Search - Bonnie and Clyde on DVD


Bonnie and Clyde
Bonnie and Clyde
Genres: Mystery & Suspense
One of the landmark films of the 1960s, Bonnie and Clyde changed the course of American cinema. Setting a milestone for screen violence that paved the way for Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch, this exercise in mythologized b...  more »

     

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Movie Reviews

Details for new Special Edition, Blu-ray and HD releases, Up
Sanpete | in Utah | 01/19/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Warner Home Video is releasing newly remastered transfers of Bonnie and Clyde, with new special features, in several editions. Amazon is taking orders at the following links:

Standard DVD 2-disc Special Edition
Standard DVD 2-disc Ultimate Collector's Edition
Blu-ray
HD

The first three were released on March 25th; the HD version is due out on April 15th. Warner Brothers has announced that it won't support HD after May 31, 2008, so there may be a limited window to get the HD version.

The new transfers have been made from the "original elements," meaning stuff like original negatives or original prints. (See below for an update on the video and audio quality.) The special features announced, included in all the new releases, are these:

-- the full-length History Channel documentary about the real Bonnie and Clyde called "Love and Death: The Story of Bonnie and Clyde" (43:10)

-- a new three-part documentary about the making and releasing of the film and its relation to the real Bonnie and Clyde:
. . . "Bonnie and Clyde's Gang" (22:35)
. . . "The Reality and Myth of Bonnie and Clyde" (24:07)
. . . "Releasing Bonnie and Clyde" (18:06)

-- two newly discovered deleted scenes (5:23)

-- two trailers (4:11)

-- Warren Beatty's wardrobe tests (7:39)

The HD and Blu-ray editions will also include as a "high-def exclusive" a hardcover book (34 pages according to Amazon, 32 pages according to dvdbeaver) with a detailed production history, star/director filmographies and rare archival behind-the-scenes photos. The book is an integral part of the case. This isn't included in the standard DVD Special Edition.

The Ultimate edition will also include some non-DVD extras. Details are given in the earlier reviews of the Ultimate edition (January 17, 2008).

No commentary was announced, so I subtract one star. For some the making-of features may partially make up for the lack of commentary.

As for the movie itself, it's a landmark, but there are already many helpful reviews here about that ....

Update on the video and audio quality of the new releases (March 27th)

I haven't got my copy yet, but I've checked out some early professional reviews. All the ones I've seen that compare to the older DVD agree that the video quality of the new releases is much improved. I'll give some details from a sampling of reviews here for anyone interested, but the upshot is that everyone is pleased with both new transfers (HD not being out yet).

Standard DVD

DVD Beaver, which specializes in DVD image evaluations and comparisons, says the standard DVD 2-disc Special Edition video is "very strong," clean, with minimal noise. They report improved detail, contrast and color from the older DVD. Skin tones are said to be a bit on the red side (which is what most people prefer to accurate color). The image is said to have a glossy look at times, perhaps the same look described at DVD Town as "a little glassy."

The sound is the original mono, described by DVD Beaver as "clear and consistent." No one raves about the sound, but everyone finds it good overall, for mono.

The review at DVD Town finds the new transfer "excellent for a movie some forty years old." It mentions noticeable grain in some shots, but this may refer to scenes in which there was intentional grain introduced for effect. Also mentioned are occasional softness, skin tones a touch dark, but overall color "quite realistic." Says the definition is superb for standard DVD, contrast strong.

DVD Verdict says, "The remastered print looks very good, with strong colors and high contrast, and superb detail ...," with a little grain at times.

Blu-ray

DVD Beaver says the Blu-ray version is, as would be expected, even better. The darks are darker than on the new standard DVD, the brights brighter, very strong detail, with a touch redder skin tones, very minor noise. The image is said to retain a natural look.

The sound is described with very same adjectives as for the standard DVD: clear and consistent.

Home Theater Forum's reviewer calls the Blu-ray transfer's color fidelity "outstanding" and overall quality "excellent," including sharpness and detail. Blacks are said to be very black, though less so in the later part of the movie.

A review at High-Def Digest praises the Blu-ray image quality very highly, particularly the color, which it describes as vibrant, smooth and natural.

(I've posted the links to the reviews cited in the first comment for this review.)"
The Stuff of Legend
J. Michael Click | Fort Worth, Texas United States | 05/24/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This movie ignited critics and the public alike when it was first released in theatres. Much discussion centered around the movie's graphic violence (which was considered shocking by 1967 standards --- two years later "The Wild Bunch" would raise the ante even higher); there was also considerable hullaballoo over the film's glamorization of its lawless true-life anti-heroes (which was in fact an old Hollywood tradition best exemplified by a handful of late 1930's and early 1940's biographical Westerns including "Jesse James", "Belle Starr", "Billy the Kid", etc. in which beautiful actors portrayed the murderous title characters as Technicolored lads and ladies).35 years later the fires of debate have burned out, and what remains notable about "Bonnie and Clyde" is neither its cutting-edge violence nor its historical inaccuracies, but instead the fine craftsmanship that went into its creation. The performances are uniformly outstanding; the cinematography is evocative of a time and place that can still be glimpsed in parts of the Ozarks, Oklahoma, and North Texas; the editing is clean and well-paced; the direction is innovative and assured, even poetic in some sequences (the initial acquaintance of Barrow and Parker, the reunion of Bonnie's family, the final ambush scene). This film is the telling of legend, not the chronicle of biographical scholarship, and it unfolds its story masterfully.The DVD showcases the film beautifully. The edition I purchased offers both the widescreen and reformatted versions; an earlier issue of this title on DVD offered only the widescreen release (which I personally prefer and recommend, but you may not agree). This is a classic worthy of multiple viewings, and a DVD I endorse without reservation."
Natural born killers
JLind555 | 04/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Trust Hollywood to turn two common criminals into two American folk heroes. Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker were two small-town young people drifting aimlessly during the Great Depression of the 1930's; she's bored out of her gourd, and he's a felon who had killed fourteen men by the time he met his end at the ripe old age of twenty-four. They meet, fall sort of in love, and embark on a petty crime spree. At first it's all good-humored fun; they steal a couple of cars, hold up a couple of stores, and in a moment of hilarious insanity, Clyde attempts to rob a bank that went bust a week before, much to the amusement of the banker and Bonnie, who's collapsing with laughter over the steering wheel. But then a storekeeper takes offense at Clyde attempting to hold him up, and is pistol-whipped by Clyde in his frantic efforts to escape. Once the battered storekeeper ID's Clyde's photo to the cops, things turn serious.

As Clyde's posse expands to include a lowlife neer-do-well named C.W. Moss and Clyde's brother Buck and his sister-in-law Blanche, their crimes get bolder and the violence spirals out of control. A bank robbery in broad daylight (while C.W. manages to get their getaway car stuck in a too-tight parking space) goes off almost without a hitch; but when Clyde shoots a pursuing cop in the face and his head explodes all over their back windshield, the fun stuff is over. They're wanted criminals being chased from Arkansas to Oklahoma and back to Louisiana. As their notoriety spreads, so does their audacity. In one of the funniest scenes in the film, they capture a sheriff who was about to sneak up on them and handcuff him while Clyde snaps pictures of Bonnie holding a gun on him. But their fame comes at a terrible price; they're wanted outcasts, alienated even from their own. When Clyde meets Bonnie's mother and tells her they'd like to live within three miles of her, Mrs. Parker tells her daughter, "You try to live three miles from me, and you won't live long, honey."

From the scene where Buck expires in a hail of police bullets to the slow dance on the killing ground in Louisiana, the film takes on a somber tone in stark comparison to the lighthearted opening sequences. Once the cascading violence has turned brutal, the movie becomes darker and more foreboding as well. But as bad as the two protagonists are, we can't help but like them. Maybe that's the difference between Hollywood and real life. One wonders how many people who came across Bonnie and Clyde actually liked this pair?

The tension between Bonnie and Clyde helps keep the movie on edge. Arthur Penn's superb direction, assisted by knockout performances from the cast, helps keep the movie on a razor edge balanced between laughter and revulsion. Warren Beatty was never better than in his title role as Clyde Barrow, and Faye Dunaway makes a perfect Bonnie to his Clyde. Michael J. Pollard is winning as the doofus C.W. Moss and Gene Hackman is wonderful as Buck, torn between his loyalty to his brother and his love for his ditzy wife. But Estelle Parsons, as that ditzy wife, almost runs off with the film; her hysterics during the shootout between Clyde's gang and the cops has the viewers in equal hysterics rolling in the aisles. The cinematography is great; we feel all the heat, dust, and emptiness of Depression-era America, and the foot-stompin' banjo music by Flatts and Scruggs helps anchor the movie to its time and place. "Bonnie and Clyde" has become an American classic, one of the best films to come out of the 1960's."
Beatty and Dunaway Are Brilliant
Reviewer | 02/22/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A minute or so into the first scene (which begins with a close-up of a luscious, red-lipsticked, sensuous mouth) a young woman goes to the window of her second story bedroom and looks down on a young man milling about the family car parked in front of the house. "Hey, Boy!" she calls to him, "What c'you doin' with my mama's car?" And with that, the world got it's first glimpse of what was to become one of the most celebrated couples in cinematic gangsterdom, as portrayed by Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, in "Bonnie & Clyde," directed by Arthur Penn and produced by Beatty. The red lips, of course, belong to Bonnie Parker (Dunaway), and in the first moments of the film, as she looks at herself in the mirror, then sprawls pensively across her bed, you feel her sense of longing, of wanting "something," of yearning for that intangible element that is seemingly just beyond her grasp. And then she meets Clyde Barrow (Beatty). Just released from prison, Clyde has a twinkle in his eye and a devil-may-care attitude that fits Bonnie's needs like a hand in a glove; and so begins the story of two real life criminals as they embark upon their now legendary, if infamous, spree of bank robberies and murder. How they actually met and came together is of no consequence here; the fact is, it happened, and unbeknownst to Bonnie and Clyde, their exploits and short lives would become--some thirty-odd years later-- the subject of a cinematic masterpiece. Beatty makes few movies, which apparently works to his advantage, because when he does, it's usually a film worth waiting for. And this is arguably one of his best, if not the best, he's every done. As Clyde, Beatty fairly oozes charm, with a down-home, southern, easy-going manner that belies who and what his character really is. But Beatty makes him memorable with an Oscar worthy performance in the role that will most likely be THE one for which he will be remembered, and with good reason, for he has never before or since been more charismatic or accessible than he is here. It is quite simply a remarkable performance by a talented actor at the top of his form. And Faye Dunaway, as well, has never been more beautiful or appealing, ever. Period. Her Bonnie is without question the stuff of which legends are born. But does her portrayal reflect the real Bonnie Parker? Of course not; neither does Beatty's reflect the real Clyde Barrow. But Dunaway's work here is nothing less than extraordinary and-- as with Beatty's Clyde-- this will probably be the role for which she will be remembered, as it showcases not only her exquisite beauty but here abilities as an actress more than any other part she's played, including her role in "Network," for which she won the Oscar for Best Actress. As the director, Arthur Penn-- it goes without saying-- played a tremendous part in the success of this film. It may have been Beatty's vision originally, but it was Penn who summarily made it his own and brought it to fruition. His handling of the camera to enhance the drama of the story is acute, from his use of close-ups (as in the opening scene of Dunaway's mouth, and later her eyes), to the more expansive vistas he uses to capture the action that is so well choreographed and staged. His pacing of the film, which maintains the necessary tension and emotional level throughout, is perfect, and the expertise through which he elicits exemplary performances from his actors is evident. Of all the elements that go into the making of a great film, choosing the right director is of unparalleled concern, and in this case it is obvious that Penn was indeed the right man for the job. The memorable supporting cast includes Michael J. Pollard (C.W. Moss), Gene Hackman (Buck Barrow), Denver Pyle (Frank Hamer), Dub Taylor (Ivan Moss) and Estelle Parsons, as Blanche Barrow, the role for which she received the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. A landmark film, "Bonnie & Clyde" has received criticism for glamorizing the lives of notorious criminals; but upon reflection, though the stars involved may have "beautified" the subjects of the film, there is certainly nothing in the presentation of the way they lived, and especially the way they died, that could be construed as "glamorous." What this film does, however-- and so successfully-- is evoke a sense of the desperation of a particular time and place in the history of America. Some may deem this perspective of infamy as politically incorrect; but the Great Depression was a fact of life, and gangsters like Bonnie and Clyde-- as with Jesse James before them-- were often hailed as heroes by certain factions who were themselves struggling to stay alive. The importance of a film like this, or perhaps on a grander scale, one like "Schindler's List," is that it maintains an awareness of events that for posterity simply must not be forgotten."