The Legendary On-Screen Friendship of Newman and Redford

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was more than just a movie. It was a cinematic masterpiece that showcased the incredible chemistry between two Hollywood icons – Paul Newman and Robert Redford. In their portrayals of the real-life outlaws, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the duo captured the hearts of audiences around the world.

The film, released in 1969, was a massive success, earning four Oscars and cementing its place as one of the greatest Westerns ever made. The on-screen partnership of Newman and Redford was truly magical, leading to a reunion four years later in another hit film, The Sting.

Behind the scenes, however, things were not always smooth sailing. Newman, in his memoir, revealed that he had some grudges against Redford during the filming of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. But despite their differences, the two actors managed to create unforgettable performances.

Newman, who played Butch Cassidy, admitted that he had been interested in the character of the Sundance Kid, portrayed by Redford. In an interview, Newman said, “We have a lot of fun together, and we bounce off each other really well. I would have wanted to play Sundance. With that cooled-out quality, I feel a little more at ease. It must be the simpler part, I suppose.”

At the time of filming, Redford was a rising star, having already won a Golden Globe for his work in 1965. Newman, on the other hand, was already a household name, thanks to his previous roles in movies like Cool Hand Luke and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. The two actors brought their unique talents and star power to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, creating a truly memorable on-screen partnership.

Despite their differences in working styles, Newman and Redford managed to deliver fantastic performances. Newman’s daughter, Claire Newman Soderlund, shed some light on their dynamic, saying, “My father was very much a stickler for timeliness and Bob, that was never really his strength. It was hard work for dad. He worked very hard at it because he wanted to be good, and he wanted to be successful, and Bob was more of a free spirit.”

Newman’s passing in 2008 marked the end of an era, but Redford still cherishes the memories of their time together. Reflecting on their friendship, Redford said, “It was just that connection of playing those characters and the fun of it that really began the relationship. And then once the film started, once we went forward, we then discovered other similarities that just multiplied over time, a common ground that we both had between us, interests and so forth, and differences.”

The bond between Newman and Redford extended beyond their work on the big screen. They explored the possibility of collaborating on a third movie, but it never came to fruition. However, they did work together on the adaptation of Bill Bryson’s book, A Walk in the Woods. Although Newman couldn’t take part physically, his spirit was present in the project.

Newman and Redford’s friendship grew stronger over the years. They lived just a mile apart in Connecticut and acted like brothers. Redford fondly recalls their time together, saying, “We both got to know each other’s flaws pretty well. But knowing each other’s flaws, we just played them to the hilt and we’d try to trick each other. We’d try to surprise each other, and it was so damn much fun that it became like a scenario unto itself.”

The camaraderie and laughter shared between Newman and Redford were truly special. Their incredible performances and real-life friendship will always be remembered as one of the greatest partnerships in the history of cinema.