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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bonnie and Clyde (1967) - movie about famous bandits

Bonnie and Clyde [Bonnie Parker (October 1, 1910 – May 23, 1934) and Clyde Barrow (March 24, 1909 – May 23, 1934)] were extremely famous outlaws, robbers, traveling through the United States from place to place in the Central United States, becoming notorious all over the country. During the time of the Great Depression, they were seen as having great appeal, and a legend has developed around them. Part of the controversy around them also rests in whether Bonnie was actually a full member of the gang, or had ever even fired a gun as part of the gang. She was with the gang ever since she fell in love with Clyde after meeting him in 1930, and died along with Clyde in a shootout with a posse of 6 officers from a combined force of Texas and Louisiana officers in a remote location, a desolate road near their Bienville Parish, Louisiana hideout. This was expected to happen ever since Clyde made a move against the Texas Department of Corrections in 1934 and engineered a breakout called the "Eastham Breakout" of 1934. Clyde managed to get the following to escape from the prison, Henry Methvin, Raymond Hamilton, and a few others. However, during this breakout, the killing of a prison officer by another escapee brought down the end of Clyde. He was marked as a hunted man, with the mission of the both the Texas and Federal Governments being to hunt down Clyde. In the next few days, Clyde was also involved in the deaths of 3 more police officers, ending the romantic feelings of the public towards him.

Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

Bonnie and Clyde was a movie released in 1967, and a very famous movie at that, starring as the lead (and doomed pair), Warren Beatty and Faye Dunway. The film was directed by Arthur Penn, with screenplay by David Newman and Robert Benton. The movie also took a lead in enabling Hollywood to present more elements of sex and violence in movies. The movie also won 2 Oscar awards for "Best Supporting Actress" (Estelle Parsons) and "Best Cinematography" (Burnett Guffey). The movie is a greatly simplified version of the actual story of Bonny and Clyde, not detailing their full extent of the gang, the many crimes committed by the gang and so on. Even the person who betrayed them and led the police posse to them (and to their deaths) as depicted in the movie was a combination of multiple people. The movie deviated from the actual story to the extent that the family of the Texas Ranger who killed them, Frank Hamer, sued the movie makers (he was portrayed in the movie as having been caught by Bonnie and Clyde earlier and humiliated while he actually encountered them only in the final shoot out).
The producers of the movie, the studio Warner Bros - Seven Arts were not terribly impressed by the movie and did not have high hopes of success. As a result, they made producer Warren Beatty very wealthy (they offered him 40% of the gross instead of a fee, and the when the movie made $70 million, Beatty stood to benefit).
The movie is about the short life of Bonnie and Clyde, after they met and became the core of a crime gang. They recruited more relatives, including Clyde's brother and his slow wife, with a quick-to-start feud opening up between Bonnie and Clyde's sister-in-law Blanche. The gang starts increasing their operations to include robbing banks, and starts getting pursued by the police and other law enforcement agents. After the gang humiliate Frank Hamer, he retaliates by relentlessly pursuing the gang, turning them one by one against the gang, eventually reaching Bonnie and Clyde and killing them in a hail of bullets.

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