Continuing our children’s education in the great film classics (well, that’s our excuse, anyway), tonight we watched Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. I forget how many times I have seen this film. It’s always enjoyable. There’s the wonderful chemistry between Paul Newman and Robert Redford, the tragic-comic plot, some spectacular scenery lovingly shot, a great song (Raindrops keep falling on my head) and some brilliant one-liners: ‘you keep thinking, Butch; that’s what you’re good at’; ‘I don’t know where we’ve been and we’ve just been there’; and ‘Who’s the best lawman?’ ‘You mean the toughest or the easiest to bribe?’ What struck me more this time around was the darker, elegiac, allegoric side to the film. The cheerful and charismatic outlaws are inexorably hunted down just as the native Indians had been before them. The evil of the outlaws is extirpated but so is their fancy-free life and cheerful innocence. Civilisation is right and inevitable but it’s also boring… It’s strange to think that, before Redford landed the part (which made his career), Steve McQueen, Marlon Brando, Jack Lemmon and Newman himself were all considered for the role of the Sundance Kid. It’s impossible now to imagine it being anybody else.