182: Bonnie and Clyde

Bonnie and Clyde (R) - 1967 - Runtime: 112 minutes
Starring: Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman
Director: Arthur Penn

Another classic, this one I was actually looking forward to! Supposedly, this movie was one of the first to go there as far as violence. A classic that took two very unimportant and small figures in the 30s crime wave and made them legendary. From what I've heard, much of what is portrayed in the movie is completely false to who the real Bonnie & Clyde were. Nevertheless, it has made its own impact on American cinema and culture and is a classic crime drama, even if the violence may seem timid by today's standards.

The movie starts out unexpectedly (for me): Faye Dunaway lying naked in her bedroom, looking bored as hell. She looks out her window and see Clyde trying to steal her mom's car and decides to follow him around. A blossoming relationship begins and together their crimes escalate, culminating in murder and their own tragic demise. It's a story that's pretty familiar to these types of movies. The glorification of criminals, and no doubt Bonnie & Clyde were symbols, much like Dillinger. But not nearly as successful. But the one thing that stood out about them: sex appeal. I think that's what makes them so fascinating, that Bonnie was involved in all these crimes (supposedly not as much as the movie would like you to believe). And despite what the movie glorifies - they show them as pretty lame criminals, who get away by sheer luck sometimes. They team up with Clyde's brother, Buch (Hackman) and his wife and soon they're all wanted.

The acting was really good - Beatty has an affable charm that's infectious. He plays Clyde like a wide-eyed puppy in some scenes, but you can tell that much more is happening behind the eyes. There's hints in the movie that Clyde has homosexual tendencies and is quite impotent - B&C don't even have sex until the very end of the movie. They're all a bunch of misfits and it's simply amazing that they survived as long as they did in the movie. Which is to say that while I dug must of the movie, I found it all to be a bit pointless. After watching Public Enemies and loving it, I found their story to be a glorification and total fabrication of the truth (or so I'm told from Maggie and Wikipedia, the two most important sources of information). It just seemed that the movie wasn't going anywhere and I was just waiting for the ultimate demise. Which is sad, because I think the characters are wonderful and their is an interesting story to be told. I guess I was hoping for more action-driven story. But as a character piece, it really is strong. To say the least, I'm a bit mixed when it comes to this title.

I wouldn't say this was something that's a must-see, but if you like crime dramas and haven't checked this one out, it's worth your time. A bit dull at times, but nonetheless intriguing. Just don't expect a lot of crazy heists and getaways, this one's more about the characters and the impact they have on each other.

Rating: Rent It!

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