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13 Infamous Facts About the Movie Bonnie and Clyde

When Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were robbing banks in the 1930s, they became folk heroes because they fought against the Establishment as represented by the evil banks that many felt caused the Great Depression. When the Warren Beatty/Faye Dunaway movie about them came out in 1967, it happened all over again as the duo’s adventures resonated with the counterculture of the time. Almost 50 years later, the movie is still a rollicking action film. Let’s learn some trivia about Bonnie and Clyde.

2. FAYE DUNAWAY'S STAR-MAKING PERFORMANCE ALMOST DIDN'T HAPPEN.

Warren Beatty, doing double duty as star and producer, and director Arthur Penn considered many other actresses first, including Tuesday Weld, Jane Fonda, Natalie Wood, Sharon Tate, Leslie Caron, and Ann-Margret. (Back when he was only producing it and not starring in it, Beatty had also considered his sister, Shirley MacLaine, for the role.) Beatty said they were turned down "by about 10 women," though he would later say Weld was the only one they made a firm offer to. When Beatty met Dunaway, he didn't think she was right for the part, but he told her to meet with Penn, who he thought would think she was perfect. Beatty was right.

6. THE STUDIO THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO FLOP AND TREATED IT ACCORDINGLY.

Jack Warner, who measured films according to how well they convinced him not to leave the screening room to use the bathroom, hated Bonnie and Clyde. "That's the longest two hours and 11 minutes I've ever seen!" he reportedly said after seeing an early cut. "That was a three-piss picture!" (Also: "This gangster stuff went out with [James] Cagney!") Thinking they had a turkey on their hands, and despite a warm reception at a film festival in Montreal, Warner Bros. dumped the movie in drive-ins and second-run theaters in August of 1967.

The studio was wrong, and Bonnie and Clyde not only became a hit, but a classic. Read more about the movie in a trivia list at mental_floss.


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