Bonnie and Clyde

Introduced by David Thomson

Bonnie and Clyde was written for Truffaut or Godard. It was a response to the innovations of the New Wave applied to American subject matter. And so it turned out a 1930s gangster film that was hip to the crises of the 1960s. It was gloriously nostalgic, yet as urgent as Beatty and Dunaway. But was it really mounting a political version of outlawry or a chic alternative to politics? Moment by moment, it is a great film (made by people great at their jobs), and with an uncanny spirit of identification between Beatty and Clyde-they both want to be taken seriously. But where was the film's influence-on narrative technique? Visual style? On sex and violence-or clothes? Are Bonnie and Clyde real outlaws and psychotics or are they people auditioning for a new Marx Brothers tour?

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