Bonnie and Clyde

AFI Rank: #27
Year Released: 1967
Director: Arthur Penn
Actors: Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman

It's interesting that in modern times we don't consider Bonnie and Clyde to be overly violent, and the idea of glamorizing criminals seems fairly typical. Back when this was made in 1967 there was a lot of discussion about both of those issues. So one way to watch this film is to try to imagine you're back in the late 60s, a time of flower power and peace, and watching this movie about a couple going on a shooting spree during the Depression.

That can be challenging, though. So another way to look at this is simply as an interesting movie, set in a time of incredible recession, when people were being kicked out of their homes and were angry about it. Bonnie is bored with her job as a waitress and longs for something more. Clyde feels like he stands up for the little man when he robs from the evil banks. Soon they're teamed up and rampaging from town to town. Clyde's brother joins in the fun. As we know, though, this real life story didn't last very long. They were shooting stars that left a memorable story behind them.

I can't help but compare this with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid - another tale of a pair of thieves who are romanticized. Especially the ending of both movies. I have to say I prefer the Butch ending, but that is my preference.

This movie does quite well on the Bechdel Test. It does have two strong female characters in the mix - very different from each other - and they talk with other on a number of topics. So kudos to the movie for that! There are even other secondary female characters who all provide other insight into the situations of this time period. It's quite amazing for a "bandits" movie to have such a rounded group of characters.

While I enjoyed watching this for its historical value, it's not a movie I'd watch again.

I rented this movie with my own funds to write this review. Buy Bonnie and Clyde from AFI Top 100 Film Listing
Male vs Female Actors in the AFI Top 100
The Bechdel Test in the AFI Top 100