and Clyde on DVD
Pistol Packing Mama
- and her man
Arthur Penn's "high
caliber" 1967 film is considered by many to be a masterpiece of American
cinema. Recounting - and romanticizing - the tale of bank robbers Bonnie
Parker and Clyde Barrow and their gang, the movie has been transferred
to the DVD medium with the attention to detail such a film deserves.
Warner Home Video
has included both widescreen and pan-and-scan versions on opposite sides
of the disc, which is as it should be. The remastered picture looks great
and the Dolby Digital audio track is in the original mono - but directed
to the center speaker so the sounds come out of the screen (which is also
as it should be).
Starring Warren Beatty
and Faye Dunaway in their breakout roles, Bonnie and Clyde starts out
"clean" enough, but gets progressively bloody and vicious as
the bank robbers get caught up in the web they weave.
The cast is outstanding.
Not only are Beatty and Dunaway perfectly cast, the movie features wonderful
performances by Gene Hackman and Estelle Parsons, Denver Pyle, Dub Taylor,
and even Gene Wilder in a rare dramatic role.
There's also a nice
mix of Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs music to punctuate the action, mostly
as "getaway music."
Bonnie and Clyde is
a strange beast; it makes us cheer for what are basically a couple of
amoral, murderous thugs. We laugh and cry with them despite the carnage
they leave in their wake. We hope they get away from the police officers
who are only trying to end Bonnie and Clyde's violent rampage and we're
sorry when Bonnie, Clyde, and the others soak up the inevitable lead.
"The Untouchables" it ain't...
Still, Bonnie and
Clyde's a fine film and well worth viewing in its DVD incarnation.
include the usual chapter stops, theatrical trailer, and there are some
interesting production notes (though not many) and cast/crew bios. Liner
notes are virtually non existent, unfortunately.
We really like Warners'
use of Dolby Digital mono. Some monaural films are given a two channel
Dolby Digital treatment, with no center channel signal, which gives you
only a "ghost image" in the middle of your home theater. This
means that, depending upon your room and A/V setup, sounds may not be
localized at the screen, which can be disconcerting.
While a remastered,
remixed stereo and/or surround soundtrack can sometimes be a nice enhancement,
Warners has chosen to give us the original sound the way the director
It's kind of like
"letterboxing," where a movie is released on video in the widescreen
aspect ratio of its original theatrical incarnation. With letterboxing
you lose the use of part of your TV screen (in this case the top and bottom)
but you gain the enjoyment of the movie the way it was meant to be seen.
Likewise, with the Dolby Digital mono soundtrack, you lose all but one
of your audio channels, but gain the accurate reproduction of the movie,
with sounds placed where they should be. Sure it's mono, but it still
sounds good, and without any gadgets or gimmicks.
We hope to see more
Bonnie and Clyde,
from Warner Home Video
112 minutes, Widescreen (1.85:1)/Pan and Scan, Dolby Digital Mono
Starring Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman, Michael J. Pollard,
Produced by Warren Beatty, Written by David Newman Robert Benton
Directed by Arthur Penn
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