Why Paul Newman and Robert Redford’s films together were the best of their careers

    Between 1969 and 1973, screen legends Paul Newman And Robert Redford They made two films together that were widely hailed as the best of their careers. Both are definitely legends in their own rights and have gone on to make many more movies individually, but together, the pair were simply magical.

    The first of these two films was the legendary one Butch Cassidy and the Sundance KidAnd Where the iconic duo played equally iconic characters in the form of outlaws Robert Leroy Parker (aka Butch Cassidy) and Harry Longabaugh (aka The Sundance Kid). The actors’ on-screen chemistry was immediately apparent, setting the stage for what would become one of the most timeless ensembles in film history.

    In 1973, Newman and Redford followed up on the success of their previous venture, with stingAnd Which was a great movie that once again saw the actors play against the heroes the audience couldn’t get enough of. Here’s a look back at why these two films continue to be considered the best of Newman and Redford’s glittering careers.

    Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

    Newman and Redford
    Twentieth Century Fox

    The real Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid were already legendary characters in history before Paul Newman and Robert Redford portrayed them. The film was a smash hit at the box office but received generally negative reviews. Despite this, the performances of Newman and Redford were generally praised.

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    Playing this iconic pair of outlaws required a natural kind of chemistry and the actors definitely found this in each other. In 2008, speaking to ABC News after Newman’s death, Redford said the following:

    “It was that connection between playing those characters and having fun that really started the relationship, and then once the movie started, once we got along, we then found other similarities that multiplied over time, our common ground, interests and so on, and differences” .

    While Newman was already a star at the time, Redford was relatively unknown, but Newman pushed to get him the role. What followed was one of the most memorable performances in cinema history, one that forever changed the course of Redford’s life and sparked the friendship of the era.

    The films’ massive commercial success cannot be attributed to the natural chemistry between the pair and may have started the buddy genre of films. Seeing the couple together added a real magic to the movie that makes it timeless. While both actors have been in several other blockbusters, so has he Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid which usually tops the list – and definitely tops the list when you think of them together.


    Newman and Redford in The Sting
    Universal Pictures

    The duo immediately followed up on their success Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid with sting in 1973. Another crime movie, even though this one is set in modern times, sting Once again the best elements of the cast’s romance are juxtaposed to good effect.

    After an elaborate heist scheme, the two play con artists who work together to take revenge on a ruthless crime boss. The plan is supposed to work in such a way that the sign doesn’t know he’s been tricked, but complications force them to improvise along the way.

    This time, the pair hit gold, both commercially and critically. The movie was not one of the top 30 highest-grossing films in the US so far (adjusted for inflation), but has also been nominated for ten Academy Awards, winning seven.

    The real life friendship between Redford and Newman

    Heist scene from The Sting
    Universal Pictures

    In the decades that followed Paul Newman and Robert Redford’s films together, it was clear that they forged a lifelong friendship through them. This bond went on to cement the influence of the two films in both of their careers, serving as an emotional backdrop amidst their real-life off-screen friendship.

    Related: Top 10 Paul Newman Performances, Ranked

    Their deep bond led to them buying identical Porsches to go racing next sting. In many ways, their on-screen chemistry is only enhanced by their off-screen antics together. The fact that both actors were legends in their own rights only added to the tremendous strength the pair had together.

    Film Legacy

    Movie poster Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
    Twentieth Century Fox

    While Newman sadly passed away in 2018, the memories given to fans through the two epic films together are sure to live on forever. They’ve each won an Academy Award, but they’ve been involved in too many award-winning projects to mention. but, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid And sting It is arguably still their best work.

    The fact that both films were huge hits at the box office is only one reason for this. Moreover, given the lifelong friendship and legendary impact these films had on cinema in general, they both left a legacy that few other blockbusters can boast.

    Such was the impact of these films on the life of filmmaking in general that Robert Redford set about setting up the Sundance Institute in honor of the character he played in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. This non-profit organization would later create the famous Sundance Film Festival which has since launched the careers of countless independent artists, actors, and filmmakers.

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