The film Bonnie and Clyde is, in my opinion, the greatest film ever made. It is a film that broke new ground when released in 1967, and caused controversy while doing so. When the film was first released, it was greeted with critical boos and audience woos. Its violent content was much more than the movie going audience of the time could handle. America didn’t seem ready for a film about bank robbers, that in the end we really feel for.
From the beginning we can tell that the film we are about to see is a movie about people who are lonely. Bonnie Parker (Faye Dunaway), is half dressed in her room. She prances around hiding behind different objects. In this scene, we can tell that she is isolated and feels trapped in her life. As she glances out the window, she sees a man staring at her mom’s car. This man is Clyde Barrow (Warren Beatty), a bank robber recently released from jail. They meet and talk and something sparks between the two of them. Bonnie is immediately attracted to Clyde’s bad boy behavior, as he robs a convenient store at gun point. It’s not directly said, but Clyde has rescued Bonnie from her mundane life and she stays with Clyde. Together, they become partners in crime robbing banks.
As they get more serious about what they do, they come to realize they need a bigger crew. They find C.W. Moss (Michael C. Pollard), who comes on board as the driver of the getaway car. Next comes Buck (Gene Hackman), Clyde’s brother and his wife (Estelle Parsons, who won an Oscar for the film). They become The Barrow Gang. Buck’s wife hates what they do, and feels that no good can come out of any of this.
What started off as Clyde’s stick up here and there of a convenient store led to The Barrow Gang becoming the center of attention for their bank robberies. They are on the front page of the papers and they are number one on the police’s list to catch. The Barrow Gang are on the loose, traveling state to state, fleeing from the cops.
Bonnie and Clyde, is based on the true story of the bank robbers. It is beautifully shot and told in the Depression Era when money was scarce and robbing banks was one of the ways of actually obtaining money. The film eloquently portrays the time period throughout the picture. For example, when Bonnie and Clyde are about to rob the bank, the teller tells them that they have no money because nobody has any money to deposit.
Bonnie and Clyde is ultimately a sad tale about the doomed lovers who never really have the chance to be together. Bonnie and Clyde aren’t necessarily bad people, they are just people who do bad things. The picture never tries to justify what Bonnie and Clyde did, yet we can’t help but to feel for them when they reach their dark demise.
The year 1967 was a revolutionary year for film. Sex was introduced through The Graduate and racial issues were covered in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and In the Heat of the Night. But Bonnie and Clyde was the one that really stirred up the most chatter. Violence had never been put onto the film in such a bloody and graphic manner until Bonnie and Clyde. Critics attacked the picture when it was first released, but it ended up garnering ten Oscar nominations, winning two.
They are Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, and they rob banks!
Bonnie and Clyde
Director: Alan Parker
Starring: Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway
Rated: Would be R by today’s standards