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Trivia / Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

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  • AFI's 100 Years... Series:
  • Big Name Fan: Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear (UK) has repeatedly stated that he considers it to be the greatest film of all time, and takes the opportunity to reference it continuously when the show visits South America.
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  • California Doubling: All of the Bolivia scenes were filmed in Mexico, where almost the entire cast and crew, including George Roy Hill came down with Montezuma's Revenge (severe diarrhea caused by drinking Mexico's notoriously polluted water). Only Robert Redford, Paul Newman, and Katharine Ross were spared, because they refused to drink the water catered on the set, and stuck to drinking soda and alcohol for the duration of the shoot.
  • Cast the Runner-Up: Paul Newman was originally cast to play Sundance, with Steve McQueen, Warren Beatty, Marlon Brando and Dustin Hoffman each considered at one point or another for the role of Butch. After Redford was cast as Butch, Newman suggested they switch roles.
  • Deleted Scene: A scene that was cut had Cassidy, the Kid, and Etta in a Bolivian cinema and seeing a screen re-enactment of their gang, depicting Butch and Sundance as ruthless killers gunned down by the law. As the two men watch incredulously, shouting at the screen that it didn't happen that way, Etta walks off to the station to catch the train that would begin her journey back to America. George Roy Hill thought that the scene was "a little heavy-handed and unnecessary".
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  • Dueling Movies: With The Wild Bunch. Strother Martin was in both movies.
  • No Stunt Double:
    • Paul Newman did his own bicycle stunts, after his stuntman was unable to stay on the bike. The only one he didn't do was the scene where Butch crashes backwards into the fence, which was performed by Cinematographer Conrad L. Hall.
    • Robert Redford wanted to do all of his own stunts. Newman was especially upset about Redford's desire to jump onto the train roof and run along the tops of the cars as it moved. Redford said Newman told him, "I don't want any heroics around here. I don't want to lose a co-star."
  • Recycled Set: The New York scenes were filmed on the set of Hello, Dolly!.
  • Romance on the Set:
    • During filming, Paul Newman had an affair with journalist Nancy Bacon, which caused him to separate from his wife Joanne Woodward for a while.
    • Sam Elliott and Katharine Ross met on this movie, though they didn't get married until 1984.
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  • Star-Making Role: For Robert Redford.
  • Stunt Double:
    • The river jump was shot at the studio's Century Ranch near Malibu, California. Paul Newman and Robert Redford's stuntmen jumped off of a construction crane by Century Lake. The crane was obscured by a matte painting of the cliffs. Newman and Redford start the jump in Colorado, but only land on a mattress.
    • According to George Roy Hill's own documentary on the filming of this movie, stuntman Jimmy Arnett fractured his pelvis in the final shoot-out sequence after falling from the arch. He fell onto a stack of cardboard boxes, but there were too few to break his fall onto the cobblestones below. He fractured his pelvis and was unable to work for three months. He was also Newman's stunt double in other scenes.
  • Trope Namer: Bolivian Army Ending.
  • Wag the Director: The only major conflict between Paul Newman and George Roy Hill occurred over what became known as "the Bledsoe scene," a break in the extended superposse chase when Butch and Sundance go to visit an old sheriff hoping to get his help enlisting them in the Army to fight in the Spanish-American War. Newman felt the scene should come at the end of the chase and be the motivation for their flight to South America. Hill disagreed strongly. Every day, Newman came on the set with fresh arguments for why it should be done his way and with increasing passion for his opinion. "Paul was becoming almost anal about it," noted Robert Redford, who at one point jokingly suggested they rename the film "The Bledsoe Scene." Ultimately, Hill won the argument.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Steve McQueen was going to co-star opposite Paul Newman, but he left due to an issue with billing.
    • Jack Lemmon turned down the role of The Sundance Kid because of a scheduling conflict with The Odd Couple. He also didn't like riding horses, and he felt he had already played too many aspects of The Sundance Kid's character before. Robert Wagner was also considered.
    • Marlon Brando was seriously considered to team with Newman for one of the roles. He turned it down due to his commitment to Burn!. He also felt that it was too similar to his role in One-Eyed Jacks. Similarly, Warren Beatty felt it was too similar to Bonnie and Clyde, and did $ instead.
    • The filmmakers tried to get Bob Dylan to sing "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" for the movie. He declined.
    • George Stevens was once approached to direct the film, but eventually declined the job.
    • Natalie Wood was considered for Etta Place.
  • Working Title: The Sundance Kid and Butch Cassidy.


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