Good afternoon, we are the Barrow gang. Bonnie & Clyde stands today as one of the most important films of the 60s, it's impact on culture alone marks it out as a piece of work to note, but as gangster films go this one is something of a landmark. Quite how writers Newman & Benton managed to craft a story of two deadbeat outlaws into cinematic heroes is up for any individual viewers scrutiny, but they bloody well do it because we all want to be in the Barrow gang, because we get lost in this romanticised outlawish tale unfolding in front of our eyes. The film is a fusion of incredible violence and jaunty slapstick, and smartly pauses for delicate moments to let us into the psyche of the main protagonists, we know they have hangups, and with that we know they are fallible human beings, and this sets us up a treat for the incredible jaw dropping finale, and the impact of this finale hits as hard now as it did back with the audience's of 1967. The cast are incredible, Warren Beatty gives a truly brilliant performance as Clyde, he looks good and suave tooting those guns, but it's in the tender troubled scenes where he excels supreme. Faye Dunaway as Bonnie is the perfect foil for Beatty's layers, she nails every beat of this gangsters troubled moll. Gene Hackman, Michael J Pollard, and Estelle Parsons put the cherry on the icing to give depth and range to the rest of the Barrow gang, and these fine actors are clothed in gorgeous cinematography courtesy of Burnett Guffrey. To round out the plaudits I finish with love for director Arthur Penn because it's his vision that gives us something of a nostalgic movie that plays up and down with its subjects with cheeky aplomb, in fact it's just like the banjo music that features so prominently throughout this wonderful film. Nominated for 9 Oscars it won just the two, the entire actors who played the Barrow gang were nominated, and truth be told they all would have been worthy winners, as it is they gave out just the one to the least strongest performance from Estelle Parsons, go figure. It's legacy both in culture and box office lives on and for me Bonnie & Clyde is not only one of the best films of the 60s, it's also one of the best in history. 10/10
Bonnie Parker (Faye Dunaway) just happens to look out of her window one morning and spots a rather unsavoury looking fella (Warren Beatty) eyeing up her mother's car. Quick as a flash she is dressed and they are in this car never to look back. Realising that they are broke, they decide that robbing provincial shops and garages is actually a lucrative dawdle. It's at a garage, indeed, that they recruit CW Moss (Michael J Pollard) before hooking up with his brother Buck (Gene Hackman) and his wife Blanche (Estelle Parsons) before escalating their crime spree to banks and, of course, resulting in a fatality that cannot fail to galvanise the authorities. Soon they are most wanted with just about every cop in the state on their trail. Fortunately, these are not the best aimers - and their legend begins to grow. They are fêted wherever they go - a poverty stricken population seeing much to admire in their "entrepreneurial" spirit. It's history, so we know what happens - but that isn't really too important. Arthur Penn has put together a strong cast - especially Parsons who is great as the hysterical wife caught up in it all and Dub Taylor as the duplicitous "Moss Snr". The attention to detail is impressive - it looks great, the motor cars really didn't look like they could pull the skin off a custard. Beatty and Dunaway simply ooze chemistry and as the story progresses I challenge anyone not to be on their side... It's as entertaining and enjoyable to watch on screen as it is to read about the machinations of many in getting the thing made in the first place.
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