I knew that Butch wasn't going to be super somber western a la The Assassination of Jesse James, but it turned out to be even more of a fluff than what I had expected. The problem is not that there's humor in it, but that much of it is too silly and slapsticky for a movie that's not actually a comedy. The dated score is definitely a problem as well: the endless "da-ba-da-ba-da" during the "robbing banks in Bolivia" montage drove me crazy. Also, even though I promised to myself at the beginning of this year not to write about awards on this blog anymore, I have to mention that BAFTA chose Katharine Ross's performance in this movie (basically just window dressing, and in a supporting role at that) over Jane Fonda's in They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, which is an unusually stoopid decision even for awards bodies.

I suspect that several people will choose their best shots from the scene right after the opening credits, which is clearly the best of the film as far as I'm concerned, and not just visually.

- "What happened to the old bank? It was beautiful."
- "People kept robbing it."
- "Small price to pay for beauty."

I almost chose the above shot from the first scene as my favorite, but then went with the one moment from the rest of the movie that I felt was deserving of that title:

It seems that I'm a sucker for shots where someone in the background is secretly observing others in the foreground – see also my choice for the best shot in The Talented Mr. Ripley.

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