Film of the Day (07/26/18): Bonnie and Clyde


Written By David Newman and Robert Benton
Directed By Arthur Penn

Another classic crossed off my list! Watching this today, I get the feeling it must have felt groundbreaking in its time, though I wouldn’t know. The way it cast its band of outlaws as sympathetic antiheroes, even as they steal and kill, seems like it would have been a new concept fifty years ago. Ditto the mixture of violence and sexuality, with Faye Dunaway (whose first appearance in the film is standing nude at a window) seducing the camera the same way Bonnie attempts to seduce Clyde throughout their adventures together. The counterculture revolution was in full swing in the late 60’s, and here comes a little story about a gang of robbers that brazenly brag about their exploits to practically everyone they meet, ignoring the law and throwing it in everyone’s face for laughs. It’s certainly a good film, but I think if I were able to see it in its own time, my opinion would probably be higher. I liked the reckless spirit of it all, as they make the outlaw life look like an undeniable amount of fun, and the brash crime spree set against the characters’ individual vulnerabilities made it feel very human. In a sense, it was a relatable tale, though 99% of us will never know what it’s like to live that life.

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