Reviewed by: Jacob Airey
|Featuring:||Sam Shepard … James Blackthorn aka Butch Cassidy
Eduardo Noriega … Ing. Eduardo Apodaca
Stephen Rea … Mackinley
Magaly Solier … Yana
Dominique McElligott … Etta Place
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|Producer:||Arcadia Motion Pictures
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“Sam Shepard is Butch Cassidy.”
The story begins in the year 1927 with an older man named James Blackthorn (Sam Shepherd). He raises horses in the hill country of Bolivia, and, to some, it seems he is harmless as can be. However, this man has a secret. He is the famous Western outlaw known as Butch Cassidy, who, along with the equally famous Sundance Kid, robbed trains, banks, and stage coaches from the United States down to Argentina and finally Bolivia. It is thought that he and the Kid perished in a fight with the Bolivian army, but they truly survived, the Kid dying sometime later.
By chance, Blackthorn meets a Spaniard named Eduardo Apodaca (Eduardo Noriega), who promises to give Blackthorn an equal share in some hidden loot worth fifty thousand dollars, if they arrive at the mine safely, where Eduardo hid it. As they travel, Blackthorn writes letters to a son whom he never met and longs to return home to the United States, all the while having flashbacks to his time as a famous outlaw.
I was shocked by several instances of foul language in this movie. While there is not a lot, it pops up. There are several vulgarities and obscenities, as well as taking the Lord’s name in vain. Blackthorn also has a consensual relationship with one of the Indian girls that works on his horse ranch. When he decides to return home, he makes it clear that their relationship is over, and she seems to accept this.
A few might be alarmed by the violence of the film. It is sometimes bloody, but not overtly. There also seems to be a glorification of Blackthorn’s past as a stagecoach and bank robber. Crime should never be glorified.
At one point in the film, Blackthorn says, “I am convinced that there are two points in a man’s life: when he leaves home, and when he returns. Everything else is just the middle.” I was reminded of how God always welcomes us back home. Whether for the first time, or after a point of wandering, God always welcomes us back into his arms. That is the love He has for us.
While Blackthorn does not have the epic sense of adventure that old school Westerns possess, it is interesting to see a film about the later end of Butch Cassidy’s life. Many have theorized about his fate, but nothing can be proved. I will say that the director does a good job of bringing the story to life and making you feel like a part of the tale. The ending, however, left me wanting a little more, when the film reaches its climax. That aside, the landscapes and scenery are well shot, and the acting is very well done. I would recommend this film to adults only, because of the strong language mentioned above. It is a slow-paced drama that keeps you at the edge of your seat as you watch Butch Cassidy’s last ride.
Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Minor
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