‘They’re young… they’re in love… and they kill people.’
David Newman, Robert Benton
Warren Beatty (Clyde Barrow), Faye Dunaway (Bonnie Parker), Michael J. Pollard (C.W. Moss), Gene Hackman (Buck Barrow), Estelle Parsons (Blanche), Denver Pyle (Frank Hamer), Dub Taylor (Ivan Moss), Evans Evans (Velma Davis), Gene Wilder (Eugene Grizzard)
“I’ll tell you right now, I ain’t much of a lover boy.” That is what Clyde Barrow tells Bonnie Parker, a pretty waitress he just snatched from a dull Texas town after robbing a grocery store. Still, they fall in love and take off together and go on a crime spree with no ending in sight. It is the time of the Great Depression, and Bonnie and Clyde would soon belong to the most legendary gangsters of this period.
The people would read about these young robbers in the newspaper and they were fascinated. A large part of this fascination was due to the fact that these were young and beautiful people that were obviously sleeping together. Little did they know that Clyde almost never touches Bonnie (in the movie that is, in real life this is unlikely). Still without the sex, this is one hell of a sexy movie due to the appearance and performance of the two leads.
Bonnie and Clyde will now always be synonymous with violent young lovers on the run. For a long time they seemed to be uncatchable, and they caused terror and excitement everywhere they went. Very soon they were joined by other robbers, including Clyde’s brother Buck and his wife blanche (great performances by Gene Hackman and Estelle Parsons), and ‘the Barrow Gang’ soon became the talk of every town between Texas and Louisiana.
Bonnie and Clyde became a controversial movie back in its time because of the violence (and sex, yes there is some despite Barrow’s initial reluctance). Especially the famous ending in which Bonnie and Clyde are riddled with bullets by law enforcers is still iconic in its depiction of graphic screen violence (and it inspired the way Sonny is killed in The Godfather). Bonnie and Clyde grew out to become an absolute classic in American cinema history. It is one of the 100 films selected for archiving in the AFI archive. It also won two Oscars for Best Cinematography and Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Estelle Parsons).
BONNIE PARKER: “Your advertising is just dandy. Folks would never guess you don’t have a thing to sell.”
The hostage Eugene Grizzard is played by Gene Wilder. His girlfriend Velma Davis is played by Evans Evans, the daughter of director John Frankenheimer.
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