Monday, June 03, 2024

Showdown at The Scottsdale Museum Corral

 June 3, 2024

   As the story goes, the writer William Goldman, first read about minor outlaws Robert LeRoy Parker and his cohort Harry Alonzo Longabaugh in the late fifties (possibly in True West magazine). 

  Goldman claims he spent about eight years pondering a story, saying, "There is that famous line Scott Fitzgerald wrote, who was one of my heroes, 'There are no second acts in American lives.'" So, when Goldman discovered that when the so-called super-posse comes after the outlaws and they took off for South America, Goldman had an epiphany: "They had a second act. . .It's a great story!"

   There was only one problem. Nobody in Hollywood would buy it. Only one studio would even consider it and that was if the two characters did NOT go to South America. When Goldman defended it by saying that was what really happened, the studio head supposedly sneered, "I don't give a shit. All I know is John Wayne don't run away."

   Of course, Goldman persevered and later claimed he only changed a couple pages of his script for "Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid" and the next thing you know the film had been green-lighted with George Roy Hill directing with Steve McQueen and Paul Newman starring in it, and with Jacqueline Bisset as Etta Place. No, wait, actually Steve and Jacqueline were considered but dropped out for various reasons, until we get the dream pairing of Paul Newman and Robert Redford as the outlaws and Katherine Ross as Etta Place.

   Of course, it seems obvious to me, the real reason it got greenlighted is because of the many clever lines of dialogue. Here are a few of my favorites:

"What happened to the old bank? It was beautiful."

"People kept robbing it."

"That's a small price to pay for beauty."

"I got vision; the rest of the world is wearing bifocals."

"I'm not crazy; I'm just colorful."

   And, there's plenty more where that came from.

Meanwhile, Back at The Ranch

   This is such a cool photo.

Tea Time at The Cholila Ranch

The real life and very handsome South America ex-patriot bandidos: Harry Longabaugh (The Sundance Kid), Etta Place and Butch Cassidy at their ranch in southern Argentina.

   Yesterday, we partnered with the fine folks at the Scottsdale Museum of the West to show "Butch & Sundance" as the first of 25 classic Westerns in their theater, unspooling two classic Westerns—Sundays and Thursdays—each week and with introductions by myself and, occasionally, this guy.

Me and Marsh at the Scottsdale Museum
of The West, yesterday.

"Not that it matters, but most of what follows is true."

—William Goldman's classic opening card to the film

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