Pauline Kael’s mini-review of Bonnie and Clyde:
A landmark movie, this account of the lines of the 30s outlaws Bonnie Parker (Faye Dunaway) and Clyde Barrow (Warren Beatty) keeps the audience in a state of eager, nervous imbalance; it holds our attention by throwing our disbelief back in our faces. In a sense it’s the absence of sadism — it is the violence without sadism — that throws the audience off balance. The brutality that comes out of the innocent “just-folks” Barrow-family gang is far more shocking than the calculated brutalities of mean killers. And there is a kind of American poetry in a stickup gang seen chasing across the bedraggled backdrop of the Depression — as if crime were the only activiity in a country stupefied by poverty.
The first film to use slo-mo during a violent scene. Now we are so used to seeing the action slowed down during violent scenes that we forget that that device came from somewhere. It came from this movie – and is one of the reasons why the film was so controversial when it first opened. The slo-mo seemed to dwell on the violence, linger over it lovingly, stretch it out, elongate the scene … People were freaked out by it.