By: Oberst Von Berauscht (Three Beers) –
Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow ran the country ragged in the early 1930’s, robbing banks and killing police all over the heartland. So naturally they were the perfect protagonists to sensationalize and the media did so with gusto. Arthur Penn’s biopic has been seen by critics as a landmark film for its brutal violence, casual sexual attitude, and independent spirit. This is the movie that would usher in a generation of studio films with an artistic focus; The Godfather, Taxi Driver, The Deer Hunter, Blacula…
They can’t all be this awesome
Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway own their roles, disappearing deeply into their anti-heros and delivering truly unique performances. Beatty’s Clyde is a big talking, but ultimately impotent man, who is given the right push forward by the playful nature and strong personality of Bonnie. She gets him to try to make something of himself. By “make something”, I of course mean become a sociopathic murderer. The influence this film had on the film industry was considerable, and it is certainly laudatory given the obvious budgetary constraints.
Some of the film’s aspects have aged poorly, the portrayal of Texas Ranger Hamer for instance as a bumbling fortune seeker. Not only does this portrayal contrast sharply with history, it hurts the suspension of disbelief considerably. Also the character of Blanche (Estelle Parsons) is an obnoxious harpy-like creature. Estelle Parsons essentially made it through the movie shrieking like a banshee in heat swinging a bag of frightened bunny rabbits, while being devoured by a wolf.
She won an Oscar for this, by the way.
In the movie the gang uses Thompson Sub Machine guns in place of the BAR rifles they carried in real life… for some reason this just pisses me off.
Above: Not a Tommy Gun
While definitely an influential film, and certainly entertaining, the wine is starting to taste like vinegar.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: when Blanche screams, and hope she shuts the fuck up soon
Take a Drink: for every onscreen murder
Drink a Shot: for Banjo music!