Bonnie and Clyde (1967) is a biographical gangster film directed by Arthur Penn, starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. Warren Beatty also produced the film. The film is based on the story of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow who traveled through the states robbing and killing people with their gang in the 1930s. When Bonnie and Clyde came out in 1967 during the New Hollywood era it was one of the first film to incorporate violence, promiscuity, and cynicism.
Bonnie first meets Clyde when she catches him trying to stealing her mother’s car. Bonnie, who is bored with her job as a waitress is intrigued by Clyde’s boldness and she is immediately attracted to him. Together they try to pull off some not so successful robberies before they recruit gas station attendant C.W and Clyde’s brother and wife to the Barrow Gang and proceeds to bigger robberies. The gang kills everyone that stands in their way and law enforcement is determined to take out the couple and end their tour of crimes.
When Bonnie and Clyde rob their first bank, the bank has no money which gives Bonnie a long and hard laugh. This scene reminds us of the time in which the story took place, during the Great Depression, when the country was not doing very well financially. We realize early on that Bonnie and Clyde’s dream of becoming rich and famous through bank robberies isn’t going to be successful at this time.
The film is fast-paced with shots flashing from one character to another creating anticipation, several close ups of every character sets the tone of the relationship and for what’s to come. The very last scene of the film really shows how the cinematography and editing has made this film such a classic in the gangster era. The police have been looking for Bonnie and Clyde from quite some times after killing Clyde’s brother and capturing his wife. Bonnie and Clyde have been hiding out with C.W. father, Ivan, and as they’re driving back to the house they see Ivan on the side of the road with a flat tire on his truck. They stop to help him, and the tension is built up by shot to shot between Ivan and Clyde. One shot shows bird flying out of bushes, it cuts to a shot of a car driving closer to the scene and the suspense is intense. Close ups of Bonnie and Clyde looking at each other in horror are followed by countless gun shots from police hiding in the bushes, Bonnie and Clyde are shot to death and it is bloody. Slow-motion shots of bullets hitting their lifeless bodies together with the green and calm surroundings gives an almost peaceful feeling. Bonnie and Clyde got what they deserved. The end scene of Bonnie and Clyde is known to be one of the bloodiest scenes in film history.