The Great American Road Trip
Movie: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
The Sound Track for this post:
Last week the road trip stopped in Utah, and this week we take up seamlessly where we left a plane crash in Northern Utah, as we watch Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, an oldie but still goodie. The movie starts in Utah and then hops and skips to Colorado for the train sequences and back to Utah and back to Colorado (not to mention New Mexico and California) following the adventures of lovable bad guys played by Paul Newman and Robert Redford. The train is actually the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, and as a stop on your own road trip, you can ride on it–with no robberies along the way.
Of course every reader of A Traveler’s Library has already seen the movie. Right? Well, I had not watched it for quite a few years, and I had actually forgotten how well the movie portrays the luscious western scenery. If you can watch this movie and NOT want to travel (by road trip or on horseback, or train) to Colorado (and Utah and the West in general), perhaps you should schedule a neurological examination. There is something definitely wrong with your wiring!
One of the best things about the west–you can watch a movie set in the 1890′s and today you can still see the same wide-open spaces and the same spectacular mountains and canyons, that these desperadoes rode across.
Even if the movie had no plot, a re-watch would be worth it to see the extended scene with Paul Newman riding around the ranch yard(sorry, that’s California) on a bicycle, sometimes with Katherine Ross on the handlebars, and the catchy tune Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head in the background. (You’re singing it right now, aren’t you?)
And then there’s that unforgettable leap into the river from a cliff (in Colorado)–with better results than when Thelma and Louise drive over a Utah cliff in a later movie.
According to Wikipedia, actors as diverse as Jack Lemmon and Marlon Brando were considered for roles, but these are the guys who made film history.
Whew! Thank goodness it turned out to be the perfect film coupling–Paul Newman, as the nervous “thinker” who is smarter than the rest of the gang( but that’s nothing to brag about) and Robert Redford, the silent, moody and sometimes dense partner. Not only did it start Redford’s film career, but the pair went on to make several more movies together.
But mostly, I recommend looking at the film again so you can see that fantastic Western scenery. If you’ve never taken a road trip across Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana, perhaps I need to explain that it really does look that spectacularly beautiful.
Pictures are from various sources, but the scenic canyon view is a Creative Commons picture from Flickr. Click on it to see the nice work of the photographer. And thanks, as usual to You Tube for always coming through with the right film clip.
AND THAT, MY FRIENDS, IS POST #500!