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Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid led the Wild Bunch through a series of bank and train robberies across the American Old West. Their exploits served as the basis for the 1967 Oscar-winning film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford directed by George Roy Hill.

Born Robert LeRoy Parker in Beaver, Utah, on April 13, 1866, the bandit who assumed the alias Butch Cassidy remains an icon of the Old West even 150 years after his birth. As with many legendary outlaws, Cassidy’s life was shrouded in mystery and folklore, but even murkier are the facts surrounding his death.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

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Lula Parker Betenson, sister of the real Butch Cassidy, often visited the set, and her presence was welcome to the cast and crew. During lulls in shooting, she would tell stories about her famous brother’s escapades, and was amazed at how accurately the script and Paul Newman portrayed him. Before the film was released, the studio found out about her visits and tried to convince her to endorse the movie in a series of ads to be shown in theaters across the country. She said that she would, but only if she saw the film first, and truly stood behind it. The studio refused, saying that allowing her to see the film before its release could harm its reputation.

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George Roy Hill

BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID

George Roy Hill’s comically elegiac Western chronicles the mostly true tale of the outlaws’ last months. Witty pals Butch (Paul Newman) and Sundance (Robert Redford) join the Gang in successfully robbing yet another train with their trademark non-lethal style. After the pair rests at the home of Sundance’s schoolmarm girlfriend, Etta (Katharine Ross), the Gang robs the same train, but this time, the railroad boss has hired the best trackers in the business to foil the crime. After being tailed over rocks and a river gorge by guys that they can barely identify save for a white hat, Butch and Sundance decide that maybe it’s time to try their luck in Bolivia.

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