1934. Young adults Bonnie Parker, a waitress, and Clyde Barrow, a criminal just released from prison, are immediately attracted to what the other represents for their life when they meet by chance in West Dallas, Texas. Bonnie is fascinated with Clyde's criminal past, and his matter-of-factness and bravado in talking about it. Clyde sees in Bonnie someone sympatico to his goals in life. Although attracted to each other physically, a sexual relationship between the two has a few obstacles to happen. Regardless, they decide to join forces to embark on a life of crime, holding up whatever establishments, primarily banks, to make money and to have fun. They don't plan on hurting anyone physically or killing anyone despite wielding loaded guns. They amass a small gang of willing accomplices, including C.W. Moss, a mechanic to fix whatever cars they steal which is important especially for their getaways, and Buck Barrow, one of Clyde's older brothers. The only reluctant tag-along is Buck's ... Written by
The poem that Bonnie reads aloud in the rented flat is "The Story of Suicide Sal," written by Bonnie Parker in 1932. See more »
During the frustrated love scene on the bed, Clyde turns on his back and puts his left hand on his chest after kissing Bonnie. In the next shot, however, his left hand moves off of her breast. See more »
Although numerous chapters in cinema manuals have been dedicated to Arthur Penn's violent, jagged, cynical "Bonnie and Clyde"--and, indeed, it kick-started a new permissiveness in America movies which then generated many imitations--the first twenty or so minutes of the picture are really awful. Depression-era waitress, bored and thrill seeking, finds herself drawn to a smooth-talking, reckless hood, an ex-con who, when playfully dared to, robs a general store right in front of her. He's sexually impotent but does have a sympathetic heart for the unfortunates and the working class; she's a high-wire act, strictly amoral and greedy. Their initial meeting outside her house has all the conventions of a standard 1930s drama--and just because the movie's look is generally correct doesn't mean what's happening on the screen is original. Producer Warren Beatty and screenwriters Robert Benton and David Newman envisioned the French New Wave in regards to the film's approach and style, and their efforts paid off in this respect (it's a very good-looking picture, shot by Burnett Guffey, who won an Oscar). However, Arthur Penn's direction isn't visionary, and the multiple car-riding shots with back projection don't seem to break new ground. The film's greatest achievement aside from its textured look and feel is the casting: Beatty and Faye Dunaway do pretty marvelous work in the leads; Gene Hackman and Estelle Parsons also fine as Clyde's brother and sister-in-law (Parsons won the film's second of two Oscars as Best Supporting Actress). The violence grows increasingly, steadily, as the film inches toward its queasy conclusion, while Penn juggles (successfully at times) ribald character moments with deadly serious--and bloody--scenes (which also became fashionable). The sweat and the flies, the downtrodden and the righteous, they all get a work-out in this scenario, which, in its best moments, has a prickly-comic and dangerous edge. **1/2 from ****
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