Starring: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross
Director: George Roy Hill
Summary: Two free-spirited bank robbers flee railroad detectives and head for Bolivia
Other Nominations: Director, Original Screenplay*, Original Score*, Original Song (“Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head”)*, Sound Mixing, Cinematography*
-This is a very good script as a whole (from one of the best, William Goldman). The dialogue has a lot of good banter between the leads, the movie has a constant feeling of moving forward and even if it does have some tone schizophrenia, it still gets its main theme across well.
-The cinematography is excellent and this is feeling like a real period of advancement in the field, the first since Gregg Toland in the 30s-40s. There’s some very effective use of camera focus, and some innovative ideas about setting up a shot that I hadn’t seen before in this project (example: starting inside a building, waiting a beat, and then then a door gets kicked in vs. just showing the characters kicking it in from the outside)
-Neither Newman or Redford got Oscar nominations somehow despite these being some of the most iconic roles for both these actors. It has some stronger themes (mainly that these characters’ way of life is dead due to changing times but they’re too old and set in their ways to do anything else), but at its core, it’s still a buddy movie and their chemistry together is undeniable and make the movie far better than it would have been otherwise.
-The score is relatively sparse for a movie that won the Oscar, but what is there is memorable Not only do you have “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” which is great, but how many times in the 60s did you see acapela in a movie?
-Tonally, the movie never really decides if it wants to be a relatively serious and romanticized look at the outlaw and their death via monied interests going west, or if it wants to be a fun buddy movie. It tends to change from scene to scene, and the movie probably would have worked better if it committed a little more in one direction or the other.
-The scene where they’re fleeing from the “Superposse” goes on too long and we get how screwed they are and why they need to flee the country about halfway through.
Despite its flaws, I enjoyed the movie a lot because it has great lead characters and performances, a good script and is consistently enjoyable to watch on a visual level.