Bonnie and Clyde Screen 4 articles

Bonnie and Clyde

1967

Bonnie and Clyde Poster
  • Its greatest achievement, perhaps, is that it rarely plays like a biopic, coursing with the brash energy of pulp fiction (not Pulp Fiction); Beatty and Dunaway both give heightened, self-consciously iconic performances that seem little indebted to the real-life Barrow and Parker, often behaving very much as if they know that they're being filmed (without doing anything stupid like actually breaking the fourth wall, thankfully).

  • Shocking even now, I’d say, in its comical-casual approach to sex and violence. Many scenes are slapstick punctuated by exploding squibs. The comedy of death. Beatty and Dunaway’s movie-star gorgeousness perfectly meshes with the Freudian psychologizing, culminating in two beautiful people peppered in abyssal bullet holes. They look like they’ve been riddled by the void.

  • Penn’s realization of the Bonnie and Clyde mythos—from a Lubitschian meet-cute to the bloody, balletic death scene—is at once judicious and grandiloquent, relishing as much in the real-world implications of their egregiously violent ways as it does in Warren Beatty’s id-laden mannerisms and Faye Dunaway’s whimsical sociopathy.

  • In an American decade increasingly defined by the Pill and “Free Love,” here was a film in which the gorgeous heroine blatantly came onto her equally gorgeous boyfriend—it's usually the other way around—and inspired only anxiety and embarrassment. This was a film that extended and perfected a lot of the games Alfred Hitchcock played with audience identification.

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