Bonnie and Clyde: Staying More or Less True

         Movies are usually to show things that have not happened. They are a way to tell a story, told through the eyes of the director. Sometimes, however, some real life stories are interesting enough for the big screen. Wars are always good material to base a movie on. Famous people are another thing that movie makers seem to focus upon as well. However, it is usually people who have done good things with their lives that these movies are made about. Bonnie and Clyde (1967), directed by Arthur Penn, is one movie that contradicts this. It follows the story of two famous bank robbers as they make their claim to fame.

         One of the most interesting things about this movie is the fact that it makes you like the characters even when you know that they are bad people. It is the kind of movie that purposefully pits you against the police force when they are trying to stop the "bad guys." You cheer for the Barrow Gang (not so much for Blanche), and actually feel sadness in the end when they are all killed.

         Another interesting aspect of this film is its attention to actual details. Besides in the end when they are slaughtered by the police while in the car, there are other facts that stay true to the real Bonnie and Clyde. The photograph of Bonnie (Faye Dunaway) with a cigar in her mouth is true to the real life events. Bonnie also did write poetry as she did in the movie. Also, in the first shootout with the police, Blanche Barrow (Estelle Parsons) really did run out of the house in hysterics. Some of the details were a bit skew, however, like the character of C.W. Moss (Michael J. Pollard). He was supposed to be representing all of the many minor accomplices the Barrow gang had and did not really exist. However, one of the fathers of one of these "side kicks" actually did set up the Barrows with Frank Hamer (Denver Pyle).

         While not completely accurate, Bonnie and Clyde stayed pretty true to the story of the notorious bank robbers of the thirties. It is a wonderful movie and shows the audience that even bank robbers can have a good side if it is portrayed that way.

Lorrie Veach

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