- Movie Rating -

Butch and Sundance: The Early Days (1979)

| June 15, 1979

I saw Butch and Sundance: The Early Years late on a Friday night on a local channel in my hometown of Birmingham Alabama where it was sponsored by a company selling aluminum siding.  They were proud of their product, even going so far as to bring satisfied customers in front of the camera for a testimonial.  I could confidently say that whoever was putting the sponsorship deal together was much more interested in the product then they were in the movie.  That’s how you justify interrupting the movie every ten minutes to sell the product.

It would not have been such a problem if the movie were terrible, but to my surprise, I found Butch and Sundance: The Early Days kind of delightful.  It’s fun, it has energy, I smiled a lot, I laughed a good bit.  It is probably about three times better than it should be and certainly doesn’t deserve to be chopped up to sell aluminum siding.

This is, of course, a prequel to the enormous Newman/Redford picture Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and is only justified as a prequel because Butch and Sundance were gunned down at the end of that movie.  Well, here is the story of how they met and they are played by younger actors Tom Berenger and William Kat who act and sound like a young Butch and Sundance.  The story is not all that important.  Besides trying to chronical the duo’s early days, it also builds tension out of the two being pursued by O.C. Hanks, who is the leader of Butch’s former gang.

Does that make any difference?  Not really.  A story is not really why you’re here.  You’re here to watch some fun action scenes (which the movie has), hear some snappy jokes (which the movie has) and have a smile on your face (which in my case, I did).  I did not expect anything from this movie.  It has no reason to exist other than to cash in on a familiar name.  I enjoyed myself.  I bought the characters.  I bought into their adventures.  And I had no intention of buying the aluminum siding.  They can’t keep that.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1979) View IMDB Filed in: Uncategorized