Best Movies of All Time + [Warren Beatty]

BONNIE AND CLYDE

BONNIE AND CLYDE1967
R

Bonnie and Clyde is a 1967 crime drama directed by Arthur Penn that tells a rather romanticized tale of the real-life bank robbers, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. When Bonnie (Faye Dunaway) catches Clyde (Warren Beatty) trying to steal her mother's car, she learns that he is a small-time thief recently removed from prison. After he knocks over a small market, Bonnie decides to join Clyde and leave her dull existence as a small-town waitress. The two start to work together performing small robberies here and there, but their luck begins to increase after they meet a young gas station attendant named C.W. Moss (Michael J. Pollard), who works as their getaway driver. The group starts to rob banks, and they start to bring in more and more money. Along the way, they bring Clyde's brother Buck (Gene Hackman) and his wife Blanche (Estelle Parsons) into their team. The crew continues to raid the countryside, always managing to stay one step ahead of the law that's chasing them. However, as time continues to pass, the bank robbers start to get more and more reckless, letting the coppers get closer and closer to doing them in.

I've always known that Bonnie and Clyde was an iconic film, and because of that, I've always wanted to see it. The film's final scene - if you don't know it, I won't spoil it for you - is one of the more iconic scenes in cinematic history. Aside from that, however, I honestly didn't know much about it going into the film. Still, it's a cinema icon, so I was going to watch it eventually. Thanks to some of my faithful Facebook followers, I had the opportunity to watch it tonight.

The screenplay is actually relatively basic, but it works extremely well. In a way, it's brilliant in its simplicity. We jump straight into the action (in this case, the relationship between Bonnie and Clyde) from the film's first moments, and we never really get a chance to stop and wait. Because it's relatively common knowledge as to the film's finale - or, at least it was for me - the movie worked as a rather interesting build-up to that final climax. There's not a ton of storyline other than the inclusion of different members in the bank-robbing gang, and there's a couple plot devices that work as some twists and turns, but when you know how the film is going to end, it's tough to fall completely into the story presented. Maybe that's just me, but it's how I feel.

The simplicity of the screenplay works so convincingly because the film truly works as more of a character study than anything else. And to be fair, Bonnie and Clyde presents as much over-acting as I've ever seen in a legitimate film. The thing is, I think the over-acting finds a way to work within the constructs of this particular film. Normally, I'd be berating performances like this, but for whatever reason, the actors in Bonnie and Clyde just click. Beatty and Dunaway are fantastic as our leads and both garnered Academy Award nominations for their performances. Yes, they're over-the-top, but the whole film is a little bit over-the-top, and that's why they fit seamlessly into the constructs. Some of the supporting characters also deliver some classic bits of over-acting, the most blatant of which is Estelle Parsons who actually nabbed an Academy Award for her role in the film. I'm really not sure what else to say about the acting. I just felt like it was over-the-top, but for whatever reason it worked for this particular movie.

Is Bonnie and Clyde the most amazing movie I've ever seen? Of course not. Is it an entertaining piece of film? Absolutely. It's definitely worth giving a watch if you've got a chance to do so. I know this hasn't been one of my better reviews, but I'm at a little bit of a loss for words at the moment. I think that my ratings below the picture give enough information about my praise for the film, considering the fact that I'm sure this review probably sounds a bit convoluted. Bonnie and Clyde is a very good film that borders on greatness, and it definitely deserves its spot in cinema lore.

Movie Review Summary:Grade: A-
1.5 Thumbs Up