.. ollard). They decide to recruit C.W. because he is a good mechanic with the car and stole money out of the cash register for their excursion. Later, the pair are joined by Clyde’s older, ex-con brother Buck (played by Gene Hackman) and his stereotypical, subservient wife Blanche (played by Estelle Parsons). They join forces and become the Barrow Gang and head out through Texas. While stopped, the group decide to take pictures with Blanche’s camera and Bonnie poses in arousing style with her leg resting on the stolen Ford’s bumper with a cigar in her mouth and holding a gun in her hand.
Awakened by her new found sense of power and sexuality, she attempts to document the endowed women she has become, as well as, effectively capturing the mood of the women’s movements of the 1960’s. This is also the first time we start to see tension between Bonnie and Blanche. Bonnie resent the type of women that Blanche is and calls her an “ignorant, uneducated hillbilly.” This also further goes to support the ideas of the feminist movement of the 1960’s and the attitude of many of the woman’s liberators toward the “conventional” women in society. During one pivotal scene in the movie, the gang , now in Missouri, is parked by a lake, down a deserted road while Clyde goes out into the woods to relieve himself. Not knowing that they are being followed by Texas Ranger Capt.
Frank Hamer (played by Denver Pyle), Clyde shoots the gun out of his hand when he is about to fire at them. They capture the Ranger and handcuff him with his own handcuffs. Bonnie suggests that the humiliate him by taking his picture with the Barrow Gang, this way all of his friends will know that he was captured and that they were “just as nice as pie” to him. Bonnie puts her arm around the Ranger, coyly strokes his mustache, and then she posses for Buck to take the picture while she puckers up and kisses Hamer on the lips. Hamer spits in her face with disgust, and Clyde almost drowns Hamer in anger, but then sets him adrift into the lake in a rowboat while he is still handcuffed.
This scene is especially important because it shows the arrogant rebellion of both women and the youth in America, during the 1960’s. Bonnie shows that she is not afraid of the system and attempts to portrait herself to the public as the benevolent one. She also attempts to degrade the system for trying to take control and castigation over her life, one theme that was also very prevalent with the women’s and youth movements of the 1960’s. She shows the Texas Ranger that she is a liberated women who is free to taunt male authority. She is a radical women, like many of the women in the 1960’s who were disgusted with the system for attempting to repress their sexual and political expressions.
During their temporary rest from police chase, Bonnie writes a poem about her adventures with Clyde, called The Story of Bonnie and Clyde. The novice, melodramatic poem, which Clyde sends into a newspaper to be published, compares their gang to the Jessie James gang. It depicts them as a pair of sympathetic, modern day folk heroes with a “Robin Hood” cause that is at odds with an amoral society. In light of the 1960’s mindless violence, the film rang true and gave a logical explanation that the criminal was the product of a warped government and society. With her poem, Bonnie established Bonnie and Clyde as a modern day myth, on that so perfectly foretold their demise. Clyde promised that he would give Bonnie the opportunity “to be somebody” and she gave him a legacy in return.
Although there aren’t any direct religious symbols in Bonnie , it is interesting to note that before the end of the film, she picks a piece of fruit out of the bag she has just bought, takes a bite and gives the rest to Clyde. In the following scene, Bonnie and Clyde are ambushed by Texas Ranger Hamer and local law enforcement and shot multiple times, ultimately causing their deaths. This is the second time that we see Bonnie in the role of Eve and Clyde as Adam. The first time she “tempted” him was when she first met him and dared him to use his gun. This act lead to the crime spree that would follow, ultimately foreshadowing their inescapable death. The second act of “temptation”, by Bonnie to Clyde, imminently foreshadows the death of the pair.
This gives the viewer the impression that it is Bonnie who controlled their destiny, she is the one who uses her seductively to gain power. In conclusion, it is obvious to argue that genre ideology had undergone immense change from the 1930’s when The Public Enemy was released to the 1960’s when Bonnie & Clyde first premiered on the big screen. The female roles in The Public Enemy were stereotypical of the roles handed to women in the 1930’s and also conveyed the zeitgeist of society. During the 1960’s, as indicated by Bonnie & Clyde, there was the emergence of the women’s role as a central character of the plot, one who was just as capable and omnipotent as the male lead character. She was a character that would not be controlled by society’s norms or be held captive to male authority. It is safe to say that Bonnie & Clyde, helped redefined the role for women in crime and action films. Many recent films, such as Basic Instinct (Paul Verhoeven 1992), Natural Born Killers (Oliver Stone 1993), and The Long Kiss Goodnight (Renny Harlin 1996), have emulated the strong, seductive leading role that Bonnie & Clyde helped define. It also helped further that idea that women can hold their own in the crime film genre, both in the box office and by public opinion, and through its innovation may have supported the production of such preceding all-women crime films such as Thelma & Louise (Ridley Scott 1991), Set It Off (F.
Gary Gray 1996) and Bound (The Wachowski Brothers 1996). Cinema and Television.