Bonnie and Clyde

Starring Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman and Estelle Parsons
Screenplay by David Newman and Robert Benton
Directed by Arthur Penn
USA 1967
111 mins

Our last film 'Shampoo' starred Warren Beatty playing Beverley Hills hairdresser George Roundy in a razor-sharp parody of the excesses of 1970s Los Angeles. Some eight years earlier Beatty starred in and produced 'Bonnie And Clyde' - a game changing crime picture that would reframe the gangster genre and usher in a bold new age of American cinema. 1968 was the year of revolutions and 'Bonnie And Clyde' broke taboos; combining an anarchic tone with naturalistic performances, graphic violence and frank sexuality to take the world by storm and chime perfectly with the countercultural times in which it was made.

Robert Benton and David Newman - the writers of this morally ambiguous and controversial movie -  were on the staff of Esquire magazine and had never penned a screenplay before this one. Their unorthodox script did the rounds and attracted the attention of French new wave directors Francois Truffaut and Jean Luc Godard both of whom were among those slated to make it. It was finally directed by Arthur Penn - an acclaimed director of theatre, TV and cinema whose other work includes 'The Left Handed Gun', 'The Miracle Worker', 'Alice's Restaurant' and 'Little Big Man'.  

This controversial 'true crime' story made instant stars out of Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway but ended the career of eminent New York Times film critic Bosley Crowther - whose repeated campaigning attacks on the film were so out of touch that in the end the paper replaced him. 
The film's style and its costumes in particular launched a fashion craze with Dunaway's hairstyle and Beatty's snappy suits featuring on magazine covers all over the world.

'Bonnie And Clyde' also spawned a series of pop songs in Europe including Georgie Fame's 'The Ballad Of Bonnie And Clyde' in the UK.