Tuesday, April 13, 2010

#93 Bonnie And Clyde: They'll bury them side by side

1967. dir. Arthur Penn, starring Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman, Estelle Parsons, Michael Pollard.

Seen it before? No.

I consider Warren Beatty to be one of the all-time biggest wastes of talent. Check out his imdb entry: Everything he's done since 1981 has been crap-ola. I distinctly remember seeing Dick Tracy as a child, and even then I was like, well that sucked. And mind you, I did not have particularly discriminating taste in movies back then.

It's a shame, because this movie, which Beatty produced when he was 28, is revolutionary. First of all, it is the godfather of graphic film violence. There's a scene early on where Clyde shoots a guy in the face, and he immediately gets all bloody and falls off the car. This had never before been done all in one shot, and wouldn't have even been possible in Hays Code era Hollywood. I'm sure it was pretty shocking at the time. I'm all desensitized to it myself, since this was my other favorite movie back in 1990. Also revolutionary is the way it's shot; lots of jump-cuts, handheld shots, that sort of thing. That's the influence of the French New Wave, but this is one of the first American movies to feel this jittery and kinetic.

As for the performances, I'd say Faye Dunaway as Bonnie carries this movie; Beatty plays Clyde Barrow as sort of a one-dimensional cartoon, but Dunaway shows a lot more vulnerability and inner conflict. Probably my favorite scene in the movie is her family reunion towards the end, where she meets her mother for the last time; the scene feels more like a funeral and Dunaway just nails it.

Position on the list: 215
Hey! It's that guy: Dub Taylor, who's in pretty much every Western ever made, including yet another of my 1990 favorites, Back To The Future Part III.
Obligatory Simpsons quote: "They didn't start chasing us until you turned on that getaway music!"


  1. "Everything past 1981 is crap" of Beatty? What about "Bugsy" and "Bulworth"? Two brilliant movies with great work from Beatty.

  2. Right, Bulworth, that's the one where he raps, right? I stand by my comment.