HomeMoviesIs Classic Film 'Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid' Based On A...

    Is Classic Film ‘Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid’ Based On A True Story?

    Since its release in 1969, ‘Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid‘ has established itself as one of the most memorable westerns. Paul Newman and Robert Redford played the mild-mannered albeit skilled outlaws that travel to Bolivia to escape a trail of officers resolved to bring them down. 

    Paul Newman and Robert Redford play Butch and Cassidy, outlaws of the Wild West gang that did exist. The characters Newman and Redford played were real people named Robert LeRoy Parker and his partner Harry Longabaugh. What was the real story of these men who became the subject of a classic film? Keep reading to find out. 

    Related: Top 25 Best Movies Based On True Stories

    The True Story Behind ‘Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid’

    The real Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid
    The real Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid

    William Goldman, the writer of ‘Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid‘ was intrigued by the story of these outlaws. He had been researching Robert LeRoy Parker and Harry Longabaugh since 1959. They were real outlaws that made for an exciting account for the audience. Butch Cassidy (Paul Newman in the movie) was an alias used by Robert LeRoy Parker, an American train and bank robber and the leader of a gang of criminal outlaws known as the “Wild Bunch” in the Old West. 

    Born on April 13, 1866, he took to crime early on, with his first robbery at 23. Robert was a close associate of outlaws like William Ellsworth Lay, Harvey Logan, Ben Kilpatrick, Harry Tracy, Will Carver, Laura Bullion, and George Curry, who collectively became the “Wild Bunch.” Robert LeRoy Parker recruited Harry Alonzo Longabaugh, also known as the ‘Sundance Kid’ (played by Robert Redford in the movie) into the gang soon after.

    Born in 1867 to Pennsylvania natives Josiah and Annie G. Longabaugh, Harry was the youngest of five children. On July 11, 1899, Butch Cassidy led the robbery of a Colorado and Southern Railroad train robbery near Folsom, New Mexico. Things went south when William Ellsworth killed sheriff Edward Farr and Henry Love. The Wild Bunch went their separate ways to throw the authorities off their scents. Butch and Sundance Kid took off to Bolivia. 

    In Case You Missed: What Is The True Story Behind’ Cocaine Bear’ Movie?

    Did Butch And Sundance Kid Survive The Shootout In Bolivia?

    Some people believe that Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid 's grave is in Nevada
    Some believe Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid’s grave is in Nevada.

    By 1905, the duo was back to their old thieving ways. Butch and Sundance Kid attacked and robbed payroll meant for Bolivia’s Aramayo Franke y Cia silver mine. After the looting, they settled in the nearby town of San Vicente. A miner named Bonifacio Casasola hosted the duo in his lodging house. On noticing the mule with the Aramayo, he sent a telegraph to the legal authorities.

    Soon, the house was surrounded by authorities at all levels, determined to bring the bandits out. Having nowhere to go, both outlaws decided to go all guns blazing in a shootout that cost them their lives. The life of Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid ended on November 6, 1908.

    Or so people believe. Some people want to keep the legend alive, claiming both men made it out alive. Others suggest that Harry survived the shootout and returned to America. Before his death in 1936, he assumed the name, William Henry Long, living in the small town of Duchesne, Utah.

    A husband-and-wife team of researchers, Daniel Buck and Anne Meadows found some proof of the duo’s death. After digging for ten years, they’ve found evidence that places Butch and Sundance Kid in the late 1900s in Bolivia. But by the team’s admission, their findings aren’t conclusive proof. They also believe that refusing to be captured, the duo shot themselves. Some believe their graves are in the state of Nevada.

    You Might Also Like To Read: Is Mel Gibson’s ‘Braveheart’ Based On A True Story? Is It Historically Accurate?

    Shaurya Thakur
    Shaurya Thakur
    Shaurya Thakur is a Content Writer at First Curiosity, who, in his personal time, is writing the greatest "overcoming post-academic slump existential crises" story. His current obsessions are John Cassavetes and Jack Kerouac; musically, he belongs to Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand.

    Trending on FC