This 1967 classic tells the story of Bonnie and Clyde, the Depression-era outlaws with one simple objective: “We rob banks.”
Arthur Penn’s movie humanises Bonnie and Clyde without glamorising them. There’s no glory here, just desperation, with the Great Depression turning southern America into ghost towns.
Such a strong sense of humanity is down to the whirlwind performances of Warren Beatty and the sensational Faye Dunaway in the title roles, with superb support from Genes Hackman and Wilder.
Like so many great films, the violence feels real and painful. The movie is shocking and funny in equal measure, disarming you with its humour before hitting you with its horror.
Influenced by the French New Wave, the direction is dynamic and the editing extraordinary. It recreates its Dust Bowl setting with a raw authenticity, but the film’s truthfulness ricochets into the present day.
Roger Ebert called it “the definitive film of the 1960s … It had to be set sometime. But it was made now and it’s about us.” The movie even gave Bonnie and Clyde a second life as countercultural folk heroes.
From its upbeat banjo music to its savage ending, Bonnie and Clyde is a devilishly brilliant picture of society a-crumblin’ and times a-changin’.