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This review originally appeared in issue 14 of THE CINEMA LASER.


BONNIE AND CLYDE ($35) is one of the most fascinating screen entertainments ever to be produced. Here is a film that plays with its audience- lulling them into a false sense of security by starting off lighthearted and comedic, but turning utterly brutal and excessively violent by its conclusion. BONNIE AND CLYDE works so well because it turns its title characters into anti-heroes. The audience comes to empathize with Bonnie and Clyde despite their criminality. This film biography of the depression era bank robbers does glamorize the pair of bank robbers with the casting of Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty as Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow respectively, but it doesn’t glamorize their deeds or their shortcomings as people. Both lead performances are top notch- Dunaway and Beatty look fabulous on the screen, but the actors are never afraid to show the warts that are contained in the souls of their characters. The cast of BONNIE AND CLYDE also includes Gene Hackman, Michael J. Pollard and Estelle Parsons. Parsons performance as the preacher’s daughter forced into a life of crime by marriage is another standout. Additionally, Estelle Parsons won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role.

Warner Home Video has given BONNIE AND CLYDE spectacular Letterboxed transfer which restores the 1.85:1 aspect ratio, as well as the look of Burnett Guffey’s Oscar winning cinematography. The image has a nice snap to it, and the colors are richly saturated, as if they were taken from an original Technicolor print.. The digitally encoded monaural soundtrack is crisp and worth amplifying. As for the Pioneer pressing, it’s a winner- nary a speckle to be seen.


Laserdisc reviews are Copyright 1997 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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