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Not Newman, Not Redford but the Real Butch and Sundance on PBS

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Butch Cassidy and the the Sundance Kid is an American classic, and as entertaining as the famous film starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford still is, a new documentary about the real Butch and Sundance is all the more exciting and engaging for being true. Director John Maggio’s exploration of the real Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid debuts on PBS Tuesday evening, and while a must for Western fans, also may be a welcome break for those going snow blind from viewing the Olympics.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is part of the American Experience series and will premiere on Connecticut’s CPTV and most other PBS stations at 9 pm Eastern Time on Tuesday, February 11.

Americans love their outlaws, and while Robert Leroy Parker and Harry Alonzo Longabaugh – the famous wild west era bank robbers who went by the names Butch and Sundance – were not as handsome, dashing or romantic as the dime novels of the time or Hollywood since made them appear, they were indeed colorful. The two men, as an historian who appears in Maggio’s film explains “loved horses” as should all cowboys. They also “loved to drink. They loved to gamble, and could talk larceny all day long,” as historian Thom Hatch quips with a smile. They were also stone-cold outlaws, whose rampage spurred the creation of a literal army of over 2,000 Pinkerton men and some 30,000 other law enforcement officials, soldiers and paid informants to hunt them down.

Maggio tells their story with verve and humor. An award-winning filmmaker whose credits also include the American Experience film Billy the Kid (which will air at 8 pm as the lead in to the Butch and Sundance film), Maggio has also presented many movies at, appropriately, the Sundance Film Festival – which Robert Redford backed and named after the character he played in the 1969 film.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is part of the American Experience series and will premiere on Connecticut’s CPTV and most other PBS stations at 9 pm Eastern Time on Tuesday, February 11.

Mark G. McLaughlin is a Connecticut-based free lance journalist and game designer with over 30 years of experience as a ghost-writer, columnist, historian and game designer. An author whose first published book was Battles of the American Civil War, and whose games include the Mr. Lincoln’s War set, Mark continues to be enthralled by stories from the age of Lincoln. To view Mark's 16th published design, the American Civil War Naval strategy game Rebel Raiders on the High Seas, visit his publisher at
…or his blog at
Mark’s latest work, the science fiction adventure novel Princess Ryan's Star Marines, is available on in both paperback and Kindle e-book formats at
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