Bonnie and Clyde (film)
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Bonnie and Clyde is a 1967 film about two young lovers who carry out a spree of daring bank robberies in 1930s America, while searching for personal fulfillment.
- Directed by Arthur Penn. Written by David Newman, Robert Benton and Robert Towne.
They're young... they're in love... and they kill people.
- We rob banks!
- Note: ranked #41 in the American Film Institute's list of the top 100 movie quotations in American cinema.
- [to Buck and Clyde] Why don't y'all go back to your own cabin, if you want to play with C.W.
- [to Clyde] You're just like your brother. Ignorant, uneducated hillbilly, except the only special thing about you is your peculiar ideas about love-making, which is no love-making at all.
- I don't think he's lost. I think the bank's been offerin' extra reward money for us. I think Frank just figured on some easy pickin's, didn't ya Frank? You're no Texas Ranger. You're hardly doin' your job. You ought to be home protectin' the rights of poor folk, not out chasin' after us!
- This here's Miss Bonnie Parker. I'm Clyde Barrow. We rob banks.
- [to Bonnie, on her poem] You know what you done there? You told my story, you told my whole story right there, right there. One time, I told you I was gonna make you somebody. That's what you done for me. You made me somebody they're gonna remember.
- Hell, you might just be the best damn girl in Texas.
- [Clyde has just shot the hat off a bank guard's head] Next time I'll aim a little lower!
- Buck Barrow: Hey, you wanna hear a story 'bout this boy? He owned a dairy farm, see. And his ol' Ma, she was kinda sick, you know. And the doctor, he had called him come over, and said, uh, "Uhh listen, your Ma, she's lyin' there, she's just so sick and she's weakly, and uh, uh I want ya to try to persuade her to take a little brandy," you see. Just to pick her spirits up, ya know. And "Ma's a teetotaler," he says. "She wouldn't touch a drop." "Well, I'll tell ya whatcha do, uh,"—the doc -- "I'll tell ya whatcha do, you bring in a fresh quart of milk every day and you put some brandy in it, see. And see. You try that." So he did. And he doctored it all up with the brandy, fresh milk, and he gave it to his Mom. And she drank a little bit of it, you know. So next day, he brought it in again and she drank a little more, you know. And so they went on that way for the third day and just a little more, and the fourth day, she was, you know, took a little bit more - and then finally, one week later, he gave her the milk and she just drank it down. Boy, she swallowed the whole, whole, whole thing, you know. And she called him over and she said, "Son, whatever you do, don't sell that cow!"
- Farmer: All I can say is, they did right by me — and I'm bringin' me and a mess of flowers to their funeral.
- Blanche Barrow: [about getting a cut of the loot] Well why not? I earned my share same as everybody. Well, I coulda got killed same as everybody. And I'm wanted by the law same as everybody... I'm a nervous wreck and that's the truth. I have to take sass from Miss Bonnie Parker all the time. I deserve mine.
- Clyde: All right. All right. If all you want's a stud service, you get on back to West Dallas and you stay there the rest of your life. You're worth more than that, a lot more than that and you know it and that's why you're comin' along with me. You could find a lover boy on every damn corner in town. It don't make a damn to them whether you're waitin' on tables or pickin' cotton, but it does make a damn to me!
- Bonnie: Why?
- Clyde: Why? What's you mean, 'Why?' Because you're different, that's why. You know, you're like me. You want different things. You've got somethin' better than bein' a waitress. You and me travelin' together, we could cut a path clean across this state and Kansas and Missouri and Oklahoma and everybody'd know about it. You listen to me, Miss Bonnie Parker. You listen to me. Now how would you like to go walkin' into the dining room of the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas wearin' a nice silk dress and have everybody waitin' on you? Would you like that? That seem like a lot to ask? That ain't enough for you. You've got a right to that. You were born somewhere around East Texas, right?...Come from a big ol' family....You went to school, of course, but you didn't take to it much, because you was a lot smarter than everybody else, so you just up and quit one day. Now, when you was 16, 17, there was a guy who worked in a, in a ...right, cement plant, and you, you liked him, because he thought you were just as nice as you could be. And you almost married that guy, but then you thought no. You didn't think you would. So then you got you your job in a cafe. And now you wake up every mornin' and you hate it. You just hate it. You get on down there and you put on your white uniform.
- Bonnie: Pink, it's pink.
- Clyde: And them truckdrivers come in there to eat your greasy burgers and they kid ya, and you kid 'em back. But they're stupid and dumb boys with the big ol' tattooes on 'em, and you don't like it. And they ask ya on dates, and sometimes you go, but you mostly don't because all they're ever tryin' to do is get in your pants, whether you want 'em to or not. So you go on home and you sit in your room and you think, 'Now when and how am I ever gonna get away from this?' And now you know.
- Clyde: Now you just tell me what was wrong with that car.
- C.W. Moss: Dirt.
- Clyde: Dirt?
- C.W.: Dirt in the fuel line... just blowed it away.
- Bonnie: Hey, that ain't ours!
- Clyde: Sure it is.
- Bonnie: But we come in this one.
- Clyde: That don't mean we have to go home in it!
- Bonnie: What would you do if some miracle happened and we could walk out of here tomorrow morning and start all over again clean? No record and nobody after us, huh?
- Clyde: Well, uh, I guess I'd do it all different. First off, I wouldn't live in the same state where we pull our jobs. We'd live in another state. We'd stay clean there and then when we'd take a bank, we'd go into the other state.
- Clyde: Alright. Alright. If all you want's a stud service, you get on back to West Dallas and you stay there the rest of your life. You're worth more than that. A lot more than that. You know it and that's why you come along with me. You could find a lover boy on every damn corner in town. It don't make a damn to them whether you're waitin' on tables or pickin' cotton, but it does make a damn to me.
- Bonnie: Why?
- Clyde: Why? What's you mean, "Why?" Because you're different, that's why. You know, you're like me. You want different things. You got somethin' better than bein' a waitress. You and me travelin' together, we could cut a path clean across this state and Kansas and Missouri and Oklahoma and everybody'd know about it. You listen to me, Miss Bonnie Parker. You listen to me.
- [After showing off his shooting skills]
- Bonnie: You're good!
- Clyde: I ain't good. I'm the best!
- Bonnie: [sarcastically] And modest!
- Bonnie: I don't have no mama. No family either.
- Clyde: Hey, I'm your family.
- Bonnie: You know what, when we started out, I thought we was really goin' somewhere. This is it. We're just goin', huh?
- Clyde: I love you.
- Bonnie's Mother: You know Clyde, I read about you all in the papers, and I just get scared.
- Clyde: Now Ms. Parker, don't you believe what you read in all them newspapers. That's the law talkin' there. They want us to look big so they gonna look big when they catch us. And they ain't gonna catch us. 'Cause I'm even better at runnin' than I am at robbin' banks! Shoot, if we'd done half that stuff they said we'd done in that paper, we'd be millionaires by now, wouldn't we? But Ms. Parker, this here's the way we know best how to make money. But we gonna be quittin' all this, as soon as the hard times are over. I can tell ya that. Why just the other night, me and Bonnie were talkin'. And we were talkin' about the time we're gonna settle down and get us a home. And uh, she says to me, she says, "You know, I couldn't bear to live more than three miles from my precious Mother." Now how'd ya like that, Mother Parker?
- Bonnie's Mother: I don't believe I would. I surely don't. You try to live three miles from me and you won't live long, honey. You best keep runnin', Clyde Barrow. And you know it. [to Bonnie] Bye, baby.
About Bonnie and Clyde (film)
Obscene, Indecent, Immoral, and Offensive 100+ Years of Censored, Banned and Controversial Films (2009)
Stephen Tropiano, Obscene, Indecent, Immoral, and Offensive 100+ Years of Censored, Banned and Controversial Films, Limelight Editions, 2009, ch.4
- When Bonnie and Clyde opened the 1967 Montreal Film Festival, the audience went wild—with the exception of one prominent film critic. Apparently the New York Times’s Bosley Crowther was expecting to see a gangster film in the same vein as Little Caesar and Scarface, but instead he saw (in his words) a “wild, jazzy farce melodrama” that “amusedly and sympathetically recounts the bank-robbing degradations” of Barrow and Parker. One week later, Crowther wrote a scathing review in which he berated the filmmakers for turning the lives of two cold-blooded killers into a “cheap piece of bald-face slapstick . . . loaded with farcical hold-ups, [and] screaming chases in stolen getaway cars that have the antique appearance and speeded up movement of the clumsy vehicles of the Keystone Cops.” While he was not impressed by Beatty’s portrayal of Clyde (“clowning broadly as the killer”) and Faye Dunaway’s Bonnie (“squirming grossly as his thrill-seeking sex-starved mole”), it was the “blending of farce and brutal killings” that he found “as pointless as it is lacking in taste, since it makes no valid commentary upon the already travestied truth.”
- Crowther’s reviews sparked a national debate among critics, who were divided over the film. Like Crowther, many critics accused the filmmakers of glorifying the couple’s violent, criminal lifestyle. Time magazine accused Beatty and Penn of reducing Bonnie and Clyde’s story to a “strange and purposeless mingling of fact and claptrap that teeters easily on the brink of burlesque.” In his review for Films in Review, Page Cook dismissed the film as “incompetently written, acted, directed and produced” and accused the filmmakers of promoting the idea that “sociopathology is art.” Newsweek’s Joe Morgenstern initially panned the film, calling it “a squalid shoot ’em-up for the moron trade.” But then he did something rare for a critic—he retracted his own review. His second review starts with an apology: “I am sorry to say I consider that review grossly unfair and regrettably inaccurate. I am sorrier to say that I wrote it.” Although he still believed the film’s “gore goes too far,” he acknowledged the value of the film’s violent content: “But art can certainly reflect life, clarify and improve life; and since most of humanity teeters on the edge of violence every day, there is no earthly reason why art should not turn violence to its own good ends, showing us what we do and why.”
- In their original treatment for the film, screenwriters Robert Benton and David Newman conceived the world of Bonnie and Clyde as a reflection of American life in the late 1960s: This is a movie about criminals only incidentally. Crime in the ’30s was the strange, the exotic, the different. This is a movie about two people, lovers, movers, and operators. They’re “hung up,” like many people are today. They moved in odd, unpredictable ways which can be viewed, with an existential eye, as classic . . . . They are not Crooks. They are people, and this film is, in many ways, about what’s going on now.
- If Bonnie and Clyde had a critical cheerleader, it was the New Yorker’s Pauline Kael, who reveled in the “contemporary feeling” emanating from the “most excitingly American movie since The Manchurian Candidate,” which “brings into the almost frightening public world of-movies things that people have been feeling and saying and writing about.” Kael compared the film to the gangster movies and crime dramas of the 1930s and 1940s (like Nicholas Ray’s They Live By Night ) to illustrate how the film deviates from the classical Hollywood mode, particularly in terms of its lack of a “secure basis for identification” for the audience, who “are made to feel but are not told how to feel.” Kael’s point is certainly a valid one. In classical gangster films, we identify with the “bad guy,” who lives in a black-and-white, Manichaean world of good vs. evil. While morality dictates that Tommy Powers and Scarface must be eliminated in the end, there is a cloud of moral ambiguity that hovers over Bonnie and Clyde. The film’s humor and stylization, particularly early in the film, gives us a window of time to identify with the couple, pledge our allegiance to them, and accept their values. But in the second half of the film, those values are called into question as the film’s tone changes from comical to serious and people start to get shot and killed.
- Faye Dunaway — Bonnie Parker
- Warren Beatty — Clyde Barrow
- Michael J. Pollard — C.W. Moss
- Gene Hackman — Buck Barrow
- Estelle Parsons — Blanche Barrow
- Mabel Cavitt — Bonnie's Mother
- Bonnie and Clyde quotes at the Internet Movie Database