Based on the true story of Clyde Barrow, a charismatic convicted armed robber who sweeps Bonnie Parker, an impressionable, petite, small-town waitress, off her feet, and the two embark on ... See full summary »
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
After François Truffaut's departure from the project, the producers approached Jean-Luc Godard. Some sources claim Godard didn't trust Hollywood and refused; other allege he planned to change Bonnie and Clyde to teenagers and relocate the story to Japan, prompting the film's investors to force him off the project. See more »
When the Bonnie and Clyde gang takes a break to secretly meet with Bonnie's mother and other relatives, they are outside in the secluded Texas countryside, playing, having a picnic, and enjoying themselves. It is hot outside, and we see parched earth and dry grass. As Clyde talks to old Mrs. Parker, he opens the wrapper to an Eskimo Pie and casually bites into the chocolate-coated vanilla ice cream as he talks. There is no means of refrigeration anywhere and it would have been liquid in that heat. See more »
[Turned around in the car to face the back seat, to Eugene, loudly and mirthfully]
Hey, what-a-ya do, anyhow?
I'm an undertaker.
[Turning back to the front, to Clyde, quietly and with a deadly look]
Get them out of here.
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Rocking the cinema several years after the French New Wave and its deconstructivist approach to established film syntax, "Bonnie and Clyde" isn't so much an experiment in iconoclasm as it is a post-modern (re-)construction of the gangster film as a true American folktale fantasy. The existential vacuousness pervading the Nouvelle Vague finds renewed expression in the eerily empty landscapes and towns, in Clyde's charismatic ambivalence toward crime, and in Bonnie's charmingly fatalist poetry.
Yet Arthur Penn wisely replaces French frivolousness with the profound tension and despair of Depression-era dilapidation. Although it's a damn funny film, all the laughs are constrained by a sense of impending doom. Seeing Clyde hand his gun over to a pair of oldtimers so they can shoot at their now repossessed home they themselves built, acts as a snapshot of the titular characters' exploits: briefly gratifying, enduringly defiant, but essentially futile.
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