Skip to comments.The Movie That Changed The Movies [ExileStreet]
Posted on 08/13/2007 6:31:22 AM PDT by ParsifalCA
As New York Times critic A.O. Scott wrote recently, forty years ago this summer the movie that changed the movies premiered. Anybody old enough to remember films before Bonnie and Clyde can testify to the jolting power of Arthur Penns kinetic blend of blue-grass slapstick, Depression-era nostalgia, and gruesome, stylized violence. But something else was revealed then, something that I, 14 at the time, was too callow and ignorant to notice behind the cinematic innovationsthe moral idiocy that has since come to define pretty much most of American popular culture.
Bonnie and Clyde staked a claim to a moral seriousness that supposedly validated the stylistic innovations and elevated the film beyond mere flashy entertainment. Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, played with fashion-magazine glamour by Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, are just folks, as Dunaway says in the movie, salt-of-the-earth Americans driven to crime by the machinations of the evil banks they rob for some justified payback, Texan Robin Hoods admired by the common-man victims of American capitalism. Yet the man, embodied in the sadistic Texas Ranger Frank Hamer, wouldnt let them be, hunting them down and slaughtering them in the movies famous bloody climax, just after Bonnie and Clyde had finally found the soft-focus sexual fulfillment of a typical Hollywood romance.
The Marxiste folk-tale underlying the movies otherwise conventional star-crossed-lovers plot was obvious, and as much as the cinematic innovations accounted for the films popularity with many critics [more]
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Cops and robbers. The rest is too deep.
Good observation...the whole culture has been reconfigured to suit this and other lies.
Whatever you do - don’t sell that cow!
Have read several who opined that Butch and Sundance were in the “movie that changed the movies”. Six of one, half a dozen of the other, hayna?
Hollywood would never, ever cast evil characters at good guys!
Think Robin Hood, Jesse James and Billy the Kid.
Today we've got people looking up to the the thugs of the rap industry and the narcotraficantes.
Someday they'll go down together
They'll bury them side by side
To few it'll be grief,
To the law, a relief.
But it's death for Bonnie and Clyde.
It was a good movie, but I liked “Cool Hand Luke” better. “What we have here is a failure to communicate.”
Hollywood has been in bed with the Reds for a long time. The historical Spartacus was a brutal — possibly psychotic — criminal... but Hollywood cast him as hero decades ago.
BOY, do I remember Bonnie and Clyde. I was twelve, I was crazy about it (would sneak off to see it while my mother was at work...must have seen it a dozen or more times). When my mother found out who I was idolizing (I thought Bonnie Parker was just too cool), she was horrified and I got a good lecture on bad guys being bad guys.
***...psychopathic killersClyde had jug-ears and a weak chin, Bonnie the mean mouth and ferret eyes of a white-trash skank.***
Outstanding article. Thanks for posting.
Anti-truth, fictional representations corrode the rational faculties of the casual observer.
Run Hillary run!
The true story was much more interesting, more action filled, and more unbelievable. Both Clyde and Bonnie did have a certain mix of natures manifesting normal human emotions and friendliness but also ruthlessness and self-justifying adolescent false-morality.
Texas Ranger Frank Hamer’s life could be fodder for several movies. He shot three times as many men that Clyde did and was a top pistolero. The movie was indeed a defamation of his character. He was a giant among other great lawmen of the time.
Most writers seem to go on about Bonnie and Clyde being of an inbred appearance or otherwise unattractive. But I think photos reveal them to be more attractive than their average peers. If one looks over 15 or 20 Bonnie and Clyde photographs one will see that they were not Hollywood star material but were reasonably attractive.
Never thought much of “Bonnie & Clyde”. Depression-era lead slinging desprados meets French New Wave was a curiosity, Though I did like Gene Hackman’s supporting role as Clyde’s brother Buck and the massive ambush at the film’s end.
What’s interesting, is that French New Wave films were highly influenced by thousands of American B-Movies that were sent across the pond to Europe. Thus creating recycled garbage.
The only film I can think of that could have been influenced by “Bonnie & Clyde” would be Robert Altman’s “McCabe & Mrs. Miller”. Which isn’t saying all that much.
Here everyone has the opportunity to rise up from their station through hard work and determination.
Back then you were locked into your class. Hard work amounted to little. Hmmmm, that sounds an awful lot like communism.
I saw the movie Bonnie and Clyde. I didn’t view them as any kind of ‘Robinhoods’. The movie showed them shooting people in cold blood. Anyone who ‘romanticized’ that wasn’t paying attention.
A great, great movie. Those who cannot distinguish between Hollywood history and actual history need some schooling.
“... about the third night
They’ll be invited to fight
By a sub-gun’s rat-a-tat-tat...”
When I was a kid, back in the early 50s., I went to the Alabama State Fair. There was an exhibit there that had a host of historical things of horror. There were lamp shades of human skin made by Nazis among other things. Also, the car that Bonnie and Clyde were killed in was there as well pictures of that event. Bonnie was sitting in the drivers seat with the door open. She was riddled with bullets. The bridge of her nose was shot away and her nose was hanging over her lips.