Thursday, March 17, 2016

AFI Top 100, #27: "Bonnie and Clyde" (1967)

Movie Stats:
Released 1967 (UK)
American, in English
Director - Arthur Penn
Stars - Faye Dunaway, Warren Beatty

Plot Summary:
A look at the crime spree of famed bank robbers Bonnie Parker (Dunaway) and Clyde Barrow (Beatty).

Violence; mild gore; heavily implied sexy times.

Bad Stuff:
Well, I hated nearly everything about it, so it’s difficult to know where to start.

The pace is plodding. It’s weird in that very 1960s way that I can’t stand. For example, several scenes are completely silent for no reason I can think of other than a (poor) attempt at being avant-garde. Faye Dunaway never seems like a person from the 1930s. She’s 1960s through and through. The sound editing is atrocious. The near-constant screaming of Clyde’s sister-in-law, Blanche (Estelle Parsons), made me long for her to get shot in the face, [SPOILER] not that it was satisfactory when she finally did because she didn’t die and screamed through every scene she was in [SPOILER]. The character development was so poor that I didn’t care about most of them. I don’t understand why it focused so much on Bonnie and Clyde’s sex lives (or lack there of). It was frankly quite strange.

I could go on, but I won’t.

Good Stuff:
I liked that it portrayed criminals in a much more realistic way than most movies. When they first start robbing banks, they aren’t immediately great at it. They get freaked out when the shooting starts. They’re scared to die. They miss their parents. It was refreshing.

I enjoyed the character of C.W. Moss (Michael J. Pollard). He was oddly endearing for a dumb criminal.

I guess Warren Beatty did an okay job.

The Verdict:
Ugh. It’s awful. If you want to know more about Bonnie and Clyde, read Wikipedia. If you want to see Warren Beatty and/or Faye Dunaway perform, there are better movies to achieve that goal. Take a cue from that ubiquitous 80s anti-drug campaign and just say no to this film.

I give it 2 stars.


Patricia said...

Your comment about the sound reminded me that my roommate watched this in her room one weekend and we all guessed what movie she was watching because we could hear the shooting through the door.

I have not seen this picture show and I don't think your review will motivate me to watch it.

balyien said...

I love your anecdote! Too funny.