Cinema Loves Violence

         Bonnie and Clyde is the movie filmed in 1967 and directed by Arthur Penn. It was first released in small movie theatres and drive-ins when it later was promoted to get larger theatre recognition because the younger crowd was enjoying the movie so much. This movie was one of the first introductions to the bank robbing scenes and was influential to where cinema, media, and even America stand today.

         What made Bonnie and Clyde so intriguing to viewers is the fact that it let people actually see the crime and fight scenes that were going on. Some people today might blame this movie for what is allowed in theatres now. For, now, it seems as though almost anything is allowed in theatres—from people killing one another, zombies rising from the dead, and monsters killing humans. But, in 1967, such a thing was unheard of. I mean, there were, of course the western movies that are still ever so popular today. But, all you could see is a man that shot his gun and killed someone. You could not actually see the bullet penetrating the skin as this movie lets viewers in for the first time.

         Bonnie and Clyde not only gives viewers a sense of action in movies, but it also gives viewers what they want to see—sex and crime. After all, are not both of these in most movies in the present day? It is a movie that lets people identify with what, most people, will never experience. It lets people into a world that they may think of from time to time in their life, but probably will never do. Again, it also plays a story of love and glamour, which most people do not think has anything to do with robbing banks. The movie shows a familiar face when you would not think you would have anything in common with someone who does something so awful. Therefore, this is an example of why people love violence in movies.

         After Bonnie and Clyde, there were many movies that began being more graphic but only one previously. One of those that have also changed the history of cinema is the 1960 movie Psycho, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. In this movie, there is a woman by the name of Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), who leaves town with the intent of taking forty thousand dollars and starting a new life after her life has gone into the dumps. When she becomes tired, she pulls off into the Bates Motel, where one of the most famous horror scenes takes place.

         The parallelism between Bonnie and Clyde and Psycho probably does not seem relevant to the theory that cinema loves violence, but it is actually quite important. See, Bonnie and Clyde was a follow up to Hitchcock’s Psycho. In this scene in Psycho, however, it seems as though almost anything if not anything can be shown in movies bringing on the allowance to show whatever thereafter. When Bonnie and Clyde was then released seven years later, it was obviously evident that anything could be shown.

         After Bonnie and Clyde and Psycho, many more movies with horror and action were released in theatres and video stores. Movies that release the same tension are movies like Kill Bill, The Shining, The Exorcist, and The Birds. These were all very popular hits to the history of the cinema. But, would they have ever been released if movies like Bonnie and Clyde, Psycho, or Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens had never been released? I highly doubt it. These movies were and still are some of the greatest movies relevant to violence and movies and set a standard to movies today.

        Bonnie and Clyde, viewed in class, was an influential movie to cinema as a whole. It related to other movies before and after it but set a precept to what movies could later do. This movie was one of the first American movies to show such graphic content and, due to its popularity, it and the others listed above, show why and how people are obsessed with violence in the history of the cinema.

Ryan Bellendir

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