Top 100 Movies of All Time Bonnie and Clyde

Top 100 Movies of All Time Bonnie and Clyde
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We are working our way through the top 100 movies of all time based on this Hollywood Reporter list. Instead of doing low budget mind job movies for a little while, we are now doing “important cinema” movies in order to see if we can learn something about what makes them great… or different from any other film. This is the second movie on the list, yesterday’s was Seven Samurai.

Top Movies of all Time Bonnie and Clyde

I gotta say, the Seven Samurai is mentioned so much, and so often, by amazing directors, that I was extraordinarily daunted that this is where the list was going to start. As we move onto Bonnie and Clyde, here is what the Hollywood reporter had to say about it:

One of the films that buried the Hays Code, though today it looks about as risque as basic cable.

The Hollywood Reporter

Movie #2 – Bonnie and Clyde Walkthrough

The key detail that opens Bonnie and Clyde is that the movie is a biographical film set in the middle of the Great Depression. The film tells the story of Clyde Barrow (played by Warren Beatty – my personal favorite movie of his is the 1991 film, Bugsy – I had an enormous Bugsy standee in my bedroom for years) and Bonnie Parker (played by Faye Dunaway). It basically, in doing so, makes the movie almost a Les Miserables construction in so doing. The two meet when Clyde attempts to steal Bonnie’s mother’s car. And Bonnie, who is bored out of her mind by her life as a waitress in a backwater town, is mesmerized by this charming character. And as the movie starts out, the two begin pulling off a few robberies, but they largely fail at their endeavors. But when the duo pick up a gas station employee, C.W. Moss, things shift into a different gear, and during a bank robbery, Clyde ends up shooting a man in the face who jumped onto the side of the car.

Eventually the trio meet up with Clyde’s older brother Buck, and his wife, Blanche (who, it would seem, happens to be a preacher’s daughter). Blanche and Bonnie disdain each other from the first moment they lay eyes on each other. And Blanche dislikes all three of them… but Bonnie’s concern with Blanche has more to do with the fact that she believes that Blanche is going to get them all killed.

Soon the Texas Rangers are on their tail, specifically Frank Hamer who is determined to catch this new menace. Bonnie and Clyde are able to capture Hamer and make him look stupid, before setting him free. But afterwards, a raid totally catches them off guard, and ends up killing Buck with a bullet to his head. And Blanche, who is injured during the raid, is captured. Afterwards, Blanche is tricked into telling them C.W.’s name. And Bonnie and Clyde barely make it out alive.

After which, Hamer finds Bonnie, Clyde and C.W. cowering at C.W.’s father’s house. And Ivan, (C.W.’s father… come on keep up) is CERTAIN… 100%… that Bonnie & Clyde have corrupted his son. You don’t have to look too much further than beyond the tattoo that Bonnie convinced C.W. to get. TATTOO!?!? GAH. Which, now that you mention it… Ivan might be on to something. hahah. I mean, Clyde? think about him for a moment. Dispense with the pageantry of the myth that is Bonnie and Clyde, and consider this guy. He is literally a serial recidivist. (Serial recidivist? Isn’t that redundant? Hold…)

Yes. 100% redundant. I’m leaving it, it’s more emphatic. But, yeah, this guy meets Bonnie trying to steal her car. After getting out of jail for stealing a car, etc. But because it is set back when the banks were foreclosing on good people’s houses, and farms, we idealize them because the story becomes a metaphor for something larger. Anyway, I digress.

Ivan makes a bargain with Hamer – C.W. will get leniency, and in return, he’ll help set a trap for the two infamous bank robbers. So when Bonnie and Clyde stop to help fix a flat tire, the police ambush the duo. They literally light them up like a Christmas tree. And then, Hamer and the police come and stand over the two shredded bodies.

The Impact of Bonnie and Clyde

Bonnie and Clyde was revolutionary for its day. Sexually, revolutionary. Clyde can’t? What is that? And yet, they keep trying? There is a doctoral thesis on that one topic by itself. I’m going to title it something like: “On Impotence and Heroics in Bonnie and Clyde: a discourse on societal predisposition with mythical phallicies.” See what I did there? I should be awarded a doctorate just for that title alone. But it was also revolutionary from a violence standpoint. The ending was pretty gruesome for its day. But also its vantage on gender. It also was really quite funny… it was too funny actually. The audience becomes part of the Bonnie & Clyde gang they are so funny. We care for their problems, cares, and concerns. And then they are tragically torn down in a hail of Hollywood blood squibs.

I would argue that Bonnie and Clyde is still ahead of our time today. Joker might play in this realm? No. Not really. Our hero, Clyde, is terribly flawed. He is physically handicapped. He is sexually handicapped. He is literally just a common thief spurned on by a woman that is totally fascinated with his bravado. They have no purpose other than to ride off into the sunset with a rapid staccato of bullets. And they get their wish. But even today, we prefer our heroes to be idealized Greek gods – not realistic, and flawed anti-heroes. I actually was fairly blown away by our second entry into this list of 100. Have you seen it? What did you think of it? Definitely liked it a lot better than Seven Samurai.

Want to see the other movies I’ve already covered in the top 100 list… check them out right here.

Edited by: CY