Record Breaker: Butch Cassidy Claims Biggest Win

As a nation known for its sumptuous period dramas and kitchen sink realism, it’s perhaps surprising that the film to have struck the biggest chord with film voters in BAFTA* awards history is a rugged tale about a pair of Wild West train robbers on the run from the US to Bolivia.

Based on real events, the film rode in on the American New Wave, a movement lead by young directors such as Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese whose innovation and risk-taking were revitalising Hollywood.

Directed by George Roy Hill, written by acclaimed screenwriter William Goldman and starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid picked up nine awards for Film, Direction, Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Editing, Cinematography, Music and Soundtrack.

As many of the cast and crew were unable to attend on the night, those collecting awards on their behalf included Charlton Heston and singer Sasha Distel, who performed the film’s hit song Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head at the Royal Albert Hall ceremony.

On Butch’s trail with eight wins is historical drama The Killing Fields, followed jointly by Cabaret, Schindler’s List, Slumdog Millionaire and The King’s Speech with seven wins each.

* The Academy at this time was actually known as the Society of Film and Television Arts (SFTA) before becoming BAFTA in 1976.

Image: Robert Redford and Paul Newman in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (20th Century Fox/Campanile Productions/Newman-Foreman Company/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock)

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid