Based on the true-life exploits of notorious Depression-era bank robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, BONNIE AND CLYDE is recognized as one of the most violent films to come out of mainstream Hollywood. Bonnie (Faye Dunaway) is bored with life and wants a change. She gets her chance when she meets a charming young drifter by the name of Clyde Barrow (Warren Beatty). Clyde has dreams of a life of crime that will free him from the hardships of the Depression. The two fall in love and begin a crime spree that extends from Oklahoma to Texas. They rob small banks with skill and panache, soon becoming minor celebrities known across the country. People are proud to have been held up by Bonnie and Clyde; to their victims, the duo is doing what nobody else has the guts to do. To the law, the two are evil bank robbers who deserve to be gunned down where they stand. Beatty and Dunaway are marvelous as the young criminal lovers, delivering subtle and complete performances. Also excellent are Gene Hackman as Clyde's brother, Buck; Estelle Parsons as Buck's wife, Blanche; and the always enjoyable Michael J. Pollard as C.W. Moss. The film has made a large impact on American culture, expressing the mood of rebellion rampant in the late 1960s and beyond.
BONNIE AND CLYDE is number 27 on the American Film Institute's list of America's 100 Greatest Movies, and was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1992.
Gene Wilder makes his film debut in BONNIE AND CLYDE.
Jane Fonda was offered the role of Bonnie Parker, but turned it down because she did not want to relocate from France to the U.S.A. for the duration of the shoot.
The graphic bloodiness of the film marked the beginning of a new trend in onscreen violence. Additionally, the rapid-cut editing techniques used in the film made a great impact on filmmaking, culminating in the hyper-fast editing style commonly referred to as "MTV-style editing".
One of the original advertising taglines for BONNIE AND CLYDE was "They're young, they're in love, and they kill people."
"...Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway never looked better..." (Entertainment Weekly)
"...[With] a slow-motion, bullet-ridden spectacle never before seen in a mainstream movie. The blood has been pouring copiously ever since." (Premiere)
"BONNIE AND CLYDE is still surprisingly fun to watch and, by its end, both shocking and moving." -- Grade: A (Entertainment Weekly)
5 stars out of 5 -- "[I]t works by confounding expectations, serving up ultraviolence in the style of the Keystone Cops, and suggesting that the Barrow gang's insouciance in the face of authority could make them immortal." (Uncut)
5 stars out of 5 -- "It rewrote the movie-rules on morality, sexuality and youth....Sexy, dark, funny, slick..." (Total Film)
5 stars out of 5 -- "What still thrills is how alive the film is to its own possibilities....Even middle-aged, it manages to shock..." (Empire)
"Arthur Penn's perennial classic wears its four decades lightly. Not least among its many innovations was its far-sighted dissection of how Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow relied on their media image so much that they ended up fueling it themselves..." (Sight and Sound)