How are these elements used in opposition to one another to accentuate various aspects of the plot, as well as various character traits, etc. in the film? Hint below...look at the evolution of the character via these different looks from the beginning to the end of the film. '
Unlike most of the westerns that preceded it, Butch cassidy and the sundance kid presents a pair of outlaws who are affable, funny, and frequently charming – so much so that many in the audience are inclined to actively root for Butch and Sundance to escape those who pursue them.
With this in mind, please consider and respond to at least three of the following six questions:
Why do you believe that the audience, particularly the original cinema audience in 1969, would have cheered Butch and Sundance so actively and obviously?
What is it that sets them apart from other outlaws that would inspire outright affection in the audience?
How does the fact that they are considered by many to be conventionally handsome men play a part in this reaction to them?
How do their personalities or temperaments play a part in this reaction to them?
How is their anti-hero status a reflection of the turmoil of the late 1960’s American society?
How is that turmoil similar to the current struggles of our own time?
Think about it - consider your own reaction to this dynamic duo during the film, and share your thoughts with the group! Reminder: You must answer at least 3 of these questions to earn credit for this discussion.
HINT: One way to possibly analyze your own reaction to Butch and Sundance is to revisit the following iconic scene from the film, which not only encapsulates the relationship of the two men, but depicts the way in which screenwriter, William Goldman (and actors Redford and Newman), infuse the film with a buoyant sense of fun and adventure, as opposed to violence, pain, and destruction.
Marlon Brando is considered by many to be one of the greatest actors of all time, and Terry in On the Waterfront is regarded as one of his finest and most iconic performances. Describe the varying facets of Terry's character that Brando brings to the role. Is Terry tough or vulnerable, weak or strong, tender or hard, carefree or angry? Are his emotions ever contradictory? What about his physicality? How do Brando's physical choices as an actor either conceal or convey Terry's inner world - his feelings, fears, desires, regrets, etc.?
Give examples. Hint: You may want to take another look at the scene in the park between Terry and Edie. If you do, consider the setting for the scene, and the way Brando uses the space around him. What does the setting, and the place Terry occupies within it, say about Terry's character?
How is this theme used by the screenwriters and co-directors to comment upon the myth-factory that is Hollywood? Do you think they present a kind and virtuous picture of their industry, or do you feel that they present a superficial and self-absorbed vision of it? What about the film industry today? Do you feel that
contemporary Hollywood (not the specific town, but the film industry in general) is equally kind and virtuous...or equally superficial and self-absorbed?