This thread questions some technical aspects of the movie but doesn’t give away the specific storyline or the ending, however, if you haven’t yet seen the movie you may not want to read on.
I’ve watched this a couple times and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Some on the “what if” scenarios that are in the movie are played out well and makes one ponder. Sam Shepard was fantastic and the scenery…Wow. I especially enjoyed Stephen Rea’s character as a Pinkerton detective that got stuck in Bolivia because he couldn’t let go of the chase. The interaction between Shepard and Rea in the doctor’s office is great. As for a movie that expands on the mystic of the Butch and Sundance legend, this movie is probably the best.
Just a couple items about the movie that make me go….huh?
Although this statement on the surface is true, it does leave the viewer with the impression that the entire graveyard was searched. I remember reading the articles and book on this search and I remember watching the documentary. They had a very specific area in the graveyard that they searched and bodies had been stacked underground in the graveyard like cord wood for hundreds of years. The excavators had to carefully maneuver around decaying caskets without disturbing them, all while descendents watched and argued with the whole proceedings. The one skeleton that they did exhume, because it matched the general size of Sundance, did in fact not match with the DNA. They were forced to abandon the search based on time constraints and public uproar within the tiny community.
I’ve gotten better over the years, time was I would get up and walk out of the room half a dozen times while watching movies like Jeremiah Johnson or Butch & Sundance, now I just sit up and let out a deep sigh. Age more than therapy, plus my wife’s reassurance “It’s only a movie!” reminds me that I like westerns, all westerns. Well…maybe not “Frank & Jesse.”
Stephen Rea was the best think about Blackthorn, in my view. The worst thing, the annoying, disruptive flashbacks. As for point 1, you're correct. There's no evidence Etta Place ever rode -- or shot -- with the outlaws in the Rockies. She first appears in the story in 1900, when Sundance and Cassidy are on their way from Texas to New York, bound for southern latitudes.
Point 2. Correct again. We only had a small window of time, several days, to do an excavation, and the spot we chose was determined by the only information we had, dubious though it might have been, that the outlaws were buried under a certain concrete marker. The cemetery itself is rather large, all things considered, studded with a welter of markers atop a jumble of graves going down several meters. Don't know when the cemetery was opened, but the village goes back to the 1600s. Bodies over the decades had been interred in that spot one atop the other -- I like your cord wood imagery. We fished out, from about nine feet down, one complete Caucasoid skeleton, presumably that of Gustav Zimmer, a German miner we later determined had been buried under the marker, along with scattered remains of various others. A visitor to San Vicente in the early 1970s had taken a photograph of the marker, which then had a plaque, since stolen, which read, "Here lies Gustav Zimmer after many years of labor." For reasons that folklorists can readily explain, the photographer's interest in the grave seeded stories that Butch & Sundance must be buried there.) Although for a time our forensic beagles thought one of the stray remnants was also Caucasoid, they ultimately determined it was indigenous. Zimmer's DNA did not match that of Longabaugh or Cassidy.
Coincidentally, an American miner who had worked in San Vicente in the 1920s said that Butch and Sundance were in the cemetery, buried near or between (two versions of his account) a Swede and a German.
Anticipating the question: would another dig be possible? The locals have already installed Zimmer's bones in the San Vicente museum as those of Butch and Sundance, so the answer is undoubtedly they would not look favorably upon such an initiative. To paraphrase, when legend replaces fact, put the legend in the museum.
Thanks Dan for weighing in on the subject.
For the most part I thought the movie did a pretty fair explanation of possibilities, but the first few minutes of the show gave me enough pause that I think I even rolled my eyes and consoled myself that it was going to be another one of “those” movies. I was pleasantly surprised, especially with Stephen Rea, as we both agree.
I’m not going to quote sources, because honestly I don’t remember where I read these, however to expand on Etta in Wyoming; I read once that Etta and another bandits partner, possibly Annie Rogers, spent the summer of 1899 in Hole in the Wall. Never put much credit on this story because it had them living in tents and attending dances in Thermopolis. Unconfirmed. Regardless, Sundance or Butch never shot anybody in the US of A and especially Etta didn’t. I’m not even sure that Etta ever handled a firearm prior to South America.
The other story was that Sundance escorted Etta to San Francisco and then returned to Butch in Bolivia prior to their last hold up. This one I can accept because it makes sense that the boys would want to make sure that she was on safe ground, however in hindsight one has to wonder if returning to Bolivia just to get shot up was that smart of a choice. Realistically Butch and Sundance didn’t have much in the way of liquid assets while fleeing Argentina and very few choices as opposed to no choices back in the States.
Back to the movie, I thought Etta’s reason for leaving was played out well. I took pleasure in the use of the names James and Ryan. I also liked, not sure if that is the right word for the circumstances, the final parting of Butch and Sundance despite the background for the drama.
Lol leave it to good ole Dan Buck to be a Butch Cassidy & Sundance Kid expert. Gotta love it.
I enjoyed the movie quite intereresting