AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Bonnie and Clyde
Director: Arthur Penn (Dir)
Release Date:   Sep 1967
Premiere Information:   Montreal Film Festival screening: 4 Aug 1967; New York opening: 13 Aug 1967; Los Angeles opening: 23 Aug 1967
Duration (in mins):   111
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Cast:   Warren Beatty (Clyde Barrow)  
    Faye Dunaway (Bonnie Parker)  
    Michael J. Pollard (C. W. Moss)  
    Gene Hackman (Buck Barrow)  
    Estelle Parsons (Blanche [Barrow])  
    Denver Pyle (Frank Hamer)  
    Dub Taylor (Ivan Moss)  
    Evans Evans (Velma Davis)  
    Gene Wilder (Eugene Grizzard)  
    James Stiver (Grocery store owner)  

Summary: During the Depression in the early 1930s, Bonnie Parker meets Clyde Barrow when he tries to steal her mother's car. Intrigued by his brazen manner and bored with her job as a waitress, she decides to become his partner in crime. Together they stage a series of amateur holdups that provide them with excitement but little monetary reward. Eventually they take on C. W. Moss, a dimwitted garage mechanic, who serves as their getaway driver. Finally they are joined by Clyde's brother Buck, recently released from prison, and his wife, Blanche, a whining preacher's daughter. As they add bank robbery and murder to their list of crimes, the quintet quickly becomes the object of statewide manhunts. While holed up in a rented apartment in Joplin, Missouri, they make the first of their incredible escapes from the police. Fascinated by the legendary reputation growing around them, they brag about their exploits, take pictures of each other, and, on one occasion, force a Texas Ranger to pose with them. Through it all a love relationship develops between Bonnie and Clyde that endures despite Clyde's impotence. After a visit with Bonnie's mother, the gang is surrounded in Dexter, Iowa. Buck dies with half of his face shot away, Blanche is blinded and captured, and Bonnie is wounded in the shoulder. The three survivors find a temporary hideout with C. W.'s father in a Louisiana town, and there Bonnie and Clyde finally consummate their love. Bonnie recovers from her wounds, and they plan to move on again; but C. W.'s father, hoping to lighten his son's punishment, has cooperated with the police in setting a trap. In May of 1934, Bonnie and Clyde ride into a police ambush and die as their bodies are riddled with a thousand rounds of ammunition. 

Production Company: Tatira--Hiller Productions  
Distribution Company: Warner Bros.--Seven Arts, Inc.  
Director: Arthur Penn (Dir)
  Jack N. Reddish (Asst dir)
Producer: Warren Beatty (Prod)
Writer: David Newman (Wrt)
  Robert Benton (Wrt)
Photography: Burnett Guffey (Dir of photog)
Art Direction: Dean Tavoularis (Art dir)
Film Editor: Dede Allen (Film ed)
Set Decoration: Raymond Paul (Set dec)
Costumes: Theadora Van Runkle (Cost des)
  Andy Matyasi (Men's ward)
  Norma Brown (Women's ward)
Music: Charles Strouse (Mus comp)
  Lester Flatt (Played by)
  Earl Scruggs (Played by)
Sound: Francis E. Stahl (Sd)
Special Effects: Danny Lee (Spec eff)
Make Up: Robert Jiras (Makeup created by)
  Warner Bros. Cosmetics (Miss Dunaway's makeup by)
  Gladys Witten (Hairstylist)
Production Misc: Robert Towne (Spec consultant)
  Elaine Michea (Asst to the prod)
  Russ Saunders (Prod mgr)
  John Dutton (Scr supv)
Country: United States
Language: English

Music:
Songs: "Foggie Mountain Breakdown," words and music by Earl Scruggs, played by Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, courtesy of Mercury Records.
Composer: Earl Scruggs
Source Text:

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Warner Bros.--Seven Arts, Inc. & Tatira--Hiller Productions 30/9/1967 dd/mm/yyyy LP35800

PCA NO: 21395
Physical Properties: Sd:
  col: Technicolor

 
Genre: Biography
  Drama
Sub-Genre: Crime
  Historical
 
Subjects (Major): Bank robberies
  Clyde Barrow
  The Depression, 1929
  Fugitives
  Impotence
  Murder
  Bonnie Parker
  Texas
 
Subjects (Minor): Ambushes
  Betrayal
  Blindness
  Brothers
  Dexter (IA)
  Escapes
  Farmers
  Gangs
  Garages
  Gold Diggers of 1933 (Motion picture)
  Hospitals
  Joplin (MO)
  Louisiana
  Motels
  Mothers and daughters
  Photographs
  Police
  Reunions
  Shootouts
  Sisters-in-law
  Texas Rangers
  Waitresses

Note: At the end of the opening credits, two title cards appear. The first contains a black-and-white photograph of Faye Dunaway as "Bonnie Parker" beside the following written statement: "Bonnie Parker was born in Rowena, Texas, 1910 and then moved to West Dallas. In 1931 she worked in a cafe before beginning her career in crime." The second card displays a photograph of Warren Beatty as "Clyde Barrow," next to the following statement: "Clyde Barrow, was born to a family of sharecroppers. As a young man he became a small-time thief and robbed a gas station. He served two years for armed robbery and was released on good behavior in 1931." The action of the story then begins.
       Location scenes were filmed in Texas. In one scene, a sequence from Gold Diggers of 1933 (see below) is shown as Bonnie and Clyde watch the film in a movie theater. Bonnie and Clyde was ranked 27th on AFI's 1997 100 Years…100 Movies list of the greatest American films and 42nd on AFI's 2007 100 Years…100 Movies--10th Anniversary Edition list. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Film Daily   7 Aug 1967   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   7 Aug 1967   p. 3.
Life   13 Oct 1967   p. 16.
Life   12 Jan 1968.   
New Republic   4 Nov 1957   pp. 27-29.
New York Times   7 Aug 1967.   
New York Times   15 Aug 1967   p. 36.
New York Times   18 Feb 1968   Magazine, pp. 26-29.
New Yorker   19 Aug 1967   pp. 77-79.
New Yorker   21 Oct 1967   pp. 147-48.
Saturday Review   5 Aug 1967   p. 40.
Sight and Sound   Winter, 1967   pp. 2-8.
Time   25 Aug 1967   p. 78.
Time   8 Dec 1967   pp. 67-68.
Variety   9 Aug 1967   p. 6.
Village Voice   24 Aug 1967   p. 21.
Vogue   15 Sep 1967   p. 68.

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