Bonnie & Clyde (TV Mini-Series 2013– ) Poster

(2013– )

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The only truths found in this made for television movie
christopher-cole831 September 2014
Are that there was a gang known as Bonnie and Clyde...

They had a lawman named Frank Hamer (a real life Walker: Texas Ranger) chasing after them...

And their stories converge in Louisiana when an ambush kills Bonnie and Clyde.

Everything else was just filler to try to tell a story.

Let's be real here though, it was A&E that put this together: Arts and Entertainment, which also owns Lifetime (conversely known as Wifetime), and History, which seems less concerned about history and more concerned about spinning a good story. With that, the cinematography is good for a "made for television" budget, and the acting is good. It isn't garbage like many reviews are saying it is. However, elements of teleplay really push what's good about this into territory that it doesn't need to go.

The real history of Bonnie and Clyde is compelling enough, considering much of what they did was interpreted as desperate people fighting back against cold-hearted and nameless capitalist institutions during the Great Depression. And that a woman would get caught up in it was also compelling. Had the story stuck to that, this would have been better. There is however no need to distort the history to tell a good story when the story can stand on its own.

It gets credit from me for the filming and the acting. It looses too much on the rest.
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Only Good If You Don't Know The True Story
iamyuno223 December 2013
Boy is this a bad film! And I don't understand it - the cast was good enough but the writers and movie makers made choices in fictionalizing the story to the point where I was just tearing my hair out, screaming at the TV (I saw this, of course, at home). I won't be a spoiler, so I can't get into details but all I want to say here is: avoid this piece of trash! The Warren Beatty movie was so much better and so much truer to the real story it's not funny. (And this is the first bad review I've posted on this site - and I've posted quite a few.) If you do watch this movie, then you owe it to yourself afterward to read a few good books or even just read their wikipedia write-up. You'll then also be angry at all of the fabrications in this film. Why did they choose to diverge from the truth, which makes an even better story than the lie they chose to tell? Sorry. I think movie makers owe true subjects a heavy dose of respect when they present a story that most movie goer will think is true - to present a lie, as they do here, is unconscionable, especially with two such iconic and infamous yet important characters in our nation's history.
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Good Performances, Lousy Script and Direction
Frank Burnham27 May 2014
Warning: Spoilers
The true story of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow is dramatic. 2013's "Bonnie and Clyde" is a miserable mess of dishonest storytelling made almost watchable by the performances of Emile Hirsch, Holliday Grainger and the supporting cast.

In this telling of the outlaws' tale, Bonnie Parker is the prime motivator of their criminal behavior. The consequence of this conceit is to make the role of Clyde Barrow somewhat 'sensitive'. To achieve the Bonnie-is-the-bad-one theme the writers have presented patently false scenes.


The departures from fact in this production are too many to name here, but highlights are: Bonnie Parker did not kill Doyle Johnson on Christmas Day, 1932. But this production has her do it and the thrill-seeking manner in which she commits the murder becomes a central conflict between her and Clyde. Also, Bonnie did not participate in the shooting deaths of highway patrolmen Wheeler and Murphy on Easter Sunday, 1934. The 'eyewitness' to this event was soundly discredited. Even the scene where Bonnie and Clyde first see each other (Bonnie's wedding) is total fabrication, suggesting that the director and writers did not have the confidence to find drama in the true event


Director Bruce Beresford and writers Joe Batteer and John Rice have opted to give a rendition of the Bonnie and Clyde story that is a supermarket tabloid version, not anything close to the true story. And frankly, the true story is a whole lot more interesting than the story being told here. Not only is the dishonesty a disservice to the audience, but it also means the actors have to create their characters from scratch, since what is in the script and on the screen does not resemble the true personalities and motivations of Bonnie and Clyde.

Brucie Beresford should look back to his "Breaker Morant" roots to remind himself how a true story should be told.

A definite "pass on it". Aside from just bad storytelling, it is too long and slow. Regrettably I didn't hit the fast-forward button.
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Sheer waste of time
FlushingCaps10 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Clyde is shown as first meeting Bonnie when she, at age 15 got married. He and Buck crashed the reception for a few minutes, and before they were quietly asked to leave the party, he was intrigued by the bride he saw far across the room.

Somehow, over three years later, he comes calling at her home, where he first meets her. She somehow remembers seeing him back on her wedding day. Incredible memory Bonnie has. Luckily for Clyde, her husband has left her and even though they never divorced, she continued to wear her wedding ring while cavorting with Clyde for the last few years of her life, which ended at the ripe old age of 24.

We proceed to spend far too much time seeing the two of them in bed, where Clyde sports a few 21st-Century-style tattoos, which seemed out of place for the 1930s. We are treated to jailbreaks, a prison break that seemed about as realistic as a cartoon, set up with one person alone, wearing prison garb, suddenly jumping into a group of convicts walking to their work site outside their prison, then pointing a gun at one of the guards, while his buddy grabs the guard's gun and they take off through the woods.

There are lots of scenes where Clyde is driving a car, and spends so much time talking with Bonnie while looking straight at her, you figure the only way the car stays on the little narrow road is because it has an airplane-like automatic pilot.

Clyde keeps having premonitions—glimpses of himself being all bloodied, of a row of guns shooting, and of Bonnie's leg being on fire—and, of course, all of these come true. As far as I know, this whole plot line was invented for this film. It certainly isn't in any historical record I've seen.

There is an ambush scene that seems incredibly poorly staged, unless the dozens of police depicted actually wanted the gang to escape. We see the gang—Clyde, Bonnie, Buck, and Blanche-sitting on the ground in a woods somewhere, while dozens of police officers, all armed, slowly creep through the woods toward the gang. They come into view of the killers from a distance and are seen. The gang members all get up and run to their car. Incredibly, the lawmen continue to slowly creep toward them and they actually wait until everyone is inside the car and close the doors before they open fire. Of course, the gang, through a hail of bullets, escapes because nobody in this film ever gets hurt while being shot at dozens of times while riding in a car.

I remember the original movie had the demise of the pair stop on a lonely road beside a car, only to see the one person there suddenly roll under the vehicle and before they could react, they were gunned down by hundreds of shots from the trees to the side of the road.

This film recreates that scene. EXCEPT they seem to stop their car at least 50 feet away from the other vehicle right before the shooting began. If the setup was for them to stop where the other car was, then the cops wouldn't have been right beside the place where they did stop. Unless you figure the posse which actually numbered six people was more like 100 people spread all along the roadway. This film also finds it necessary to show the pair being shot with all sorts of blood spilling out, in slow motion from a camera under the dashboard, just to make it extra grisly.

From what I've read, the actual ambush had firing open while they were driving slowly, with the car stopping about 50 yards from where shots were first fired. In the film, the car was stopped before any shots were fired, but the location of where they stopped just wasn't right.

I thought this was going to be a fact-based movie, with imagined dialog thrown in, which is necessary. Instead so much of it seemed hokey, and boring. I really didn't need to see these murderous, vicious criminals having so much fun with their disgusting lives, as depicted in this movie. They had far more happy scenes than the 1967 film, which was criticized for that same thing. Some of the dialog seemed much too "21st Century" to be real, such as when Bonnie tells Clyde he needs a "makeover" of new clothes and a "cut"-meaning haircut.

It seemed poorly scripted, poorly filmed, and absolutely didn't teach me anything about the real life killers. Much of it was boring, and the sex scenes were too long and unnecessary to the plot. Not much to recommend. I give it a 3.
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Based on a Trues Story is not even close...
GatormanTN10 December 2013
Once again we see the glamorization of detestable criminals. I was hopeful that this dramatization would correct many of the mistakes made in the past but this only made things worse in my opinion. The acting left a lot to be desired and the only reason that I even went into the second part was just to finish it out, not because I was captivated or anxious to see the conclusion. Part one of the series left me feeling that this was way over-hyped and like the cover of an old Atari game.

There were several items within the mini-series that have been refuted as false many times and just frankly should not be included in any production that dares to say "based on a true story.' Productions like this make that tag line mean nothing more than that two people with these names existed and they committed crimes. The rest is just what we thought would make the movie good. However, I would say they failed on all fronts.
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TV Mini Series Bonnie & Clyde
vickdog201010 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The two things that this show got right was that they were born and that they both died on May 23, 1934. All my life (i'm 57) i have been interested in gangsters,mobsters and organized crime. And may folks would say that all 3 are the same and of course there not. My interest started back in 1967 with that movie of Bonnie & Clyde. That movie was 2 hrs and yours was 4 hrs and there's was much more informative. So many things was wrong with your show. But to name just two, very little was said or shown about Bonnie's poetry. And second in your ambush scene the officers used Thompson's. In real life each officer had a B.A.R. a shotgun and there service revolvers. You left out Joplin Mo and that was a very big event in there lives and careers. Many facts were wrong. To sum it up in my opinion this was a total waste of money making this and a waste of my time watching it. Just being Honest.
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What the?
Randi Middleton9 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I don't know how this could have been any worse.

First of all, I am a huge Bonnie & Clyde history geek and I know a thing or two about them. That being said, I don't mind some dramatization liberty in the storytelling, but when you just make it up??? Oh come on!!

This was not anywhere close to being accurate in any way shape or form. This is not history. This is a half#$% attempt at story telling all to make a quick buck.

Bonnie & Clyde were white trash thugs and nothing more. They were not attractive at all, even for those times, and Bonnie was very short. But if they want to spiffy them up a bit... fine.. but you don't have to make Clyde a freaking psychic!!!.. You worthless, no talent, monkey writers.

Then, Bonnie being some Hollywood dreamer and breaking into some fake newspaper reporters home boasting about herself... are you kidding me?

And what was with the ballerina Bonnie? So so stupid.

The people who created this should have their careers tank. They deserve it.

In conclusion... This gets the lowest possible rating, and for anyone reading this, and were thinking this was accurate, please don't. Look up the story. You can find addresses of the famous places and some still exist today. Such as the Barrow gas station. You can visit them on google maps.
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Inaccurate & FALSE Depiction of Bonnie & Clyde
A. Fults9 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Based on Episode 1 of Bonnie & Clyde Mini-Series, It is obvious that the writers and producers did not bother to do any research about this subject at all. This is supposedly based on a "True Story", but the character of Ralph Fults is extremely inaccurate and a Disgrace to the Fults Family. Ralph Fults has never killed anyone in his entire life. If the writers and producers had actually done their research, they would have known that. The book, "Running With Bonnie and Clyde: The Ten Fast Years of Ralph Fults" says that Ralph always emphasized that he was not with Bonnie and Clyde when anyone was killed. Now, the author of that book, John Neal Phillips, did however do his research. In fact, he personally interviewed with Ralph Fults, Marie Barrow and Blanche Barrow and got the TRUE story of Bonnie and Clyde. The book is a very accurate depiction of what really happened in the Bonnie & Clyde Gang and THAT should be the Movie or Mini-Series...Not this erroneous folklore. Next time, instead of re-hashing all of the other Bonnie & Clyde movies that have been made, the writers and producers should actually do some real research and get your history facts right!
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A Mixed Bag
jmillerdp10 December 2013
The much-hyped TV movie, "Bonnie & Clyde," is a mix of the good and the bad. There is excellent cinematography, sound design, and performance by William Hurt. But, there is also the excessive artistic license and lack of historical accuracy.

The result is a mixed bag that can't be either recommended or asked to be avoided. The movie takes the view that Bonnie Parker was the instigator of everything that went on. She is portrayed as someone who is desperate for glory and is willing to sacrifice whomever has to be sacrificed to get what she wants. This runs counter to what history says, which is that Clyde Barrow was a criminal with little regard for human life, and was going to do whatever necessary so that he did not go back to prison.

The movie was shown in two parts. The first centered a lot on Barrow's experiences in prison, including being raped, which is particularly grisly. You used to have to go to a dark, R-rated film like "Deliverance" for that, but now you can see it on TV! There is a fair amount of bloody violence and PG-rated language. This most likely would be a fairly strong PG-13 or lower-level R, if it were in theaters.

The first part is mostly preamble, and not very interesting preamble at that. The second part is where the movie goes into high gear, with all the shootings and graphic violence I am guessing people came for. The highlight, though, is a great performance by William Hurt! When I saw him in the cast, I was very hopeful, since he just gave an excellent performance in the Discovery Channel film, "The Challenger Disaster." Here, he gets down and dirty as a determined crime fighter, who has no problems killing whomever he gets a chance to, or to union bust for greedy corporations. His telling of why he's come out of retirement to hunt down Bonnie and Clyde to a colleague is chilling.

After four hours, including commercials, the ending to the film comes so suddenly, you wonder how they could spend those four hours on all that came before it, and only spend a few minutes on the ending. Very bizarre!

The movie was directed by Bruce Beresford, who most famously directed "Breaker Morant" and "Driving Miss Daisy." Here, he makes the most of the script he has been given. The cinematography is excellent! Some of the best I have seen on TV in recent memory. The sound design is excellent and is striking through a good stereo set up. There are some real irritants here, though. John Debney's film score is uneven, only working well in the final 40 minutes of the production. The performance by the lady playing the exploitative newspaper woman is highly irritating. The voice over by Clyde, as with all voice overs, demonstrates laziness by the screenwriters. It usually shows a lack of imagination to use cinematic techniques to show what's happening, and instead just tell us with the voice over. Clyde's "second sight" construct by the screenwriters, in which he sees events before they happen is odd, but ironically provides some of the rare cinematic quality the film needed.

In the end, stylized tellings of history can work, when they are done well. Such was the case with Arthur Penn's classic version of the story from 1967. And, was also the case with the Brian De Palma-directed, David Mamet-scripted "The Untouchables" from 1987. There were definite historic liberties taken in both cases. But, since both films were so masterfully done, it doesn't matter! We know that neither was trying to be a documentary from the get go, so it's okay. We know that there are resources where we can learn the true story. The films are there as art, and great art at that. This TV movie doesn't get there, though. And, that's the difference.

******* (7 Out of 10 Stars)
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It took only 30 minutes for me to make my decision ...
tsmith4178 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
... to change the channel.

Clyde had "second sight"?

He first saw Bonnie in a vision brought on by a fever when he was a child and then met her when he and Buck crashed her wedding?

He played saxophone in a speakeasy band?

This is a true story? True story of whom?

Don't waste your time on this nonsense. I couldn't change the channel fast enough to avoid seeing any more ridiculous made-up "facts".

I wish I could give this a negative rating. For some reason I'm not even being given the option of rating it at all, but I will state here that I give it zero stars.
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