Loosely based on the Real Life story of two turn-of-the-century American outlaws who fled to Bolivia in an attempt to outrun their pursuers, the film follows the Hole-in-the-Wall gang led by Butch Cassidy, making their living robbing banks and trains. When they get ambushed by a hired posse and the rest of the gang are scattered or killed, Butch and Sundance, along with Sundance's girlfriend Etta (Katharine Ross), make their way to Bolivia where "banks are easy". Although in the end, things don't turn out quite as they planned.
This film was a big box-office hit and also won four Academy Awards: Best Original Screenplay (Goldman), Cinematography (Conrad Hall), Original Score (Burt Bacharach), and Original Song ("Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head"). It helped make a star of Robert Redford; in recognition, he named his ski resort after his character from this film, which also carried over into the Sundance Film Festival held there each year, the largest film festival in the country.
In 1979, 20th Century Fox produced a prequel, Butch and Sundance: The Early Days, with Tom Berenger as Butch and William Katt as Sundance. Written by Allan Burns and directed by Richard Lester, its Lighter and Softer approach turned off critics and audiences alike, and Fox was reported to have lost $4 million on it, leading it to fall into obscurity.
This film provides examples of:
- 10-Minute Retirement: Butch and Sundance have a short-lived job as payroll guards for a mine worker.
- Animal Stampede: Humorously subverted. Butch attempts — at some length — to upset a pen of horses in order to get them to stampede to cover the gang's escape, only to be completely ignored by the creatures.
- Arc Words: "Who are those guys?"
- Arch-Enemy: Although they do not appear (recognisably) in the film, Joe Lefors and E.H. Harriman are the archenemies of Butch and Sundance.
- Artistic License – History:
- The "Hole-in-the-Wall gang" was more commonly known as the "Wild Bunch"note . "Hole-in-the-Wall" was the name of one of their hideouts.
- The Sundance Kid didn't grow up in Atlantic City.
- Zig-zagged with Sundance Kid's gunfighting skills. The real Sundance Kid's reputation as an excellent gunfighter may be due to him getting confused with fellow bandit Kid Curry. Sundance himself is known to have wounded a few people but not killed anyone. In the film, Sundance is an outstanding gunfighter but isn't shown killing anyone before he reaches Bolivia and doesn't seem like a ruthless murderer.
- The deaths of Butch and the Kid are historically foggy. There was a shootout involving the Bolivian army vs. two foreign bandits, but the bandits shot themselves and were buried in unmarked graves before they could be positively identified. (There is some inconclusive evidence that Butch remained alive several years beyond that incident, living a quiet life. But there is no particular evidence for the Kid remaining alive.)
- Asymmetric Dilemma: About to jump from a high precipice into a river below, Sundance points out that he can't swim. "You crazy?" says Butch, "The fall will probably kill you!"
- Atomic F-Bomb: When Butch and Sundance jump off the cliff into the river, Sundance lets off an epic "AHHHHH SHIIIIIIIIIIIITTTTTT!"
- Back-to-Back Badasses: Butch and Sundance throughout.
- Bait-and-Switch Comment:Butch: You know, every time I see Hole-in-the-Wall again, it's like seeing it fresh for the first time. And every time that happens, I keep asking myself the same question; how could I be so damn stupid to keep coming back here?
- Bandito: After Butch and Sundance decide to go straight in Bolivia, and get jobs guarding a mine's payroll, they wind up in a shootout with some Bolivian banditos who want to steal said payroll.
- Bank Robbery: Butch and Sundance carry out several in Bolivia.
- Basso Profundo: Harvey has this voice. Also one of the singers in the background during the bank robbery segments in Bolivia is Thurl Ravenscroft.
- Batman Gambit: E.H. Harriman baits the Hole-in-the-Wall gang with another train, then sends the Posse From Hell after them.
- Better to Die than Be Killed: There's a reason this film is the Trope Namer for Bolivian Army Ending. It is unclear, however, if they realize what they're up against and choose to go out in a blaze of glory, or if they really think they have a chance to break out.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Butch is an incredibly pleasant guy. Doesn't mean he won't take certain measures if you get in the way of his robbery.
- Big Bad: Joe Lefors.
- Big, Bulky Bomb: In an attempt to blow open a safe on a railroad car, they wind up blowing up the whole car.
- Bilingual Bonus: Some scenes in Bolivia are funnier if you speak Spanish.
- Blade-of-Grass Cut: Visible in a fade in/out of a tree branch with dew, set to "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head".
- Bolivian Army Ending: Welp, spoilers. This is, of course, the Trope Namer. The film ends with a freeze-frame as Butch and Sundance charge out to shoot it out with the Bolivian Army.
- Born in the Wrong Century: Or at least the wrong decade. The Central Theme is seeing two Lovable Rogues’ pathetic attempts to cope with the Twilight of the Old West. If they would have been born just fifteen years earlier, they would have been The Aces among the Outlaws. If they would have born just fifteen years later, they would have been the Neighbourhood-Friendly Gangsters. Everyone loves them but knows that Their Days Are Numbered. It looks like things will turn around when they move to Bolivia, which to them seems like a land set back 20 or so years from where they left behind... but Bolivia, it turns out, is more advanced than they thought.
- Bottomless Magazines: Averted for the most part during the film and particularly during the final showdown where Sundance is covering Butch's run for more ammunition. George Roy Hill deliberately showed Sundance reloading behind cover as a Take That! to other films. However, it's played straight in the final mad dash. Sundance gets off at least 15 shots from his pair of six-shooters.Butch: Is that what you call giving cover?
Sundance: Is that what you call running?
- Buddy Picture: Probably the Trope Codifier. The chemistry between Newman and Redford is some of the best in Hollywood history.
- Butt-Monkey: Woodcock, who twice falls victim to Butch and Sundance when they're robbing his train.
- Carnival of Killers: The Super Posse, which includes Indian tracker Lord Baltimore and lawman Joe Lefors and which has been paid to stay on the trail of the outlaws till they are dead.
- Casual Danger Dialog: Very common, but averted in one famous scene: Butch gets annoyed when Sundance finally shows some emotion about being chased for days and cornered on a cliff overlooking a raging river.Butch: What's the matter with you?
Sundance: I can't swim!
Butch: [pause, then raucous laughter] Why, you crazy? The fall'll probably kill ya!
- Cat Scare: At one point during their flight from the posse, Butch and Sundance hide among some cliffs. They nervously watch the open plain below, only for them to hear a rustling sound behind them. Sundance quickly turns around and shoots at the source of the sound — and we see a poor Gila monster tumbling over dead.
- Central Theme: How two people can spend their whole lives together and never really know each other.
- Challenging the Chief: Butch had apparently stated prior to the events of the film that anyone who wanted to could challenge him for leadership. Butch set this rule because he thought nobody would ever take him up on it, but early in the film the biggest, meanest member of his gang does just that. Through a combination of Guile and being willing to fight dirty, Butch manages to win despite the fact that he shouldn't have had a chance in the fight.
- The Chase: The entire middle third of the movie is this as the bounty hunters pursue Butch and Sundance across the Western landscape.
- Combat Pragmatist: Butch is not much of a fighter, so he relies on surprise and a tactical Groin Attack to survive his "knife fight" with the brutal Harvey.
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Butch wonders why E.H. Harriman doesn't just pay him off with the money he's spending to track them.Butch: A setup like thatnote would cost more than we ever took! If he'd just pay me what he's spending to make me stop robbing him, I'd stop robbing him!
- Deadpan Snarker: Sundance.
- Decoy Protagonist: Every single member of the Hole-in-the-Wall gang, distinguishing eccentricities and all, that you don’t see in the title screen is unceremoniously slaughtered in the first act.
- Deliberately Jumping the Gun: When Butch is challenged to a Knife Fight, Harvey's response allows him to exploit this trope.Butch: No, no, not yet. Not until me and Harvey get the rules straightened out.
Harvey: Rules? In a knife fight? No rules!
[Butch immediately kicks Harvey in the groin]
Butch: Well, if there ain't going to be any rules, let's get the fight started. Someone count 1-2-3 go.
- Deliberately Monochrome: Sepia is used thrice: in the intro, in a travel montage and the finale.
- Determinator: The heroes come to see the super-posse in general and Lefors in particular this way — to the point where the glimpse of a white hat spooks them badly.
- Didn't Want an Adventure: Butch says to Sundance, "Kid, the next time I say, 'Let's go someplace like Bolivia,' let's go someplace like Bolivia." Bolivia doesn't work out too well, either.
- Downer Ending: Presumably. Butch and Sundance may or may not have been killed by the Bolivian Army.
- Dramatic Ammo Depletion: Butch and Sundance have very limited ammunition during the final shoot-out, prompting Butch to make a mad dash to get more while Sundance covers him.
- Dramatic Irony: The pair, however, are painfully unaware that a sizeable battalion of the Bolivian Army has come to kill them.Butch: Hey, wait a minute. You didn't see Lefors out there, did ya?
Sundance: Lefors? No.
Butch: Oh good. For a moment there, I thought we were in trouble.
- The Dreaded: Joe Lefors, the lawman who tracks our heroes all the way to Bolivia.note
- End of an Era: See also Twilight of the Old West. The advancing technology of the bicyclenote of all things underscores how the Wild West — with all the gamblers, gunfighters, and train robbers — is fading away.
- Establishing Character Moment: Butch Cassidy is introduced casing a potential bank to rob, only to decide that it's too risky due to the updated security methods. The Sundance Kid is introduced playing cards and getting angry when accused of cheating.
- "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner: "For a moment there, I thought we were in trouble."
- While talking with Butch and Sundance, Sheriff Bledsoe tells them "Your times is over, and you're gonna die bloody, and all you can do is choose where." At the end of the movie, Butch and Sundance are killed in a volley of bullets in a literal Bolivian Army Ending (for which this is the Trope Namer).
- Etta's line takes the cake:
- Freeze-Frame Ending: The original Bolivian Army Ending, just as Butch and Sundance, hopelessly outnumbered, come out firing. The massive gunfire heard during the freeze frame implies they did not make it.
- Funny Background Event: Butch and Sundance relax on the balcony of a whorehouse, unbeknownst to the Marshal across the street who is failing to form a posse to get them.
- Gallows Humour: Numerous examples, considering that they're both bank robbers wanted dead or alive (preferably dead).
- Gambling Brawl: Subverted. Sundance is in a poker game with several other men. When Butch arrives, one of the other players accuses Sundance of cheating and wants to have a shootout with him to settle things. When Butch calls him "Sundance", the challenger is familiar with his reputation and realizes that if they fight, he'll be killed. This allows Butch to use his charisma and diplomacy skills to get Sundance to leave without a fight.
- The Gay '90s: The film begins in 1898, and is particularly well-demonstrated in the gratuitous New York City sepia-montage.
- "Get Out of Jail Free" Card: Butch and Sundance desperately try to get one from a local Sheriff by offering to enlist in the Army. He doesn't bite.
- Groin Attack: As soon as Harvey proclaims that there are "no rules" in a Knife Fight, Butch does this to him before it even began.
- Hand Gagging: During the second train robbery. Woodcock, thinking Butch and Sundance were going to harm a female train passenger, opens the door to the car with the safe in it, only to find Sundance has the woman like this while Butch imitated her voice.
- Hand Signals: During the second train robbery, when the pursuing posse appears Butch waves his arm toward the rest of the Hole-in-the-Wall gang in a "get going" gesture.
- Happily Ever Before: The last shot of the movie freeze-frames literally the instant before the two heroes are gunned down, leaving us with a final image of the two in which they are very much alive, and doing what they do best.
- The Hero Dies: Both Butch and Sundance themselves at the end. Probably.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Butch and Sundance. They even bicker like an old married couple throughout the movie.
- Hidden in Plain Sight: Butch and Sundance sit on the balcony of a whore house literally across the street from an unobservant Marshal trying plaintively to rally a posse to catch them.
- High-Dive Escape: Butch and Sundance leap off a cliff into a river to escape a posse. Sundance is reluctant because he cannot swim. Butch famously replies, “Hell. The fall’ll probably kill ya.”
- High-Speed Hijack: The Sundance Kid jumps down from a nearby hill onto the top of a moving train, then runs along the top to the engine and makes the train crew stop it at gunpoint.
- Historical Beauty Update: Butch and Sundance were more ordinary looking than Hollywood heartthrobs Redford and Newman, but then again, who isn't? Etta Place, however, was an attractive woman, and her Pinkerton file describes her as "classically beautiful," so Katherine Ross isn't far off.
- Historical Domain Character: Butch, Sundance, and Etta, of course, but also there was a real E. H. Harriman who controlled several large interstate railroads in the American west at the time.
- I Am Not Leonard Nimoy: To some extent, Robert Redford has been cultivating this. He named his ski resort and his annual film festival "Sundance" after his role here.
- If We Get Through This…: Butch and Sundance discuss moving to Australia in the final moments of their Bolivian Army Ending.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: Parodied. The Kid and Etta apparently have a rather kinky sex life.
- Implacable Man: The posse headed by Joe Lefors and tracker Lord Baltimore seem to stop at nothing when tracking Butch and Sundance down.
- Impressive Pyrotechnics: "You think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?"
- Improbable Aiming Skills:
- The mine owner wants Sundance to shoot a plug of chewing tobacco to test his skill, but Sundance can't hit it standing still. He has to quick draw and shoot in rapid succession, and only then does he blast the tobacco all over the place.
- Sundance also shoots the gunbelt off a man and shoots the gun itself across the floor at the start of the film.
- Inexperienced Killer: Right before the shoot-out with the bandits, a nervous Butch confesses to Sundance that he's never actually shot anybody before. Sundance is just annoyed that he waits until now to tell him.
- Intermission: The film includes a five-minute Good-Times Montage of still photos which serves very little expository purpose. It is not an official intermission, but it is a great time to go to the bathroom. It was originally planned to be a live action sequence of Butch, Sundance and Etta in New York, on their way to Bolivia, using the New York sets built for Hello, Dolly!, but production delays for that film meant that Butch Cassidy would be released first, and the Hello Dolly producers didn't want people thinking that they had reused sets built for Butch Cassidy.
- It Will Never Catch On: Butch's bicycle is treated like a novel toy, and he eventually has to discard it.
- Just Train Wrong: In the train robbery/coach explosion scene, the cars are all appropriate for the era. Apart from the locomotive though, which was most likely built in 1925.
- The Ken Burns Effect: Used to liven up the photo montage that illustrates the gang's trip to New York City and thence to South America.
- Klingon Promotion: Attempted when Harvey Logan demands that Butch fight him to the death, with the expectation that the winner would be the leader of the hole-in-the-wall gang. "Guns or knives?" Subverted when Butch tells Sundance to kill Harvey if he wins the fight.
- Knife Fight: Logan proposes one when he challenges Butch for leadership of the gang. Butch instead delivers a Groin Attack.
- Latin Land: Bolivia? More like Mexico with llamas.
- Leader Wannabe: When Butch and the Kid return to the Hole in the Wall Gang they find that Harvey wants to take over from Butch. Harvey challenges Butch to a fight, but Butch takes him out with a surprise Groin Attack.
- Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: Butch proposes this to Harvey Logan, who dismissively rejects it, failing to realize that he was actually handing Butch an opportunity to blindside him.
- Loophole Abuse: Butch is about to participate in a knife fight with Harvey, a member of his gang challenging him for leadership. Butch starts walking towards Harvey and claims that first they have to get the rules straightened out. Harvey thinks the idea of rules in a knife fight is so dumb that he lowers his guard and bellows that there are no rules. Butch immediately kicks Harvey in the groin, states that if there aren't going to be any rules it's about time to start the fight, and finishes off Harvey before he can recover from Butch's sneak attack.
- Lovable Rogue: Butch and Sundance are the most charming thieves you will meet.Woodcock: Butch, you know that if it were my money, there is nobody that I would rather have steal it than you.
- Make It Look Like a Struggle: When Butch and Sundance go to see their friend Sheriff Bledsoe, he insists on their tying him up and gagging him so there's no chance of him losing his job if anyone saw the two criminals entering his home.
- Matte Shot: The "cliff jump" scene features a matte-painted cliff wall.
- Misplaced-Names Poster: The ultimate collector's edition slipcover◊ has Paul Newman and Robert Redford's names swapped. However, the cover of the case itself◊ uses the same text with a different pictures where the actors match their names.
- Monochrome to Color: The first scene is in a sepia-toned black-and-white, likely in order to establish the old-timey 1898 mood. After Butch finishes casing a bank and Sundance has a confrontation over a poker game, they leave town, and the film switches to color.
- Mr. Fanservice: Newman and Redford, two very handsome men.
- Mr. Smith: When Butch and Sundance decide to give up crime, they tell their employer that their names are Smith and Jones.
- Ms. Fanservice: Etta is introduced by The Kid getting her to take her Gorgeous Period Dress off.
- Multiple Gunshot Death: Although we don't get to see it on-screen, the ending implies that Butch and Sundance were gunned down by three or four squads of Bolivian Army riflemen.
- Mysterious Mercenary Pursuer: Joe Lefors. So mysterious, he's never even properly seen in the film. Butch and Sundance see him once from a distance of a mile or more, then later on see someone they assume is him from behind, although it's not clear if it's really Lefors or just paranoia on their part. When Butch and Sundance were at night and planted a diversion for Lefor's men to split up and so trick them, they fall... for almost a minute. Then they resume their persecution. Those guys were scary.
- Name and Name
- Never Bring a Knife to a Fist Fight: Butch's leadership of the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang is challenged by Harvey Logan. Logan produces a large knife; Butch tricks his dimwitted opponent into momentarily letting his guard down by discussing the "rules" for the fight, kicks him in the crotch, and knocks him out cold.
- No Escape but Down: When the title characters are trapped against the edge of a cliff by the posse pursuing them, they decide to take their chances and jump into the river below.
- No-Holds-Barred Contest:Butch: No, no. Not yet. Not until me and Harvey get the rules straightened out.
Harvey: Rules in a knife fight? No rules!
Butch: [kicks Harvey in the 'nads] If there ain't no rules, let's get started. Someone count 1, 2, 3, go.
Sundance: 1, 2, 3, go!
Butch: [knocks Harvey out with a two-handed punch]
- No One Could Survive That!: Subverted. The two heroes jump off a cliff to escape pursuit. Sundance says that he can't swim, and Butch laughs, saying "The fall will prob'ly kill ya!"
- "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: "Most of what follows is true." In spite of the whimsical nature of the film, a surprising amount of details really are taken from the real story.
- Off Bridge, onto Vehicle: Butch and Sundance are forced to jump off a cliff to escape a pursuing posse: they land in a river and are carried away downstream.
- Offscreen Inertia: This may have been the reasoning behind the ending, and perhaps some of the subsequent imitations as well. If you don't actually see the heroes get killed in the ensuing battle then there's the possibility, however slim, that they're still fighting, and managed to win. It helps that there is some historical evidence suggesting that Butch maybe survived the shootout (though none for Sundance).
- Oh, Crap!: When the gambler in the opening scene realizes who he was just accusing of cheating.
- Outlaw: Butch, Sundance and the rest of the Hole-in-the-Wall gang.
- One-Steve Limit: The historical Harvey Logan's pseudonym of Kid Curry is never mentioned in the film. This is probably because of there already being a "Kid" and a Curry ("Flat Nose") in the gang. Historians actually believe the real Sundance Kid's reputation as a gunfighter was due to confusion between the two "Kids" in the gang. Logan was a confirmed killer.
- Pinkerton Detective: They pursue the duo to Bolivia (both in real life and in the film.)
- The town marshal tries to get a posse together to pursue the Hole in the Wall gang after a train robbery, but his lack of charisma, the gang's lethal reputation and the intervention of a bicycle salesman foil him.
- During the second train robbery, the gang is attacked by a expert posse specially formed by "Mr. E. H. Harriman of the Union Pacific Railroad" to hunt down Butch and the Sundance Kid. This pursuit eventually drives Our Heroes to Bolivia, and their doom.
- Precision F-Strike: There isn't a lot of cursing in this movie, but Butch and Sundance get off a an Atomic F-Bomb of "Ohhhhh Shiiiiit!" as they jump into the river
- Put on a Bus: Etta, who was a rather important character in the movie, who had been following them throughout the whole story, abandons Sundance in Bolivia, telling him that she won't watch him die. Things go south very quickly when she's gone.
- Reality Has No Subtitles: After the title duo go to Bolivia multiple characters speak Spanish with no translation for the audience.
- After Butch and Sundance rob a bank, the bank guard tells the local police commander about the robbery and describes the robbers, all in Spanish.
- Some of the natives speak Spanish to the title characters.
- When Butch and Sundance enter a bank, the guard speaks to them in Spanish. Frustrated because they can't understand him, they leave in confusion.
- After becoming the "Banditos Yanquis", they stop in a small town for lunch. They ask a random guy for some food and he responds with a long dialogue in Spanish.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Butch and Sundance get a well-meaning one from their sheriff friend.Sheriff Ray Bledsoe: You should have let yourself get killed a long time ago when you had the chance. See, you may be the biggest thing that ever hit this area, but you're still two-bit outlaws. I never met a soul more affable than you, Butch, or faster than the Kid, but you're still nothing but two-bit outlaws on the dodge. It's over, don't you get that? Your times is over and you're gonna die bloody, and all you can do is choose where.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Butch's exuberant scheming is nicely balanced by Sundance's laconic skepticism.
- Retreaux: The little silent movie that plays over the opening credits.
- Retired Outlaw: The duo try to do this by becoming bodyguards. They go back when their legitimate employment comes with a much higher body count.
- Revolver Cylinder Spin: During the gunfight between the title characters and the Bolivian police officers, Sundance spins his revolver's cylinder a couple of times after reloading, with the standard whirring/clicking noise. You can watch/listen to it here.
- Romantic Ride Sharing: Downplayed in the movie which only goes as far as implying mutual attraction between Butch Cassidy and Etta Place, the girlfriend of his best friend the Sundance Kid. Said mutual attraction is exemplified in a scene where Butch takes Etta on a bicycle ride — he steers while she sits on the handlebars — set to the lighthearted song "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head", and the two are very physically affectionate throughout.
- Rousing Speech: Subverted. The Marshal tries to deliver one to round up a posse, resulting in only one person joining him on stage — who promptly launches into a sales pitch for bicycles.
- Run for the Border: While fleeing from their pursuers, Sundance proposes fleeing to Mexico, but Butch shoots him down. After losing their pursuers, they do decide to emigrate to Bolivia.
- Safecracking: Mr. E.H. Harriman's newest safe defeats Butch's cracker. So they use dynamite. A LOT of dynamite. It winds up destroying the whole train car as well as the safe and sending the money flying everywhere.
- Scarily Competent Tracker: Lord Baltimore, who can even track our heroes over rock.
- Scenery Porn: Gorgeous views of Colorado, Utah, and Mexico (which doubled for Bolivia).
- Schoolmarm: Etta Place, Sundance's woman, is a schoolmarm who abandons her duties to go to South America with them.
- Screw the Rules, They're Not Real!: Butch is challenged to a knife fight by the enormous Harvey. As the latter whips out his knife and gets in a ready stance, Butch calmly strides toward him saying first he needs to explain some rules, Harvey protests: "Rules? In a knife fight? No rules!", distracting him long enough for Butch to walk up right to him and kick him in the crotch, winning the "fight".
- Show Within a Show: The silent film version of the Hole-in-the-Wall's exploits during the opening credits.
- Shout-Out: The kid noticing the brand on the burro references The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
- Slow-Motion Fall: When the title characters shoot down the Bolivian bandits.
- Soft Water: Faclitates the most famous scene in the movie, where Butch and Sundance escape a trap by jumping into a river.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: A western scored by Burt Bacharach.
- Spiritual Successor: The Sting reunited director George Roy Hill with Newman and Redford for another seriocomic period piece about a couple of guys operating outside the law.
- Stern Chase: From the arrival of the posse until Butch and Sandance escape to Bolivia.
- The Starscream: Logan, one of the members of the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang, challenges Butch for leadership of the gang. A well-placed Groin Attack puts a stop to that.
- Stuff Blowing Up: After Butch blows up an entire train car along with all their loot, Sundance deadpans, "Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?"
- Surrounded by Idiots: As Butch, Sundance, and their employer are on a mission to pick up a payroll, Butch and Sundance are watching for an ambush. The employer says "Morons. I've got morons on my team.", and explains that no one will ambush them because they don't have the money yet.
- Tempting Fate:
- While Butch and Sundance are acting as payroll guards, their employer tries to reassure them about the threat from bandits.Percy Garris: About a half hour more, and we can start to worry, as soon as we get to that pass up there. We'll be all right till then. [...] You got to relax, you fellas. You got to get used to Bolivian ways. You got to go easy. [...] [shots ring out and he falls dead]
- Early in the movie, Butch and Sundance are pursued by a posse led by the lawman Joe LeFors. After traveling to Bolivia, at the end of the film they are trapped in a room by some police officers. Little do they know that a Bolivian Army detachment has arrived outside and is ready to riddle them with bullets.Butch: Hey, wait a minute.
Butch: You didn't see LeFors out there, did you?
Sundance: LeFors? No.
Butch: Oh, good. For a moment there, I thought we were in trouble. [they charge outside]
Bolivian Army officer: Fuego! (Fire!) [gunfire] Fuego! [gunfire] Fuego! [gunfire]
- While Butch and Sundance are acting as payroll guards, their employer tries to reassure them about the threat from bandits.
- There Are No Rules: Parodied. Logan has challenged Butch to a fight for leadership of the Hole in the Wall gang.Butch: No, no, not yet. Not until me and Harvey get the rules straightened out. [starts walking towards Harvey]
Logan: Rules? In a knife fight? No rules!
Butch: [gives Logan a Groin Attack, disabling him]
Butch: Well, if there ain't going to be any rules, let's get the fight started. Someone count 1,2,3 go.
Sundance: [very fast] 1,2,3 go!
Butch: [knocks out Logan with a two-handed punch]
- Threesome Subtext: Butch + Sundance + Etta is just this side of canon.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: A cruel subversion as we discover that Butch Cassidy had never killed anyone. That is, until he went straight and served as a payroll guard. This is actually true, as Butch Cassidy was a lapsed Mormon and had strong feelings against killing. He figured God would probably forgive him for everything else as long as he avoided killing.
- Train Job: Butch and Sundance's specialty.
- The Trope Kid
- Try and Follow: The duo jump off the cliff into the river below to avoid being caught. But that isn't enough and they learn later that their pursuers will keep after them until they were captured or dead.
- Twilight of the Old West: Takes place between 1898 and 1908.
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story: "Most of what follows is true."
- Wanted Meter: Butch and Sundance are having a peachy time robbing trains until the railroads employs a team of special detectives to hunt them down. They manage to escape to South America, where they think they can reset their Karma Meter, but they find that the wanted level transfered and soon run afoul of the Bolivian Army.
- What Happened to the Mouse?:
- When the team of hunters starts pursuing Butch and Sundance, two other members of the Hole in the Wall gang are ordered by Butch and Sundance to "Split up!" They take off in another direction and drop completely out of the story. Likewise, everyone else in the Hole in the Wall gang who wasn't at the robbery never appear again. Butch and Sundance apparently make no effort to contact them, even to warn them of the threat.
- More significantly, whatever became of Etta Place in both the film and in history is unknown.
- Worrying for the Wrong Reason: In the film's most famous scene, the characters are debating whether or not to escape their pursuers by jumping from a high cliff into a river. Butch insists that they should, but Sundance is dead set against it. Eventually he reveals the reason for his reluctance: he can't swim. At which point Butch starts laughing at him and cries:Butch: Why, you crazy? The fall'll probably kill ya!
- "YEAH!" Shot: A somewhat less-cheery variant shows up at the end.
- You Can Keep Her!:Sundance: What are you doing?
Butch: Stealing your woman.
Sundance: [Beat] Take her, take her.
Butch: Well you're a romantic bastard, I'll give you that.