Monday, August 1, 2011

When It Rains It Pours-- Bonnie & Clyde Movies That is

With thanks to Russ-- an interesting new development on the Bonnie & Clyde movie front.

However, the source book for this newly reported Burger and Sheldon effort is less than impressive-- at least to me. It looks like I'll need to re-sharpen the skewers once again, for yet another round of Jeff Guinn "historical" comment concerning this newly proposed film. According to this media account, should this additional Bonnie & Clyde movie be made-- it will key on the hype and sensationalism Jeff Guinn brought to bear (without historical basis)-- which seemed aimed at spurring on his book sales. It appears this portrayal, will include a telling of Bonnie's alleged foray into the world of Prostitution-- a claim Guinn has espoused, but can't back with any credibility. To view the damage Guinn has inflicted on Bonnie's reputation-- one only needs to Google the phrase Bonnie Parker Prostitute, to reveal how Guinn's handy work has maligned her.

Whether it be within the realms of politics or film-- as the truth doesn't seem important anymore, it appears this new Bonnie & Clyde movie will look to capitalize on today's successful formula-- of separating people from their $$ via the sensational. My take is-- the "true" story of Bonnie & Clyde if told correctly, is more interesting and poignant than any film portrayal to date. Based on Tonya Holly's passion and dedication to the truth concerning Bonnie & Clyde, it's my belief-- her portrayal will become the standard by which other are judged.

I've been in touch with Tonya, who says she's aware of this alternative Bonnie & Clyde movie effort. Last I've heard, Tonya's moving ahead with The Story of Bonnie & Clyde regardless of likened competitors. I as many-- feel Tonya will provide the saga of Bonnie & Clyde the historical truth these iconic outlaws deserve. I have no such illusion, concerning any effort which relies on Guinn's fantasy-laced interpretation of Bonnie & Clyde. Guinn, who's a "hired gun" contract writer anyway-- has moved on to topics unrelated to the history of Bonnie & Clyde, thus proving his lack of sustained interest in this history. In hearing of his association with this latest Bonnie & Clyde movie effort-- I can't say I'm disappointed.


BarefootOkieGal said...

I surely would love to see a REALISTIC Bonnie and Clyde movie come out! (I'm still eagerly awaiting a new "Grapes of Wrath" movie that stays true to Steinbeck's ending, though.) I believe that the story of Clyde and Bonnie, even without any embellishments such as prostitution or homosexuality or promiscuity, is interesting enough, but unfortunately, Hollywood seems to need to add something extra to every purportedly "based on real life" movie that it puts out. Although I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Johnny Cash fan, I didn't much care for "Man in Black," as I felt it took too much of his conflict (which was mainly a fight between his belief in God and his enjoyment of being a little too human) and made it more of a father-son squabble. I'd love to see a good B&C movie, but I sure don't want to see just another movie full of gimmicks set to attract the interest of people who don't really CARE for the plain, unvarnished truth.

Falcon66 said...

Well said, that the truth doesn't seem to matter any more. Historically though, Hollywood seldom makes truth-based, unbiased bios of criminals. Perhaps the fact that "bad guys" are naturally villified makes them easier targets of lies and half-truths. Degrading the criminal also makes the job easier for the author, both in defining the character and in developing conflict in the storyline.

I hope there's movement forward on Ms. Holly's production soon, the news seems pretty stagnant lately. Her movie could indeed do a world of good in terms of setting the B&C record straight, given the power of movies to influence public perception of the truth.

I'm not sure if the Guinn-sourced production is going anywhere. His material doesn't really break any new ground; it's more of a collage of sleazy old rumors. Though it will probably die quietly, I wouldn't mind seeing it full of bullet holes on a desolate country road.

I've been lurking around here for some time; this is my first post. Thanks for your dedication to the truth of B&C legend, Mr. Woodward. Cheers!

A. Winston Woodward said...

"Welcome"-- and thanks very much for your comment Falcon66. As most are aware, I'm not a fan of Guinn's Bonnie & Clyde work. I know for a fact, he had a production assistant conduct at least a portion of the research for his book. I "called him" on a number of misstatements and untruths, which could have been more diligently investigated-- where the truth should have been realized by Jeff, should he have cared to know.

But when you're a contract author, I'm not sure the truth matters as it should-- and sensationalism sure does the trick to fill in the blanks and aid in book sales. It seems publishers these days are just fine with that.

And "sorry-- too busy out promoting my book to answer any more questions" seems a sorry excuse in which to sidestep scrutiny, for someone who's touted as a serious author. It seems I'm never quite done with Guinn-- but as he said to me, at least he's aware "it comes with the territory"

Tonya's Facebook comments, seem to intimate trouble behind the scenes for her movie-- something having to do with funding & backstabbing and the like. I'm sure with films aimed at the mass market, often selling part of your soul or deals with the devil in order to see your dreams become reality-- are not uncommon. That is-- unless you're independently wealthy, like some actors who morph into producers for their own films. I too am hoping for Tonya to hit pay dirt with her movie, to better promote the "truth" re: Bonnie & Clyde History. With fingers crossed-- I remain optimistic.

BarefootOkieGal said...

What really irks me is the fact that people will see a movie that is loosely based on real events and come out convinced that everything they just saw is true. If this movie comes out with Bonnie portrayed as a prostitute, then there will be a number of people who will be convinced that she was, indeed, a prostitute.

Sure, Bonnie wrote poetry about prostitution. She also wrote poetry about a coarse, hardened female criminal who was hell-bent on revenge. I don't think these poems are necessarily autobiographical, though. Bonnie strikes me as someone who had a lively imagination, and who had some writing talent and the time and inclination to write poetry. Why should anyone necessarily believe that her poetry is based on her life, necessarily? I'm sure she did know prostitutes - when she was a waitress she was well known for handing out free meals to people who were down-and-out, and it would not surprise me if she did not befriend a working girl or two. Bonnie was also a friendly, sociable person who loved to chit-chat, and I'm sure she could have gathered lots of information about the habits of prostitutes without ever having walked the streets herself.

Another thing that gets my goat is that when this purported movie is cast, chances are that they will NOT end up with actors who actually resemble Bonnie or Clyde; they'll cast a female lead who's taller than CLYDE ever was, and Clyde will be some big ol' guy who stands a head taller than the real Clyde and outweighs him by 50 lbs. or so.

I think that over in the Hideout it mentions something about Warren Beatty considering Bob Dylan to play the part of Clyde. You know - I think that would have worked! Compare some photos of Dylan circa 1968 with Clyde; I believe Dylan is roughly the same height as Clyde, as well - 5'7" or so. But then Faye Dunaway would have TOWERED over him...

Katy said...

Another first time poster here. I'm a bit of a B&C novice, so I've been enjoying reading old posts and learning.

Looks like Tonya's film has hit yet another detour with her Bonnie (Hilary Duff) announcing this week that she is pregnant. With all due congratulations to the parents-to-be, I let out a big "You've got to be kidding me!" sigh when I heard. Just a couple weeks ago there were hints dropped on the movie's Facebook page that production was finally going to resume in the near future. They haven't announced yet whether they will recast Bonnie or wait until Duff has the baby, but I think I was only 1 of 2 who expressed that a recast may be a good idea at this point if they were indeed ready to move forward prior to the baby news. There seems to be a lot of representation from Duff's fans who are pledging their support of the movie due to her involvement, so I would imagine that built-in audience may be hard to turn away from. To be honest, I've never liked the idea of her as Bonnie for a number of reasons, so I'm in favor of doing whatever it takes to finally get this show on the road- assuming everything else is in place.

On the subject of upcoming B&C productions, any thoughts on the new Bonnie & Clyde musical that's headed to Broadway later this year? I don't expect it will be much on historical accuracy, but otherwise I've heard good things about it. .

A. Winston Woodward said...

Hello Katy-- and "welcome" to The B&CHB. Thanks for your comment. I'm all for Bonnie & Clyde productions. I'd like to see them be accurate, but my expectations are realistic concerning that likelihood in every case.

I would support Duff completing her role as Bonnie, if that's at all possible-- "and" The Story of Bonnie & Clyde ever gets off the ground. She's from Houston, and as such possesses a genuine Texas drawl-- along with a built in fan base which Tonya's movie I think desperately needs for funding. Funding has seemed the great hurdle-- and not made easier in any small part, by the poor economy we find ourselves in.

In my opinion, the actress who portrayed Bonnie in the Sean Hughes production (unfortunately never completed)-- was the most realistic looking Bonnie I've seen in any film adaptation of this History. However with all respect, I'm sure she would be too old now to make that role work again. Others like Dixie Lee Sedgwick who's a friend, I don't think would mind my addressing the same concern-- when it comes to her remarkable work as Bonnie over the years. If only Tonya's movie was at this stage in 2005. But you know what-- Dixie's in great shape, and is one of those people who'll likely always look younger than her years. Some are just blessed in that way.

I suppose we'll have to see regarding Hilary Duff. Many have criticized her being cast as Bonnie. I have not. Please feel free to comment anytime.

BarefootOkieGal said...

I do hope that the movie sticks to the actual look and feel of the 1920's... I'd LOVE to see whoever is portraying Bonnie wearing clothes that Bonnie might actually have worn! The 60's movie was too full of 60's sensibilities, IMHO...

A. Winston Woodward said...

I've heard it said movies aren't really supposed to be historically accurate-- that literary license in the writing of screenplays, is more the norm than the exception. Some however, "have" attempted to tell true stories and succeeded magnificently.

Tombstone is far and away, my favorite Western. Please take time to view the YouTube clips concerning the making of Tombstone-- and the lengths everyone associated with this iconic film, went to in portraying this story as accurately as possible.

This is great stuff- and the tact I'd like to see taken as well with any upcoming Bonnie & Clyde efforts. The true story of Bonnie & Clyde, would make a better and more compelling movie-- than has been made of them before. An historically accurate Bonnie & Clyde-- would be a wonderful thing!!

BarefootOkieGal said...

I agree with you, Winston - I, too, feel that Bonnie and Clyde's story stands on its own without any need for embellishment. It's got everything needed for great drama!

I would like to see a movie that portrayed more of the hardships that Bonnie and Clyde endured. I would like to see the full extent of Bonnie's burn injuries taken into account. So many people don't realize that she was very badly crippled and that she never was able to properly walk again, and yet the other movie ignored that completely. I would also like to see more of the aftermath of their various gun battles - they were wounded often, and had to treat these wounds as well as they could under their horrible circumstances. I think the movie should try to show that the live Bonnie and Clyde lived was NOT a glamorous one, but rather a life of running, hiding, sneaking visits to their loved ones, sleeping in the car, eating cold food...

The movie I have in mind is not necessarily a "fun" movie - because I don't believe that Bonnie and Clyde led a "fun" life!!! I'm thinking of something a lot more gritty and true-to-life.

I'm trying to think of a line that would compare to "...we rob banks." I mean, "...we rob gas stations and little grocery stores..." just doesn't have the same ring to it!