This was one of the first films I remember seeing as a child as well as one of the first I remember seeing multiple times. It was a favorite of both of my parents (and presumably still is). It’s also one of the most beloved films of all time. Currently it ranks #152 on the IMDb’s user rating generated Top 250. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is on several of the American Film Institute’s lists: 100 Years… 100 Movies – #50, 100 Years… 100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) – #73, 100 Years… 100 Thrills – #54100 Years… 100 Heroes and Villains: Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid – #20 Heroes and the 10 Top 10 – #7 Western Film. In 2003 the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. It was nominated for seven Academy Awards, winning four: Best Sound, Best Cinematography (won), Best Score (won), Best Song (won), Best Original Screenplay (won), Best Director and Best Picture. Surprisingly neither Paul Newman nor Robert Redford were nominated for Best Actor. The winner in 1969, Midnight Cowboy, was also nominated for seven Academy Awards, and actually won less awards than Butch Cassidy; it won Adapted Screenplay, Director and Picture (both its leads were nominated, but lost Best Actor to John Wayne in True Grit). The other films nominated that year were Anne of the Thousand Days, Hello, Dolly! and Z (which won film editing – often an award that aligns with Best Picture, and Best Foreign Language Film).
I know there is at least one book on this subject and I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but thanks to TCM showing several movies from that year, I have to agree completely. What I mean by Cinema, is Hollywood and American Cinema, because a lot of how it changed was based on things French New Wave directors had already been doing for almost ten years.
One way to see this change is by looking at the five films that were nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars that year. Four of the films are harbingers of the new Hollywood. One is old guard and because of that in addition I want to talk about another film that, although nominated for four Oscars, was not up for Best Picture.
The five films up for Best Picture were Bonnie & Clyde, Doctor Dolittle, The Graduate, Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner and In The Heat of the Night. The film sixth film I’m going to discuss is In Cold Blood.