We look back at one of Robert Redford's unforgettable 1969 westerns.
Editor's Note: Throughout the month of October, C&I is celebrating the golden westerns of 1969, a year that changed the game for the beloved film genre. Check the Entertainment tab each day to see a different film recommendation by C&I senior writer Joe Leydon. And be on the lookout for the upcoming November/December 2019 print edition, which prominently features one of the 25 greatest films of 1969 on its cover.
After establishing his bona fides as an antihero in Downhill Racer and securing entry to the pantheon of western legends in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Robert Redford wrapped up 1969 by scoring a threefer in writer-director Abraham Polonsky’s fact-based drama about the 1909 California manhunt for Willie Boy (Robert Blake), a Paiute Indian ex-con who goes on the run with his lover (Katharine Ross) after his self-defense killing of her father. Leading the pursuit: Christopher “Coop” Cooper (Redford), a cynical deputy sheriff who has profoundly mixed emotions about his responsibilities.