Bonnie and Clyde: Beginning of a New Hollywood Era Essay

1533 Words Mar 16th, 2012 7 Pages
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
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The medium shot that follows shows the water marks in the ceiling and wall of her low-income frame house, indicating her dire financial straits. When she she flings herself down on her bed, the bars both run diagonally across the screen and cast shadows across her face indicating for us the prison she feels she feels she’s in as she repeatedly strikes the cage surrounding her. Based on how she saw herself in the mirror, she clearly thinks she deserves better. The following close up (when she grabs the bars) and zoom into an extreme close up of her eyes reflects her torment. As the camera holds her face, we can see the resignation in her face as she turns to get dressed for work. Bonnie is trapped in a dead end life. By stressing this aspect of her life, Penn has us initially glimpse Bonnie in the best possible light.

This scene also explains Bonnie’s following actions in two ways. First is that she understands exactly how Clyde must have felt in prison when they later meet, establishing an immediate bond between them. The second is that, when Clyde tells her that he cut off two of his toes to get out of a work detail, she believes him for the man of action he portrays himself to be , (“Boy, did you really do that.”). This compares favorably with her desire to rise above her own dull circumstance and take action…