Based on real-life outlaws of the same names, George Roy Hill’s 1969 film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid pioneered the buddy-comedy genre and was a welcomed relief to the societal landscape of the Vietnam War era.
Starring Hollywood heavy-weight Paul Newman and introducing a lesser-known Robert Redford, Butch Cassidy went on to garner four Academy Awards. As fun as the film is to watch, it was even more fun to make. Here are some wildly fantastic facts about the film.
You won’t believe what Paul Newman did to the director on set!
Paul Newman Was Given Top Billing After Someone Else Dropped Out
In the beginning, the film was originally slated to be called “The Sundance Kid and Butch Cassidy.” Paul Newman and Steven McQueen were both A-list actors at the time and the latter agreed to play The Sundance Kid.
But after studio executives wouldn’t give McQueen top billing across the board—opting instead to list his name first in half of the prints, and Newman’s name first in the other half— McQueen dropped out of the film. As a result, the names in the working title got reversed. “Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid” has a much better ring to it anyway.