Bonnie And Clyde

December 11, 2010

Based on the true story of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde was a statement film- Director Arthur Penn made sure his movie will be remembered for a long time. And he succeeds. Although the film very loosely bases itself on the true events of the real Bonnie and Clyde, it never seemed like a legitimate biographical account of the lives of the outlaws. Instead, Penn opted for a more comic, yet dark, type of film.

A curiously odd movie, Bonnie and Clyde, as mentioned earlier, is based on the outlaws by the same name. With that said, there’s more┬ádramatized scenes than scenes actually based on purely real events. Add that to the fact that Penn gave the film a more comedic and dark theme, and Bonnie and Clyde is a pure Hollywood original. Albeit, one that the studios didn’t trust to make any money. In fact, they were so sure the movie would flop, (from Wiki) they gave the producer 40% of the gross.

The movie went on to earn $70 million worldwide by 1973. But, why? A movie about giving thieves and murderers a celebrity status, while infusing sex and violence throughout shouldn’t earn that much, should it? Well, Penn knew what audiences want. And they wanted sex and violence. Also, the time period when the movie came out was a time of change in America- movies had more sex symbols than ever, and violence was rampant throughout. It was a perfect movie, at a perfect time.

Of course, that doesn’t take anything away from the movie itself. As mentioned earlier, Bonnie and Clyde was a mix of violence, sex, and dark comedy. It was a strange movie- campy, yet bloody; odd, yet a perfect symbolism of the glorification of crime. The theme of “crome doesn’t pay” is made very apparent throughout. The deaths of the entire gang was bound to happen. But, the way Penn went about the climax was very shocking.

All in all, Bonnie and Clyde was different in many aspects, but dealt with very much the same concept of how the mighty will always usually fall.

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3 Responses to “Bonnie And Clyde”

  1.   jennylu said:

    I like how you interpreted the film in the last sentence of your post. Now that I think about it, Bonnie and Clyde had become pretty cocky and boastful with the success of their crime. This also relates to the idea that those who have power tend to abuse it because it goes to their head. So I guess whats what happened to the two, and their unrealistic idea of trying to become wealthy in a time of depression.

  2.   IJ said:

    You’re right about the shocking ending. What’s amazing is that we pretty much know it’s coming yet we still can’t believe it. Since we love them so much, we expect them to die gracefully in some poetic way but instead we get this brutal massacre.

  3.   brad said:

    I enjoyed this film alot, just as mentioned above the ending wasn’t what I had expected it to be but then again it did follow the style of the film. The couples love was the burning center piece of the entire film and couldn’t be extinguished in an ordinary fashion.

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