Arthur Penn's Depiction Of The Depression
"One of the stimulating moments in the film happens when Clyde chases Bonnie through a yellow corn field, while a cloud transverses
the sun and slowly shadows the landscape...Here the characteristic quality of the Texas countryside and the vague aspect of the story are beautifully communicated.."
This is precisely the reason why I have always wanted to commend, recommend and suggest this movie to anybody looking for a good movie to watch. The cloud travelling over the fields. I have seen the movie several times to relive this rare poetic scene. The impact of a subtle conveyance of the meaning of life by the passage of the cloud have always felt so good.Arthur Penn's masterpiece "Bonnie And Clyde" was nominated for ten Academy Awards, including Best Picture, won two Oscars, one for Best Actress in a Supporting Role and another for Best Cinematography.
For present-day viewers, the movie might pass as 'just another' gangster movie with too many bullets, but judging by the time it was produced (1967), it was a miraculous achievement not only in its artistic quality but also in addressing issues that were almost taboos at that time.
The movie was based on the novel
"The Dillinger Days" by John Toland about
a true story that took place during the years of economic depression in the thirties of the 20th century.
A waitress Bonnie Parker, falls in love with this young bank robber and off goes the couple, robbing banks and stores and appearing as having real fun until they fall in the ambush.
So, where are the taboos?
Well, the couple did not have a job to do other than robbing and stealing.
A direct outcome of the economic crisis of the thirties. In one of their early robberies the bank "did not have enough funds" for them to do a proper bank robbery! Then they pass
by a house that was confiscated from its poor owners by.....a bank! The movie critically touches on class differences. It depicts how the recession had created such violent and bloody situations in the American scene that were aggravated by the ease
of obtaining weapons. Meanwhile, the press was faking up news stories to sell their papers. In one of the scenes Clyde was outraged to read on him robbing a bank in a place where he had never been! But the movie is not even close to comedy! It is actually thought by some to blend tragedy
with self-aggrandizement and to compensate, through violence, for the impotence of Clyde (and the rest of the society for that matter)!
A possible REMAKE? Please, NO!
Any attempt at a remake of this true story is likely doomed.
The poetic direction of Arthur Penn cannot be excelled by his students
(the contemparary filmmakers)! Warren Beatty's performance is not easy to surpass by any of today's actors. And no one will equate to Faye Dunaway's
superb acting. Then there is this small part for Gene Hackman! These actors still have
their presence in the minds of cinema-goers of all ages.
The movie is a film classic that is to be added to any serious personal library.
It is rated at 8.5 out of 10 (for sure!).
The soundtrack is pop/country music with prevalance of instruments that may
sound annoying to present day movie-watchers but is quite appropriate due to the
publicity of the story of Bonni and Clyde.
Bonnie And Clyde: (1967, 110 min, Technicolor)
Warren Beatty as Clyde
Faye Dunaway as Bonnie
Michael J. Pollard as C.W.Moss
Estelle Parsons as Blanche
Gene Hackman as Buck Barrow
Produced by Warren Beatty
Directed by Arthur Penn