Bonnie and Clyde
  • Bonnie and Clyde
  • Bonnie and Clyde

Bonnie and Clyde

4.1 16
Director: Arthur Penn

Cast: Arthur Penn, Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Michael J. Pollard


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Producer/star Warren Beatty had to convince Warner Bros. to finance this film, which went on to become the studio's second-highest grosser. It also caused major controversy by redefining violence in cinema and casting its criminal protagonists as sympathetic anti-heroes. Based loosely on the true exploits of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker during the 30s, the film… See more details below

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Producer/star Warren Beatty had to convince Warner Bros. to finance this film, which went on to become the studio's second-highest grosser. It also caused major controversy by redefining violence in cinema and casting its criminal protagonists as sympathetic anti-heroes. Based loosely on the true exploits of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker during the 30s, the film begins as Clyde (Beatty) tries to steal the car of Bonnie Parker (Faye Dunaway)'s mother. Bonnie is excited by Clyde's outlaw demeanor, and he further stimulates her by robbing a store in her presence. Clyde steals a car, with Bonnie in tow, and their legendary crime spree begins. The two move from town to town, pulling off small heists, until they join up with Clyde's brother Buck (Gene Hackman), his shrill wife Blanche (Estelle Parsons), and a slow-witted gas station attendant named C.W. Moss (Michael J. Pollard). The new gang robs a bank and Clyde is soon painted in the press as a Depression-era Robin Hood when he allows one bank customer to hold onto his money. Soon the police are on the gang's trail and they are constantly on the run, even kidnapping a Texas Ranger (Denver Pyle) and setting him adrift on a raft, handcuffed, after he spits in Bonnie's face when she kisses him. That same ranger leads a later raid on the gang that leaves Buck dying, Blanche captured, and both Clyde and Bonnie injured. The ever-loyal C.W. takes them to his father's house. C.W.'s father disaproves his son's affiliation with gangsters and enters a plea bargain with the Texas Rangers. A trap is set that ends in one of the bloodiest death scenes in cinematic history. The film made stars out of Beatty and Dunaway, and it also featured the screen debut of Gene Wilder as a mortician briefly captured by the gang. Its portrayal of Bonnie and Clyde as rebels who empathized with the poor working folks of the 1930s struck a chord with the counterculture of the 1960s and helped generate a new, young audience for American movies that carried over into Hollywood's renewal of the 1970s. Its combination of sex and violence with dynamic stars, social relevance, a traditional Hollywood genre, and an appeal to hip young audiences set the pace for many American movies to come.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Rachel Saltz
With Bonnie and Clyde, producer Warren Beatty and director Arthur Penn served notice to Hollywood that it was time to "get with it," and audiences duly backed them up: The movie hit like a cultural tornado and made a commercial killing (it was Warner Bros.' second biggest box-office hit up to that time). Groundbreaking in its use of violence and narrative stylization -- influenced by the French New Wave in general and Jean-Luc Godard in particular -- the film's most daring gambit was to make Bonnie and Clyde sympathetic, misunderstood antiheroes: a bull's-eye notion for 1967. Beatty plays the impotent, none-too-bright Clyde, who has Robin Hood-type impulses, and Faye Dunaway is at her best as Bonnie. Slowly stultifying in a dusty small town, Bonnie is turned on by the speedy fun and danger promised by Clyde; together their exploits make them folk heroes. There are also memorable performances by Michael J. Pollard, Estelle Parsons (who won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress) and Gene Hackman. Burnett Guffey, who shot for Warner Bros. in the 1940s and '50s, won the Best Cinematography Academy Award for his work on the film.
All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
The turning point from Hollywood's moribund studio system to the impending youthquake of the 1970s, Arthur Penn's Bonnie and Clyde (1967) audaciously broke conventions, upset critics, and revealed a young audience's box office power. With its unstinting violence and sympathy for the glamorous, gun-toting criminals, Bonnie and Clyde sharply divided critics over whether it was strikingly innovative or reprehensibly amoral and nihilistic. The increasingly rebellious youth audience, however, embraced the doomed heroes, and both Time and Newsweek recanted their initial negative negative reviews as other critics continued to savage it. Though Warner Bros. had dumped the film, star Warren Beatty badgered the studio into a second release. Bonnie and Clyde grossed over $20 million, landing on the cover of Time as the harbinger of the "New Cinema" as Theadora Van Runkle's costumes inspired a 1930s fashion craze. Heavily influenced by the European art movies of the early 1960s, writers Robert Benton and David Newman intended to make a revisionist gangster movie in the spirit of the French New Wave, to be directed by Jean-Luc Godard or François Truffaut; the film openly sympathized with its glamorous gangsters, who became analogues of hip 1960s counter-culture protestors, and its tone veered unexpectedly between slapstick comedy and serious consequences, galling more conventional critics who wanted the film to enforce a clear morality. Faye Dunaway's strong-willed Bonnie and Beatty's impotent Clyde were hardly a traditional couple, and their gory demise in rapid-fire, slow motion montage went far beyond previous Hollywood bloodshed. Nominated for ten Oscars including Best Picture, Bonnie and Clyde won for Burnett Guffey's cinematography and Estelle Parsons as Supporting Actress. The impact of its violence and youth appeal was confirmed by the ensuing successes of The Wild Bunch and Easy Rider, while outlaw couple films from Badlands (1973) to Thelma and Louise (1991) have ensured its continuing legacy.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
[Wide Screen]
Sales rank:

Special Features

New 40th-anniversary commemorative documentary: Revolution! The making of Bonnie and Clyde; The History channel profile Love and Death: The Story of Bonnie and Clyde; Warren Beatty wardrobe tests; Additonal scenes; Theatrical trailers

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Warren Beatty Clyde Barrow
Faye Dunaway Bonnie Parker
Michael J. Pollard C.W. Moss
Gene Hackman Buck Barrow
Estelle Parsons Blanche
Gene Wilder Eugene Grizzard
Denver Pyle Frank Hamer
Dub Taylor Ivan Moss
Evans Evans Velma Davis
Roy Heard Man
J.J. Lemmon Sheriff
Joe Spratt Farmer
James Stivers Butcher
Martha Adcock Bank customer
Mabel Cavitt Bonnie's mother
Sadie French Bank customer
Clyde Howdy Deputy
Russ Marker Bank guard
Ken Mayer Sheriff Smoot
Ann Palmer Bonnie's sister

Technical Credits
Arthur Penn Director
Dede Allen Editor
Warren Beatty Producer
Robert Benton Screenwriter
Burnett Guffey Cinematographer
Robert Jiras Makeup
Danny Lee Special Effects
David Newman Screenwriter
Raymond Paul Set Decoration/Design
Jack N. Reddish Asst. Director
Vincent Saizis Cinematographer
Russ Saunders Production Manager
Charles Strouse Score Composer
Dean Tavoularis Art Director
Theadora Van Runkle Costumes/Costume Designer

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