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  • by David C. Terr

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    bonnie and clyde movie posterTitle: Bonnie and Clyde

    Director: Arthur Penn

    Starring: Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Michael J. Pollard, Gene Hackman, Estelle Parsons

    Release Date: Aug. 4, 1967

    Running Time: 111 min

    Genres: Biography, Crime, Drama, Romance

     

    Commentary
    Bonnie and Clyde is a romanticized biographical film about the famous criminal duo of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, who robbed banks and killed lots of innocent people during the Depression. Although they're very ruthless and violent, you can identify with them and you even feel a bit sorry for them at the end when they're finally hunted down by the FBI.

    Plot Summary
    Bonnie and Clyde follows the story of Bonnie Parker (Dunaway) and Clyde Barrow (Beatty), from their first meeting until their death. Bonnie and Clyde met in a small town in Texas in 1930 and fell in love immediately. Clyde was already a criminal and Bonnie happily joined him in his crime spree. The two started out robbing stores and gas stations and eventually turned to robbing banks, killing several bank employees along the way. The two become legendary folk heroes in the eyes of many disillusioned Americans. Eventually the law catches up to them though and prepare a deadly ambush, shooting several gatling machine guns at once into their car and killing them.

    Historical Accuracy
    Bonnie and Clyde is not a very accurate portrayal of the true story of the crimial duo. For one thing, Bonnie and Clyde weren't nearly as good-looking as the actors who portray them in the movie! The movie also differs from fact in the following ways:

    • Many other gang members were involved with Bonnie and Clyde over the years.
    • Bonnie and Clyde were jailed several times after they met.
    • Texas Ranger Frank Hammer never actually met Bonnie and Clyde, seeing them only for the first time once they were killed in the ambush.
    • Blanche Barrow did not approve of Estelle Parsons' oscar-winning performance of her, stating that she didn't scream nearly so much.

    Social Relevance
    Much of the popularity of Bonnie and Clyde can be attributed to the rebellious spirit of the 1960s, when the movie was made. Bonnie and Clyde were folk heroes during the 1930s because lots of people lost their life savings in banks that foreclosed on account of the Depression. The 1960s was another decade of much rebellion, and many at the time could identify with Bonnie and Clyde, or at least this film's idealized portrait of them.

    Movie Clips

    Here's the original trailer.

     


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