BONNIE AND CLYDE (1967) directed by Arthur Penn : Alan Price


I dispatched my parents to The Tunnel Road Picturedrome
to see Bonnie and Clyde. What they found was Gold Diggers
of 1933 – a film within a film where Ginger Rogers sang,
“We’re in the money.” Clyde sat in the back row: furious
they’d killed a man. Bonnie sighed. “If you boys want to
talk why don’t you all go outside?” Despite all the chatter
in their flea-pit my parents (who were never in any money)
stuck with the stalls: watching kids rob banks and healthily
shoot at rednecks. Arthur, I thought they’d hate your film
but they loved it. That balletic massacre of an ending: how
Bonnie and impotent Clyde writhed in orgasmic displeasure
as bullets ripped through clothes and flesh. “It was horrible.”
said mother, unfazed. On that night screen violence, cocoa
and toast brought me closer to Mum and Dad. I’d seen
the film yonks before. My audience even younger, than the
Barrow gang, with not a bloody-minded oldie in sight.