The Work of Award-Winning Director and Yale Alumnus To Be Feted This Fall

Forty years ago, crowds gathered outside the Roger Sherman Theatre in New Haven for the world premiere of the film “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford.

To mark the anniversary of that occasion, and to celebrate the work of its director, George Roy Hill (Yale College Class of 1943), the Whitney Humanities Center is hosting a special exhibit and screenings this fall.

Hill — who studied music at Yale under Paul Hindemith — is most noted for directing such films as “The Sting” (which also starred Newman and Redford and earned Hill an Oscar for Best Director), “Slaughterhouse-Five,” “The World According to Garp,” “Hawaii,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” “The Great Waldo Pepper,” “Slap Shot,” “A Little Romance” and “The Little Drummer Girl.”


“The Making of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid: Materials from the George Roy Hill Collection (Manuscripts and Archives)” will be on view Sept. 8-Oct. 25, in the Gallery at the Whitney Humanities Center, 53 Wall St.

This exhibit features storyboards, costume design, production stills and other material drawn from the complete production record of the film, which Hill donated to Yale shortly after its completion. The show is dedicated to the memory of Paul Newman (1925-2008), who was a 1954 graduate of the Yale School of Drama.

The Gallery at the Whitney is open to the public free of charge 3-5 p.m. Monday and Wednesday, or by appointment at (203) 432-0670. The exhibit has been made possible through the generosity of Paul Joskow (Yale ‘72 Ph.D.) and the Yale Film Study Center, with support from Manuscripts and Archives at the Yale University Library, and Hull’s Art Supply and Framing.

40th-Anniversary Screening

The celebration continues on Friday, Oct. 23, with the 40th-anniversary 35mm screening of “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”

The film, which also starred Katharine Ross, was the top-grossing film of the year and won four Oscars (including ones for the screenplay by William Goldman and the music by Burt Bacharach). It has been credited with reimagining the American western, and the two top stars later referenced the film when naming special projects with which they were involved — Redford, the Sundance Film Festival; and Newman, The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for children with cancer and other serious illnesses.

The screening, which will begin at 7 p.m., will be followed by remarks and a question-and-answer session with the film’s screenwriter Goldman and associate producer Robert Crawford, which will be moderated by Michael Kerbel, director of Yale’s Film Study Center. There will be a reception prior to the screening at 6 p.m. in Rm. 108.

“The Making of …” films

The Film Study Center, Films at the Whitney and the Whitney Humanities Center will continue to explore the work of director Hill by screening two documentaries about the making of his films on Saturday, Oct. 24, at 1 p.m.

The program will begin with screenings of the Emmy Award-winning “The Making of ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’ ” (directed by Crawford) and “The Making of ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’ ” (co-directed by Crawford and Nicholas Doob). Both documentaries give insight into Hill’s way with actors and the technical challenges of filmmaking. “The Making of ‘Slaughterhouse Five’ ” also features rare on-screen interviews with author Kurt Vonnegut.

Crawford, who served as production assistant, associate producer or producer on nine films directed by Hill, will introduce these films and take questions afterwards.

The celebration of Hill’s work will conclude Saturday evening with a 35mm screening of “Slaughterhouse-Five” at 7 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer session with Crawford and Kerbel.

All screenings will take place in the Whitney Humanities Center Auditorium, 53 Wall St., and are open to the public free of charge.

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