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Films >> Bonnie and Clyde (1967) >>

Robert Benton and David Newman based much of their screenplay on information from two books: Jan. I Fortune’s The True Story of Bonnie and Clyde: As Told by Bonnie’s Mother and Clyde’s Sister and John Toland’s The Dillinger Days. But the movie was meant to entertain and take a modern look at Bonnie and Clyde rather than be a documentary. “We had decided early on,” said Benton and Newman, “that, for dramatic purposes, certain figures of considerable importance in true history had to be eliminated, certain adventures altered or dropped, certain facts ignored and certain legends adhered to [and] certain characters combined from many into one for the sake of simplification.” So, for example, C.W. Moss is a combination of multiple members of the Barrow gang and, the robberies are not necessarily accurate, though the fact that Bonnie and Clyde were not skilled at robbing banks is true. The death scene too is somewhat skewed as it has Bonnie and Clyde outside of their car during the shooting, when in actuality they were gunned down while still in their stolen Ford V8. In order to be a successful Hollywood film, then, the movie is based on fact but strays from it, and is especially influenced by a 60s mood and attitude as well as the genre of films produced by such “New Wave” directors as Francois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard. Essentially, the movie romanticizes and transforms the history of two of America’s most famous criminals.