Bonnie and Clyde wasn’t a movie that director Arthur Penn wanted to make, but when he finally agreed to it, he made sure that the violence provoked by the lawbreaking couple from the 1930s – and that led to the protagonists’ bullet-riddled demise – wasn’t disguised.
“I thought that if were going to show this, we should SHOW it,” Penn recalled. “We should show what it looks like when somebody gets shot.”
His cinematic art, he noted, only reflected the times: TV coverage of Vietnam “was every bit, perhaps even more, bloody than what we were showing on film.”
The director died Tuesday night, a day after his 88th birthday, leaving behind films – most notably Bonnie and Clyde and Little Big Man – that refashioned movie and American history, made and broke myths and sealed a generation’s affinity for outsiders.
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Read Arthur Penn Dead at 88 on Snarkerati.
NY Times obituary.