The Bonnie Parker Story (1958) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • In the 1930s, amoral blonde tommy-gun girl Bonnie Parker cut a swath of bodies across the South-West. Starting out on gas stations and bars with side-kick Guy Darrow she graduated to bank hold-ups with Darrow's brother and, after bloodily springing him, her jailed husband. But there was never any doubt who was in charge.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Narrator voice (Chett Huntley's) opens saying that the film we're going to see is based on Bonnie Parker's story, who left many bodies after her. Then, we cue to Bonnie Parker's dressing up to leave home in a cheap apartment in Oklahoma City in 1932.

    Bonnie Parker (Dorothy Provine) works in a cheap dirty bar. This is the only job she could get, because she was married to Duke Jefferson (Richard Bakalyan), who has got one hundred and seventy-five years in jail. Guy Darrow (Jack Hogan) wants to go out with her, in spite of her being married. He goes to see her in the bar she works a night when she feels tired, her feet hurt, and the diner cook (Ken Lynch) is beginning to go off-limits with her. Bonnie throws some hot oil from the frying pan to Guy because he had said she was hot.

    In spite of everything, Guy will follow her home after work. He insists, so she threatens him by showing off a gun. At that moment, the bar owner arrives, dressed up to the nines. He tries to force Bonnie, so she throws him down the stairs, while Guy keeps himself hidden, listening. Guy tells Bonnie that she would like working as a whore in some seedy street corner if she doesn't leave with him - the hint is that the cook is dead. Guy says this while holding a tommy-gun.

    Wichita Fall, Texas: Bonnie and Guy wait until it's about closing time to rob a bar. Whey they have taken all the money from the till, they shoot all over the place reducing the bar to debris, although the bar patron himself is not hurt. They run away in a car and they don't pay at a small town's oil station. They also blow the place up. Guy drives off while she tries to kiss him, completely turn-on. As he swirls from one side of the road to the other, a patrolman follows them. She shoots him and kills him.

    The police cannot catch them. Tom Steel, a Texas Ranger (Douglas Kennedy) discusses the case with his secretary Mary (Madeline Foy). Why would any woman behave like that? The problem is that the couple is moving from one state to another. Somebody suggests that he should follow the coupe of criminals wherever they go.

    Meosho, Missouri: Bonnie and Guy have rented a cheap countryfarm cottage. He looks at her lusting for her while she's having a bath. Guy's big brother phones them. Chuck Darrow (Joe Turkel) arrives with her girl (Patt "Patricia" Huston). Chuck has thought about a job. Guy doesn't want to know anything about it, but Bonnie wants to get real big money. Chuck leaves the scene after having crashed onto another car because he had done a back swerve.

    Steel goes after Chuck and his girl. He had been following Guy from Texas in the hope of Chuck's leading him to Bonnie and Guy. Steel leads a charge, but Guy watches them. Bonnie, Guy, Chuck and the girl run away leaving three wounded policemen. Bonnie insists in rescuing Duke from jail. Bonnie takes lead and saves them when the police go after them with dogs.

    Brazoria, Texas: A girl (Carolyn Hughes) tells Duke that there is a plan going onto rescuing him. Bonnie talks to two young farmers, Marvin and cousin Alvin (Jeff Morris & James "Jim" Beck). She walks with them so that Guy can leave a gun for Duke. Duke gets the gun, and Bonnie helps him run away, leaving some casualties. Duke gets hurt in a leg. Hidden in a cottage, Bonnie, Duke and Guy make huge robberies, many times killing people. Bonnie doesn't want to have anything to do with any of the gang-members sentimentally or sexually. She has her private room hidden behind a curtain. Duke tiptoes into the room while she's sleeping, but she's left some crystal on the floor so that he shouts in pain. She wakes up and tells him to go away.

    Hidden away once again, Bonnie knows a guy while Guy and Duke are away. Paul Baxter (William Stevens) is an attractive night-school Architecture student. She feels attracted to him, among other things because he says he wants to build, create things and buildings.

    The little boy's scene is good fun: A cute little boy (Stanley Livingston) had taken the keys from the gang's open car. He threatens the three of them with a toy gun. Bonnie insists to the other two that they must not hurt the boy. The boy tells them he knows they are banks robbers, and asks what Bonnie's got in her bag. She says she's only got chewing gum. The boy wants it. Bonnie gives him the chewing-gum in exchange of the keys.

    They go to rob a money van. They make the van get stuck in the mud. When one of the guards leave to try to move it on, the criminals start shooting. A group of scouts appear, led by a comically cowardly fatty man (Sydney Lassick). Bonnie prevents Duke from shooting them, so the scouts run away. The armoured lorry guard (Bob Steel) leaves the van when Bonnie puts fire to the petrol pump. They run away just as the local sheriff sppears shooting. Only Guy and Bonnie leave the place. In fact, it was Guy who shot Duke when trying to shoot the police people. Bonnie says that all men are pigs, as she has an intuition that Guy shot Duke on purpose. Back at home, she decides to rob the bank of Athens, Texas. They leave in the middle of the night in order to accomplish this goal.

    To do that job, they need two other people, so they fall two young people who have just got out of the reformatory. However, the father of these two boys (Lester Dorr) gets wind of it and tells the police to save his children from falling into the criminal world.

    The rangers and the police are wating for Bonnie and Guy hidden on the side of the ride in View Ranch. Even though Guy spots them, Bonnie, who was driving, cannot swerve fast enough. They are shot. The commander tells the deputies not to stop shooting until he tells them, even if Bonnie and Guy look dead. The car is wrecked and within it, Guy and Bonnie die. Bonnie's last words are "Paul, Paul" - the name of the Architecture student.

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