Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid Special DVD Edition MINI REVIEW

I have held this movie in high regard over the years and was ecstatic when they first announced this DVD was coming to market. I viewed it for the first time and all I can say is WOW!. The DVD transfer is superb and the sound quality is fantastic. The color fidelity really shines when viewing the Super Posse chase but great care was taken as all of the scenes look almost as good as the original 35MM print. With the questionable "bonus" items hastily thrown together on a lot of DVD releases today is is refreshing that the same care and attention to detail that went into producing and directing the original movie went into the production of this DVD. The director/writer/cameraman commentary is excellent. A lot of behind the scenes anecdotes and explanations of how scenes were shot are intelligently discussed and proves once again that this movie was crafted and created by movie making and acting professionals who were at the top of their game in 1968. I was thoroughly engrossed by the interviews that were filmed in 1994 (the 25th Anniversary of the original release of the movie). The interviews with Paul Newman, Robert Redford, and William Goldman are exceptional because of the different perspectives and viewpoints given on how the movie got made and the effusive praise and credit heaped (deservedly so on George Roy Hill, the Director). Not to take anything away from the Katherine Ross and Burt Bacharach interviews which are also very informative. The hour long documentary "The Making of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" is also included in the bonus section and is also must see viewing as it goes behind the scenes on how they filmed most of the key story sequences. Students of film to just plain movie buffs will pick up a lot of terrific inside film-making tips and techniques from this documentary that is narrated by George Roy Hill, Paul Newman, Robert Redford, and Conrad Hall. In summary, if you already have a VHS copy GET THIS DVD! . It is a true American movie classic that was made the old fashioned way. It told a great story cinematically with few artistic/creative compromises. I see lots of parallels between George Roy Hill and James Cameron because they are both fighters/(loathers of studio execs (suits) and all of the money that they spend on the movie can be seen when viewing the final cut. They demand (and get) the utmost respect from their actors and film-making crew because they KNOW what they're doing! Great Story+Great Director+Great Actors=Great Movie. I assure you this will be one of the best DVD additions to your collection.

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