Galas and Centerpieces

Bonnie and Clyde
USA, 1967, 112 min., Color


There's a long tradition of Hollywood dramas about lovers on the run who turn to crime—and, in the process, turn each other on—only to wind up being force-fed just desserts. But director Arthur Penn and screenwriters Robert Benton and David Newton were among the first post-modernist filmmakers to view such desperados as neither cunningly sinister nor tragically misguided, but rather as absurdly self-deluded. In the world according to their 1967 classic, Bonnie Parker (Faye Dunaway) and Clyde Barrow (Warren Beatty) turn to crime primarily because there's nothing else to do to dispel the soul-dimming boredom of small-town life in Depression Era Texas. The movie vividly details the couple’s evolution from impulsive amateurs to fugitive killers—even after 50 years, the violent sequences still pack a potent punch—while firmly placing them in the context of their time, giving the audience a strong sense of the fear, loathing and star-worship they inspired among their contemporaries.

And yet, BONNIE AND CLYDE remains remarkably timeless in its double-edged view of ordinary folks who achieve extraordinary notoriety—who romanticize themselves as outlaws, even revolutionaries—but remain as banal and smaller-than-life as a stereotypical dysfunctional family.

— Joe Leydon
Arthur Penn
David Newman, Robert Benton
Burnett Guffey
Dede Allen
Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Michael J.Pollard

Director Bio

Arthur Penn was an award-winning American film director and producer. He was nominated for the Academy Awards for Best Director three times for THE MIRACLE WORKER (1962), BONNIE AND CLYDE (1967) and ALICE'S RESTAURANT (1970) and won countless other directing awards for his work.
Screenings Co-presented by:
Crossroads of Texas Film Festival
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