Wyoming, early 1900s. Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid are the leaders of a band of outlaws. After a train robbery goes wrong they find themselves on the run with a posse hard on their heels. Their solution - escape to Bolivia.
George Roy Hill
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
They met in 1930. She was stark naked, yelling at him out the window while he tried to steal her mother's car. In a matter of minutes they robbed a store, fired a few shots and then stole somebody else's car. At that point they had not yet been introduced. See more »
I've seen Arthur Penn's Bonnie and Clyde enough times to be able to dissect its film-making and psychology. It is a brilliant movie, but the brilliance is as much from the breaking of ground as anything. I can barely stand Faye Dunaway, a walking mannequin whose only good performance--I mean really watchable--is the damaged-beyond-repair Evelyn Mulwray from Chinatown.
Warren Beatty has always given me the creeps, even when he was handsome and charming and likable in Heaven Can Wait. Gene Hackman has done very little wrong (although Riot does come to mind).
With the major and minor performers out of the way, we can concentrate on the story, the never-been-done-before level of sex and violence issues, and the feeling that we're seeing something big, really big here.
I read one of the great reviews of this movie by Pauline Kael of the New Yorker. I remember the elegant and personal chattiness of the writing, and I had seen the movie, so I could personalize her writing.
I have no intention of going too deeply into what Penn created, nor will I write anything close to a synopsis, mainly because the movie is such an iconic piece of artwork, and it's so deeply ingrained in our culture, that to write about the who, what, and why stuff would be overkill (kind of like the last scene in the movie, right?).
I recommend Bonnie and Clyde because it is a fascinating story, filled with the sort of rebellion that was so popular in the 1960s, because, even though I said I don't like the two principal performers in the movie, I think Dunaway and Beatty have a great, visceral commonality/chemistry.
Even though the movie isn't terribly historically accurate, the viewer gets the feeling he or she is watching a film of significant historical and psychological importance.
And to watch the movie from the position that Bonnie and Clyde is a comedy, until that man takes a bullet right in the face, and the audience sobers up very quickly, is a testament to Penn's storytelling. You're chuckling right up to that moment.
It's not a cheap shot, it's how a great director manipulates an audience.
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