As the story goes, one of the studio heads who read William Goldman’s zany, groundbreaking script about two forgotten outlaws who departed the Wild West to go to South America, wondered aloud: “Can you leave the West? John Wayne never left the West.”
Up to that point (1969), no one had left the Wild West, in a movie, at least.
The actual outlaws, Robert Leroy Parker, Harry Longabaugh and his girlfriend, Ethel “Etta” Place, did just that, and took off for South America based on a magazine article Butch had read in National Geographic about the ranching opportunities in Argentina.
You can’t make this stuff up. And God bless William Goldman for having the genius to make it all work.
We have a stellar crew who worked on our Butch & Sundance package, including the very talented Henry C. Parke, and the ubitquitous Johnny D. Boggs, along with the prolific authors Chris Enss, and the award-winning author of more than 100 books,
W.C Jameson. We also need to give a shout-out to Daniel Buck and Anne Meadows who have done so much to uncover the dim, back trails of Butch and Sundance in Bolivia, Peru and Argentina.
And, to paraphrase the card at the front end of the movie, “Not that it matters, but almost every bit of what you are about to read is true.”
In 1999, Bob Boze Bell and partners bought True West magazine (published since 1953) and moved the editorial offices to Cave Creek, Arizona. Bell has published and illustrated books on Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, as well as Classic Gunfights, an Old West gunfight book series. His latest books are The 66 Kid and True West Moments.
For a behind-the-scenes look at running this magazine, check out BBB’s daily blog.