Saturday, January 23, 2016

Documentary Review: An American Experience PBS: Bonnie and Clyde

I have fantasized this story since seeing the movie as a teen.  Bonnie and Clyde were a couple of depression era gangsters out of Dallas, Texas.  The documentary puts the story in a different light than the movie.  However, Bonnie and Clyde did make the most wanted list, are were the only romantically in love couple on the list.  I guess that is the stuff legend and myth are made of.  In reality, they were on the run for a long time, and being on the run is a very stressful lifestyle.  The myth was increased by a roll of film they had taken, with the two in different poses with guns.  During the early days, Barrow was able to out run and out shoot the police.  He preferred the Browning Automatic Rifle, a more powerful weapon than the police.
The Federals and Police were out to kill Clyde Barrow because he he and his gang had murdered policemen.  Bonnie Parker was along for the ride come what may.  The FBI armed their G-Men with machine guns.  Towards the end they even master minded a prison break out as they were short men.  Clyde's brother had been killed, and his sister-in-law imprisoned.  It was the family of one of those new gang members who did Bonnie and Clyde in.  They were making arrangements for leniency for their son, and provided information about a visit Barrow was going to make with the family on a particular date.  This allowed for an ambush.
The ambush was successful, and Barrow was killed with the first two sniper shots, having been struck in the head.  However, the police and G-Men unloaded at least 150 rounds into the care after those first two shots.  There was no hope for either.
They were not buried together, but there was a line of viewers for both.   This was mostly out of curiosity, everyone wanted to see the couple gangsters..

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