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'Bonnie & Clyde' not Hollywoodized

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By Rich Heldenfels
Akron Beacon Journal
Published:
A new production of "Bonnie & Clyde" is really more about Bonnie, a Depression-era woman who in this interpretation takes to a life of crime in order to star in a production worthy of Hollywood.
It is a grubbier and grimmer take on the tale of the two desperadoes than the 1967 movie starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, and one that is harsher about its stars and more clear-eyed about their criminality.
Beginning before the couple starts their shooting spree, it depicts Clyde Barrow (Emile Hirsch, "Into the Wild") as a ne'er-do-well turned into a sullen low-life.
Bonnie Parker (Holliday Grainger, "The Borgias") is less murderous but no less eager to get out of her dreary life. In Clyde she not only sees romance but a chance for headlines and fame in an era when outlaws achieved both.
As the promos say, "He held the gun. She called the shots."
Of course, eventually they would both be shot -- ambushed by a crew led by aging Texas Ranger Frank Hamer, played here by William Hurt.
This production finds Hurt again sharing screen time with his "Broadcast News" co-star Holly Hunter, who plays Bonnie's mother.
Grainger is quite good as the grasping Bonnie, conveying not only her lack of a moral center but her astounding naivete. Fame is all that matters to Bonnie, no matter how many bodies it piles up.

Watch it
"Bonnie & Clyde" airs at 9 p.m. Sunday and Monday on A&E, History and Lifetime.
Story tags » Television

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