Wednesday, October 24, 2012

October 24: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

On this date in History ... 1969:

The movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” was released. The $6 million movie grossed over $96 million in sales. It was rated #7 on the American Film Institute’s 10 Greatest Western Films in 2008. The theme song "Raindrop Keep Falling on my Head", sung by BJ Thomas,  was 1st offered to Ray Stevens, then Bob Dylan. Both turned it down. The song won an Academy Award for Best Original Song. Thomas had laryngitis when recording the song, which is why his voice sounds raspy in the movie soundtrack.  (photo courtesy of

During the filming of the scenes in Bolivia (which were filmed in Mexico), the entire cast and crew came down with what is referred to as “Montezuma’s Revenge” except for Redford, Newman and Katherine Ross as they refused to drink the water provided by the local caterer.  They only drank soda and alcohol during the entire location shoot.

(One of my favorite lines is in this clip, before they jump into the river, when Sundance admits he can’t swim and Cassidy replies, “…. the fall will probably kill ya!”)  See Video Clip Here

The sister of the real Butch Cassidy visiting the set often and was amazed and impressed at how accurately the film and Newman portrayed her brother.  She refused to endorse the film when asked by the studio, but relented when Redford suggested she do it “for a small fee.”

Steve McQueen also read for the part of Butch Cassidy, at about the same time as Paul Newman. The original name of the film was “Sundance Kid and Butch Cassidy” but when Newman got the role, the names were reversed since Newman was a bigger star. Warren Beatty was also considered for the role, but he turned it down because he felt it was too similar to his role in “Bonnie and Clyde”.

The film holds the record for the BAFTA’s (British Academy Awards) with nine wins.

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