Nominee #6 - Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
An outrageous crime spree throughout the country begins when a bored waitress and an ex-con fall in love.
Warren Beatty (who also produced the movie) and Faye Dunaway play the title characters (Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker) and the cast also includes Michael J. Pollard, Gene Hackman and Estelle Parsons. The thrill-seeking pair starts with stealing a car; followed by amateurish (almost slapstick) hold-ups. But they quickly shift gears to violent bank heists. Along the way, with a little help for enthusiastic press coverage, they transform from unknown losers to legends.
Despite being dismissed initially by many hostile critics as insignificant and sleazy, the film went on to become not only a box office success, but also a path-breaking example of confronting and truthful cinema. Truthful not in the adherence to facts (the film did take many liberties with the facts of the real-life outlaws), but in its unforgiving portrayal of the vicious cycle of violence.
Their almost naïve bravado makes their grisly end especially poignant.
This winner of two Oscars (for Best Supporting Actress (Estelle Parsons) and Best Cinematography (Burnett Guffey)) not only created the template for unflinching violence on-screen, but also went beyond a simplistic portrayal of an on-the-run outlaw journey to a more nuanced commentary on the heady and hideous path to self-destruction.
Beatty and Dunaway are simply outstanding as unremarkable small-time criminal anti-heroes who lust for each other, for violence and for the attention of the press. Their almost naïve bravado makes their grisly end especially poignant. The choppy editing and camerawork are a virtual masterclass in plot support and characterisation, as well as in intensifying the brooding tone of Depression era small towns in which this tragicomedy unfolds.