What’s wrong with this picture

Ever watch a beloved “classic” film for the first time only to find out it really blows?

To kick off this regular feature, let’s look at the movie credited with ushering in a new realism in terms of cinema violence at a time when blah, blah, blah, blah. Yeah, it’s “Bonnie and Clyde.”

Because I’ll watch just about anything on Blu-ray, I checked it out. It peaks early, way too early, with Faye Dunaway naked right out of the gate. Even Gene Hackman, a favorite of mine who’s really miscast, couldn’t keep me interested. And Estelle Parsons, who won an Oscar for her work here, basically screeches, shouts and natters on for what seems like an eternity. This is probably where they got the idea that she could play Roseanne Barr’s mom.

OK, so it’s the first movie to use a lot of squibs, heightening the realism of the final bloodbath. I’m sure it was quite shocking in 1967, but all the squibs in the world can’t make you care about the fate of the two main characters if they haven’t really done much of interest in the preceding two hours. The movie even skirts one of the most interesting things about the real-life crime duo’s relationship — Clyde’s confused sexuality. The filmmakers instead made Warren Beatty’s character impotent, which requires great suspension of disbelief — especially after seeing Dunaway naked.


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