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Two-Disc Special Edition
MPAA Rating: R (Violence)
Running Time: 111 Minutes
Starring: Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Michael J. Pollard, Gene Hackman, Estelle Parsons
Written by: David Newman & Robert Benton
Directed by: Arthur Penn
Retail Price: $29.99
Features: Revolution! The Making of Bonnie and Clyde, Love and Death: The Story of Bonnie and Clyde, Warren Beatty Wardrobe Tests, Deleted Scenes, Theatrical Trailers
Specs: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Mono, English Subtitles, French Subtitles, Korean Subtitles, Scene Selection (35 Scenes)
Released: March 25th, 2008
"Bonnie and Clyde" is presented in a matted anamorphic widescreen transfer of 1.85:1. While the transfer isn't perfect, it still looks pretty good and much sharper than I ancitipated. Fleshtones hit their marks, black levels are remarkably strong and detail is quite excellent. Color saturation is also pretty solid, especially those shots of the open road - with the trees, grass and farmland in all their glory. Unfortunately, there are some distracting elements to the transfer. A decent amount of blemishes and dirt pieces pop up, some scenes look a bit too grainy and wishy-washy, and there's an excess of edge halos and noise (but at least there is not any edge enhancement). Still, the film is over 40 years old and it really has cleaned up nicely for the most part. For this to be a perfect transfer is unrealistic, but fans of the film should be quite pleased overall.
Also included are subtitles in English, French and Korean.
The bulk of the package rests on disc number two. Made specifically for this release is Revolution! The Making of Bonnie and Clyde. The three-part documentary (conveniently divided into 22 minute chunks, as if being aired for TV) covers all the bases: how Benton and Newman came about writing the script, who they originally offered the director's chair too, casting the film's production, what liberties Hollywood took with the real Bonnie and Clyde, the movie's sexuality and its eventual release and the debate it spawned. A lot of the key players are interviewed: screenwriter Robert Benton, producer and star Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman, Morgan Fairchild (Faye Dunaway's double), actor Michael J. Pollard, consultant Robert Towne, director Arthur Penn, film editor Dede Allen, filmmaker Curtis Hanson (who photographed Faye Dunaway), press agent Dick Guttman, the costume designer and a few more. There is certainly a lot discussion and anecdotes, especially when it comes to the filmmakers' passion for the material. Stills are peppered in too, as well as film clips. It's an excellent watch for all film buffs that's quite fascinating, but what a shame that it's in non-anamorphic widescreen.
A nice inclusion is Love and Death: The Story of Bonnie and Clyde. Originally broadcasted on The History Channel in 1994, this piece focuses on the real outlaws that inspired the movie - and thus helps put the film in a more historical context. This is a very detailed account, and naturally, there's a lot of Bonnie and Clyde's story that didn't make it into the movie. Plenty of photographs and some film footage help tell the story of the real couple, as well as interviews with authors, relatives and historians. It runs 43 minutes, and is a great watch for those who want a little more information about the very real history of the two criminals.
Also included are Warren Beatty Wardrobe Tests, set to some music. It's pretty fun to watch, as Beatty gets all decked out in costumes and mugs for the camera. The condition of the footage is more than exceptional, considering these were filmed in 1966.
Rounding out the set are two Deleted Scenes ("The Road To Mineola" and "Outlaws"). Unfortunately, the audio elements could not be founded so it's just the film footage itself. However, you can click on the subtitles (English or Korean) to read the dialogue for these scenes from the original shooting script. It's a shame the audio is lost, but the scenes themselves are in top-notch condition. I don't think the moments add up to much in the context of the film, but they are still worth watching nonetheless. Besides, they only last about 5 minutes in total.
"Bonnie and Clyde" is a true masterpiece, that still holds up incredibly well four decades after its debut. It's great that Warner has finally re-released this classic with a decent load of supplements, not to mention they have done a fine remastering job in the audio and video departments. Whether you own the original release or not, the obvious must be said: it's must-own title for any film lover's library.