The Real Bonnie and Clyde

The Real Bonnie and ClydeHollywood portrayed them as the most glamorous outlaws in American history, but the reality of life on the run for Bonnie and Clyde was one of violence, hardship and danger.

With unprecedented access to gang members' memoirs, family archives and recently released police records, Timewatch takes an epic road trip through the heart of depression-era America, in search of the true story of Bonnie and Clyde.

Bonnie Elizabeth Parker and Clyde Chestnut Barrow were well-known outlaws, robbers, and criminals who traveled the Central United States with their gang during the Great Depression.

Their exploits captured the attention of the American public during the public enemy era between 1931 and 1934.

Though known today for his dozen-or-so bank robberies, Barrow in fact preferred to rob small stores or rural gas stations.

The gang is believed to have killed at least nine police officers and committed several civilian murders.

The couple themselves were eventually ambushed and killed in Louisiana by law officers. Their reputation was cemented in American pop folklore by Arthur Penn's 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde.

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Ratings: 8.45/10 from 22 users.

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Comments and User Reviews

  • Guest

    pretty lookin' people. Nice.

  • PavolvsBitch

    Causative factors: Contrived and devastating depression by the wall st cabal and their jewish bankers plus the neatly timed prohibition which enabled the Jewish Mafia to develop the black market runs so useful in later decades for both arms, precious gems and of course, drugs. So heads, they win, tails they win and the hapless youngsters caught in the spin are brutalised and buggered in prison. No amount of effort was spared in the end to track these 'outlaws' down and yet, the perpetrators continued unhindered to circa 2008 crash and beyond.

  • PavolvsBitch

    and the moral of this story is that betrayal lays the supporting foundation of this criminal justice systems where there is justice only for the criminals. how the shooting dead of two enquiring cops could be described as 'callous' is not clear; given the history, both had been shot by posse members and both had been abused by the prison system. The cops wore the uniform; no callous intention other than survival. Busting the prison open was an act of merciful revenge and fully justified. How on Earth could they control us without betrayal?

    criticism lies with (as usual) context; within the context of those desperate and lawless revolutions, how did Bonnie and Clyde's crimes stack up? The object of the excercise was that the feds knew they were unstoppable and an inspiration to so many young disenfranchised and impoverished. Texas is run by the oily rags like Bush etc and no wonder they delight in the sadistic death penalty.

    And here we go again.

  • http://profiles.google.com/ok.book.guy Mark Brown

    The depression starting with the crash of 1929 was strictly due to intervention by the fed govt during Hoover and of course that dolt FDR. Read about the depression that started in 1921 when the fed govt did nothing to intervene and the market was allowed to correct on its own. The whole thing was over in less than 18 mos. And THAT's why you've never heard of it.

  • robertallen1

    If you are positing that the crash of 1929 was caused by intervention by the federal government, you are sadly mistaken. There were many causes for the depression and just about all of them were due to a market which was allowed to run wild.

  • robertallen1

    You need to read more history and not just try to wing it. Outside a narrow geographic area, hardly anyone had heard of Bonny and Clyde, John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd, Ma Barker, all small-time, mid-western hick gangsters until after J. Edgar Hoover's FBI publicity machine went to work after their untimely (or perhaps timely) demises.

  • gunk wretch

    just goes to show the prison system is no deterrent, just makes people want to fight the system more, I am sure Clyde learned a thing or two from other criminals there as well. Prisons are basically crime universities and give prisoners plenty of motivation to hate society.

  • robertallen1

    So what do you suggest we do about Richard Romero and Bernie Madoff? Lecture them?

  • TonyIII

    Did the "market " run wild because it was through the usual rich peoples's connection with the government or was the lack of regulation due to the rich people's not having connections with the politicians?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/IQRB7XHST3QULIK6UIAQWPBS7Q Anthony

    well said my friend.

  • tomregit

    @robertallen1
    So what do you suggest we do about Richard Romero and Bernie Madoff? Lecture them?

    Yes.......while using a twelve volt battery and and a couple of alligator clips. lecture cute.

    wah wah wah waahh. Not funny! Get off the stage!
    Sorry, I just watched the stand up comedy doc.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZJRXQ6RHS5QPRP3QX5HZDKRZLE Jeremy

    Someobody doesn't know their history, tsk tsk... Dude, the federal government allowed the crash to happen, you can talk all the crap you want, but the sad truth is history has already proven that US government interests not only LET the banks create the depression, they also helped keep it going by shrinking the money supply. Good try tho.

  • robertallen1

    And someone can't read. I wrote, "There were many causes for the depression . . . " Is there something about that that eludes your understanding? Well, let me explain, there were more than one. I hope you can comprehend that. Now, I'll try taking it to a higher plane: there was not enough regulation.

    To support your specific contention that the government allowed the crash to happen, you must provide sources. "History has also proven" shows you up as inadquate and intellectually feeble and your epithet "dude" displays your lack of intelligence and class.

    Post again when you have something intelligent, well-informed and coherent to offer, minus the epithets.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/C7UEKQKRQPSG7DEDB2DW6YVIOQ Don

    An excellent and informative account of these two tragic young people and although there is no excuse to kill for money my sympathy goes out to Bonnie and Clyde for the system put them on the path. Most people at that time lived in poverty accepted their lot in life but those who were not psychopaths or sociopaths that went out and took what they wanted just went for broke for the need to have something. I'm not saying that they were right but when you compare them to the moral attitude of the institutions that administrated the law and social welfare of our country and fostered a system that kept people down they were far more insidious in attitude by the a racist himself he was legally black for his birth certificate classified him as a Mulatto, our government served the interest of the wealthy and although the South lost the shooting war they won the policy war for with all the lynchings and racial injustice that was instituted in the hearts of most southern whites they had carte blanche to murder, rape and disrespect the law when it came to blacks. Where was the morality of the government down there? Bonnie and Clyde and all whites that were brutalize by the penal system were done so because they were poor .But they had a recourse to rebel against the system, how long do you think a black Bonnie and Clyde would have lasted? It took the poor southern white farmer after the Civil War to realize that he was no better off that the black and that it was not the black man holding him down but the same rich planation owners to whom president Johnson whom was a southern himself altered Lincoln's reconstruction plan and put the power right back into the land owners hands. When the poor whites saw that now they were "niggers" too they moved towards building unity among poor whites and blacks. When the land owning wealthy of the south saw this threaten their pockets the remedy to the problem was the KKK and the "up lifting message" to poor white southerners that although you maybe poor you are a damn lot better in God's eyes than a nigger and being uneducated and with the inheritance of low self esteem which is the by product of being uneducated and poor this boosted the ego of the low class whites and they got their first taste of superiority and did the bidding of the social elite who knew if they wanted to keep their wealth within the family they had to control the poor no matter what color they were and keeping the niggers down keep the poor whites in line because it gave them status. People can only take so much and to advance the stupidity of the puritanic morality of our government they passed Prohibition which created organized crime which J.Edgar Hoover who never recognized the Mafia as a reality in this country until he had no choice when a bunch of mafia leaders were caught at an illegal gathering in upper state New York in the 1950's. had to bow down and admit to what he already knew. Why then did this bulwark of morality and enforcer of the law and protector of the citizens then come out and recognize this evil? Because the Mafia play his game at how he got what he wanted in congress and the senate he had evidence of their decadence and perversion behind closed doors and the Mafia had pictures of his cross dressing homosexuality.
    Now do you think that Bonnie and Clyde were the worse of two evils ? When the rule of law favors the wealthy who commit a crime but know that justice is not about right and wrong but about how much you can spend to get your ass out of deep shit. Who is more guilty Bonnie and Clyde who reacted the only way they could to a system that made them mean or an establishment that would adorn a federal building with the name of a curd as J. Edgar Hoover?

  • observant

    Am I the only one in the world who noticed that at the very end Clyde is laid out for display as he died, fully clothed...... Bonnie on the other hand is fully nude...... obviously hastily and carelessly covered with a sheet for the photograph. Check it out at 55:21, Look under Bonnie's right arm and look under the tarp at Bonnie's midriff..... she is plainly nude. Leave it to hillbilly cops to mess it up like that. After all everyone knows that you rape a woman BEFORE you kill her, NOT AFTER! (cops were stupid even way back then)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001023876645 Faisal T Al-maiman

    I was one of those people who were taken by the love story of Bonnie and Clyde and have never thought of them as criminals in the first place. Their story was truly amazing. I felt so happy at the end where I saw them dead..

    amazing documentary.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=726118518 Timothy Urbach

    before after either way works

  • Thomas Edison

    She was in the morgue when that particular picture was taken cleaned up and ready for burial. However while in the morgue there is a photo where her right breast was exposed by one of the posse for no reason other than a sick mind and a lack of respect for the deceased.

  • J. Adam

    Just wondering why in one of the shoot-outs Clyde is shooting a Barretta M-9 semi-auto pistol? Couldn't the makers of this film at least have done the small amount of homework it would have taken to get some era-appropriate firearms?

  • stampece

    You have no idea what you're talking about.

  • Eric Lawson

    Thoroughly enjoyed this Doc Well done !!!

  • Vernon Kindred

    I only made it through the first 5 minutes. After hearing the voice promise that this documentary was going to tell the real story and proceeded to characterize Clyde as a "car thief" I knew this would be just another hogwash account. In the first place, Clyde was charged with car theft, but that is very misleading. He was employed at a glass factory in Dallas and had met Elanore Williams and was smitten. Eleanor's mother, my great, great aunt Katherine, was for some reason against the relationship, so she took Eleanore to Broadus, TX to visit family and get Eleanore away from Clyde. When Clyde found out where they went, he rented a car in Dallas with the intention of going to Broadus, which he did. Only trouble was the rental was for one week end only. Clyde stayed longer and a warrant for his arrest was issued in Dallas for car theft. Meanwhile, Clyde, 16 and in love, was staying in Broadus enjoying Eleanore's company. There were 2 photographs taken of that visit one of which I have a copy. Upon his return to Dallas, Clyde was arrested, but since he returned the car, the rental company dropped the charges. The significance of this event was that Clyde had now joined the Dallas police's "Usual Suspects" list. Now each time there was a crime with no red handed perp, Clyde would be hauled in along with the rest of the rogues gallery. It didn't take long before Clyde was fired from his job because he was being hauled in as many as 3 times a week as a suspect for crimes he had nothing to do with.