Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker are perhaps the most notorious couple ever; the two went through an infamous crime spree during the Great Depression that ultimately led to their demise. The couple has since become pop culture icons, with several screenplays written over the decades.
On August 13th, 1967, Bonnie and Clyde was released, starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. Directed by Arthur Penn, the film was supposed to be lighter in tone as comedic bits and romanticism were found throughout the film. Bonnie and Clyde was one of the first few “New Hollywood” era films that ushered in a new era of film-making, while past film-making was on the conservative side.
Bonnie and Clyde broke ground by presenting sex and violence more openly. The film’s ending is considered iconic, as many describe it being the bloodiest death scene in cinematic history.
While hesitant to promote it to the general audience at first, Warner Bros. presented Bonnie and Clyde at a limited theatrical release. However, due to the film’s controversy, it quickly gained attention throughout the United States and became a sleeper hit.
The film continued to do well, and by March 1968, it had become the studio’s second highest-grossing film of all time. Bonnie and Clyde is considered the inspiration for several of the greatest gangster films of all time.
In contrast, the film is still criticized for opening the floodgates to heightened violence; it is considered one of the top motion pictures of all time by the American Film Institute.