Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Bonnie and Clyde (1967)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

In Arthur Penn's groundbreaking, controversial, stylish biographical crime drama/romance - and road film - about a 1930s bank-robbing couple and gang:

  • the film's opening provided a colorful closeup of red, luscious lips (that were being licked after lipstick had been applied) belonging to blonde Bonnie Parker (Faye Dunaway) - a bored, beautiful, and sexually-frustrated, Depression-era Texas cafe waitress who was naked and narcissistically primping in front of a mirror; her teasing and nude appearance at her bedroom window occurred as small-town con and car thief Clyde Barrow (Warren Beatty) eyed her Mama's car out front; she quickly dressed and descended the stairs to join him
  • during the sequence of bank-robbing Clyde's first major seduction of Bonnie, he showed off his gun and bounced a wooden matchstick between his teeth (shot at an upward angle as a trembling phallic symbol), although he was later revealed to be impotent; after proving himself by robbing the grocery store across the street, they were formally introduced to each other as they jumped in a getaway car together: Bonnie: "Hey, what's your name anyhow?" Clyde: "Clyde Barrow" Bonnie: "Hi, I'm Bonnie Parker, pleased to meet ya"; during their hurried exit, twangy banjo music by Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs ("Foggy Mountain Breakdown") played on the soundtrack; throughout the film, there were numerous sped-up (a la Keystone Cops slapstick) bank robberies, getaways and pursuits to the sounds of banjo music
Clyde's Seduction of Bonnie and Their First Bank Robbery
  • Clyde shamefully and restlessly confessed to Bonnie about his latent homosexuality, sexual limitations and impotence; he told her to put aside her romantic intentions: Clyde: "I might as well tell ya right off. I ain't much of a lover boy. But that don't mean nothin' personal about you. I-I-I never saw no percentage in it. Ain't nothin' wrong with me. I don't like boys." (He bumped his head on the driver's side door.) Bonnie (sounding frustrated and stunned): "...Your advertisin' is just dandy. Folks would never guess you don't have a thing to sell. You'd better take me home now. Now don't you touch me!"
  • in the deserted, bank-foreclosed farmhouse scene, Bonnie was jubilantly hugged by Clyde after exhibiting her gun-shooting prowess at an old rubber-tire-swing target; their shooting attracted the attention of bank-displaced, evicted farmer Otis Harris and his family, who they sympathized with; Clyde boasted: "This here's Miss Bonnie Parker. I'm Clyde Barrow...We rob banks"
  • they met up with dim-witted, back-country, grinning attendant/mechanic C. W. Moss (Michael J. Pollard) at a station; when he identified their vehicle as a "4-cylinder Ford Coup-e," Bonnie corrected him: "This is a STOLEN 4-cylinder Ford Coup-e" - after introducing themselves as bank robbers, they invited him to join them as their getaway driver: "Have you got what it takes to pull bank jobs with us, Mr. C.W. Moss?"
  • during their second bank robbery in the town of Mineola, the robbery went awry when they couldn't find C.W.'s parallel-parked getaway vehicle (another stolen car!) and they were delayed in leaving town when blocked by other cars; panicked, Clyde drew first blood when the elderly bank manager lept onto the running board of their car and he reacted impulsively - the bullet smashed through the man's glasses and gruesomely blew off his face, point-blank, through the window of their car [invoking a similar image from Russian Sergei Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin (1925)]
  • the fugitives found refuge in a movie theatre while viewing the "We're in the Money" scene from a 1933 Warner Bros film: Gold Diggers of 1933
  • in a picture-taking scene, the gang was now joined by Clyde's older, All-American, hearty, loud-mouthed, ex-con brother Buck (Gene Hackman) and his reluctant, but excitable, hysteria-prone, and flighty wife Blanche (Estelle Parsons) - Bonnie fashionably posed with her gun
  • the gang was determinedly followed and stalked by mustachioed Texas Ranger Capt. Frank Hamer (Denver Pyle), who was captured, handcuffed, belittled - and to specifically humiliate him, Bonnie put her arm around the stiff-lipped and glaring Ranger and flattened out his moustache with his own gun
  • during their third bank robbery, Clyde formally introduced the well-dressed gang with their big guns drawn as they burst into the front doors of a small-town bank: "Good afternoon. This is the Barrow Gang" - as their legendary prowess increased
  • the sequence of a bloody ambush at Platte City, Iowa followed by the realistic death scene in a field of Clyde's mortally-wounded brother Buck, with wife Blanche's hysterical screaming about his dying: ("Daddy, don't die!! Daddy!!"); soon after, she was captured and taken into police custody
  • Bonnie recited her legendary poem, making the gang sound like Robin Hood and his gang, to spread their appeal - "The Story of Bonnie and Clyde": ("Here's the story of Bonnie and Clyde...Now Bonnie and Clyde are the Barrow gang. I'm sure you all have read How they rob and steal And those who squeal Are usually found dyin' or dead. They call them cold-hearted killers They say they are heartless and mean But I say this with pride That I once knew Clyde When he was honest and upright and clean...")
  • afterwards, Clyde consummated his love for Bonnie, when she assured him: "You did just perfect," after which he complimented himself while chuckling: "I did, didn't I? I mean, I really did. I never figured on that. Damn"; in their next bedroom scene, they discussed their relationship, although they were soon doomed to die: Bonnie: "Clyde. Why do you want to marry me?" Clyde: "To make an honest woman out of you"
  • the remaining group of three sought shelter in the Louisiana home of C.W.'s father Ivan (or Malcolm) Moss (Dub Taylor) - unbeknownst to them, he cooperated with police to plan a cold-blooded ambush for Bonnie and Clyde, in order to acquire a more lenient sentence for his son
  • in a quick montage-succession of events during the country backwoods, roadside ambush sequence by Hamer's men hiding behind bushes, the duo was betrayed by Ivan who flagged down their car for help while faking a flat tire on his truck by the side of the road; he spoke the last lines of the film: "I've got a flat tire, and I ain't got no spare"
  • in their final freeze-frame of life in a two-minute violent "ballet of blood", doomed lovers Bonnie and Clyde revealed both panic and love in their faces - with a silent glance toward each other; their frenzied, spasming corpses writhed in slow-motion as they were gunned down and riddled with an unprecedented number of bullets; they were re-animated by gunfire - into involuntary dances of death when their corpses twitched to life; they died cinematically-beautiful, abstracted deaths to accentuate the romance of the myths and the larger-than-life legends that surrounded them; their last moment of 'life' occurred when Clyde rolled over gently in slow-motion and Bonnie's arm dangled unnaturally and then stopped moving; Bonnie's flowing blonde hair, streaked in sunlight and gently blowing in the breeze, cascaded down in many arcs as she hung out of the car
The Infamous Ballet of Blood
  • the last fractured image was viewed as the group of police approached the bullet-ridden car and the corpses on the ground (off-screen); the final shot was a shattered car window from a bullet hole - before a rapid cut to black

Bonnie Parker's Introduction

Clyde: "We rob banks!"

C.W. Moss: "A 4-cylinder Ford Coup-e"

Bullet Damage During Botched Robbery

"We're in the Money"


Ranger Capt. Hamer (Denver Pyle)

"Good Afternoon, This is the Barrow Gang!"

Bonnie's Poem-Reading

After-Sex: "You did just perfect"

The Final Image


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