LOVE IS ALWAYS
My 18 year old son and I were astonished. His
girlfriend had never seen "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid."
"Itís the greatest movie of all time," I cried.
"How could you have missed it?"
We were sitting in our kitchen, and the conversation had
turned to movies. He was going off to college in a few days, and this was
one of their last nights together. I donít know what they had planned,
but it was about to change.
"Get the DVD, big boy," I said to my son.
"This girl is in for a treat."
He looked at me and Iím sure he was thinking about all the
other things he could be doing on one of his last nights at home. But
whatever it was, it could wait. If he was serious about this girl, and he
is, sheíd have to like Butch and Sundance.
The movie opened in 1969, when I was a Sophomore in high
school. Since then, Iíve probably seen Butch Cassidy and The Sundance
Kid 20 times. Iím clearly in love with its stars, Paul Newman and Robert
Redford, and I donít care what people think.
Maybe I got addicted when I was in college, backpacking for a
semester through Europe. I was in Copenhagen and noticed Butch was playing
in some movie theater with Danish subtitles. So I bought a ticket and, by
myself, sat through the movie---twice.
I donít do this with other movies, only this one. (Well,
maybe with The Sound of Music, but thatís another story). And last time
I checked, Iíve always been heterosexual. But thereís something about
Butch and Sundance that just makes my little heart quiver.
Itís the ultimate male bonding movie. Newman, who plays the
chatty, fun-loving Butch Cassidy and Redford, who plays the sullen,
brooding Sundance Kid, have a chemistry that is unequalled in movie
history. Theyíre outlaws, but gentle, caring outlaws.
And damn, theyíre handsome. Katharine Ross, who plays
Sundanceís girlfriend, isnít bad herself. And I did have a crush on
her after seeing the movie for the first time. But after the 8th
or 9th viewing, my interest went wholly to the guys. Theyíve
got staying power.
Now it was time to see them again. It had been a few years
since my last viewing, and my new big-screen high definition television
was eager to bring Butch and Sundance back to life. I sent my son, who has
only seen it four or five times, to get the DVD from Blockbuster.
They returned a couple of hours later (I didnít ask), and
we got down to business. Within moments, Butch and Sundance filled the
screen, in magnificent high-def.
This was better than I had imagined. Every curl of their
hair, every wrinkle of their smiles, every twinkle of Newmanís bright
blue eyes dominated the room. My love was growing with every scene.
I continually glanced over at my sonís girlfriend, who was
snuggled up to him on the couch. Was she reacting in the way we expected?
Was she falling in love, as we had?
It was looking good. She was laughing at the right times, and
her eyes were riveted to the screen. All was going well. This could be a
Then her cell phone rang, and, unbelievably, she answered it.
I had to pause the movie, just when the song "Raindrops
Keep Falling On My Head" was beginning. Butch and Katharine Ross were
on the bicycle, frozen.
"That was my Mom," she said meekly as I glared at
her. "Iíve got to be home in ten minutes. Iíll have to watch the
rest another time."
"How do you like it so far?" I asked, perhaps with
a little too much irritation.
"Itís great," she replied. "I love
I wasnít so sure anymore. The cell phone interruption
wasnít sitting well. You just donít do that to Butch and Sundance,
even if it is your mother calling.
My son took her home, and I wondered if their relationship
was over. Heís a pretty big fan of the movie, but on the other hand, sheís
pretty cute and sweet.
I shrugged. Not my problem. Butch was waiting for me. I
pushed "play" and lovingly watched alone as Butch and Katharine
Ross frolicked on the bicycle, with nary a raindrop in sight.
It was very late, but I stayed up and watched to the
legendary ending. Love will do that to you.