Bonnie and Clyde – Arthur Penn (1967)


Bonnie and Clyde is a 1967 American biographical crime film directed by Arthur Penn and starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway as the title characters Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker. The film features Michael J. Pollard, Gene Hackman, and Estelle Parsons, with Denver Pyle, Dub Taylor, Gene Wilder, Evans Evans, and Mabel Cavitt in supporting roles. The screenplay was written by David Newman and Robert Benton. Robert Towne and Beatty provided uncredited contributions to the script; Beatty also produced the film. The soundtrack was composed by Charles Strouse. Bonnie and Clyde is considered a landmark film, and is regarded as one of the first films of the New Hollywood era, since it broke many cinematic taboos and was popular with the younger generation. For some members of the counterculture, the film was considered to be a ‘rallying cry.’ Its success prompted other filmmakers to be more open in presenting sex and violence in their films. The film’s ending also became iconic as ‘one of the bloodiest death scenes in cinematic history.’ … In the middle of the Great Depression, Clyde Barrow (Warren Beatty) and Bonnie Parker (Faye Dunaway) meet when Clyde tries to steal Bonnie’s mother’s car. Bonnie, who is bored by her job as a waitress, is intrigued by Clyde, and decides to take up with him and become his partner in crime. They pull off some holdups, but their amateur efforts, while exciting, are not very lucrative. The duo’s crime spree shifts into high gear once they hook up with a dim-witted gas station attendant, C.W. Moss (Michael J. Pollard), then with Clyde’s older brother Buck (Gene Hackman) and his wife, Blanche (Estelle Parsons), a preacher’s daughter. … The film was intended as a romantic and comic version of the violent gangster films of the 1930s, updated with modern filmmaking techniques. Arthur Penn portrayed some of the violent scenes with a comic tone, sometimes reminiscent of Keystone Kops-style slapstick films, then shifted disconcertingly into horrific and graphic violence. The film was strongly influenced by the French New Wave directors, both in its rapid shifts of tone, and in its choppy editing, which is particularly noticeable in the film’s closing sequence. … The film was controversial on its original release for its supposed glorification of murderers, and for its level of graphic violence, which was unprecedented at the time.  … ”
Wikipedia
senses of cinema: Riding the New Wave: The Case of Bonnie and Clyde
New Yorker: “Bonnie and Clyde” By Pauline Kael (October 21, 1967)
Roger Ebert (August 3, 1998
MoMA: Arthur Penn’s Bonnie and Clyde
YouTube: Official Trailer #1 – Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway Movie, A Getaway Driver Scene, Banks

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