Bonnie and Clyde: Beginning of a New Hollywood Era

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BONNIE AND CLYDE : “Beginning of the New Hollywood Era.”

Bonnie and Clyde is a 1967 American crime film about Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, the criminal version of Romeo and Juliet, the true story of the most beloved yet infamous outlaws, robbers and convicts who journeyed the Central United States during the Great Depression. The film was directed by Arthur Penn, and stars Faye Dunaway as Bonnie Parker, and Warren Beatty as Clyde Barrow.

Bonnie and Clyde is reckoned as one of the 60s' most talked-about, volatile, controversial crime/gangster films combining comedy, terror, love, and ferocious violence, and regarded as one of the first films of the New Hollywood era, in which it broke many taboos and was so popular amongst the younger generation. After its success, it encouraged other filmmakers to be more forward about presenting sex and violence in their films.

The film was intended as a romantic and comic version of the violent gangster films of the 1930s, updated with modern filmmaking techniques. To begin with the film opens with a lap dissolve from a golden, old-style Warner Bros shield, grainy, unglamorous, blurry, sepia-toned snapshots of the Barrow and Parker families (at the time of Bonnie and Clyde's childhood) play on a black background, accompanied by the loud clicking sound of a camera shutter (The credit titles are interspersed with flashes of more semi-documentary, brownish-tinged pictures) to an extreme close up of Bonnie applying ruby red lipstick. The implication of the lap dissolve is that they will be linked in the film, and that love will be involved. The sound bridge also emphasis love, as the song concludes with the words “deep in the arms of love” and further links Clyde and Bonnie. So from the start, Penn introduces the love story as central to the film, and view everything that follows from within this framework.

A subsequent pan right results in a close up of Bonnie reflected in a mirror, revealing her face and her...
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