Warren Beatty crawled on his hands and knees across the floor of Warner
Bros. mogul Benny Kalmenson's office, begging him for the money to make the
Screenwriters Robert Benton and David Newman collaborated for ten years
before writing Bonnie and Clyde, a film that was rejected by 20 directors
before it was turned into a movie classic by director Arthur Penn.
Benton and Newman worked on the script late at night while listening
to Flatt and Scruggs' recording of "Foggy Mountain Breakdown.
The Bonnie and Clyde movie was originally planned to be filmed in Black & White
In Jack Warner's memo on the "Bonnie and Clyde" script, he wrote,
"Who wants to see the rise and fall of a couple of rats?"
French director Francois Truffaut was originally slated to take on the task
of directing Bonnie and Clyde. It eventually fell into the hands of Arthur Penn.
Gene Wilder made his film debut in "Bonnie and Clyde" in his role as a hostage.
Dennis Hopper was considered for the part of C.W. Moss
Gene Hackman was considered to be cast as Mr. Brady in "The Brady Bunch".
The part of Mr. Brady ultimately went to Robert Reed.
Filming for "Bonnie and Clyde" began at 4:30 am daily, and took 10 weeks,
with only one day spoiled due to inclement weather.
Many locals who served as "extras" in the background were paid a hefty $12 a day.
The Dallas home of Lilean Burns at 1717 Caddo Street was shot up and trashed
by the "movie outlaws," but was later restored back to it's original condition.
The Joppa Preserve (Lemmon Lake) in Dallas County, which was once a rallying
point for blacks after the Civil War, was used for the Dexfield Park ambush
scene in which Clyde's brother Buck and sister-in-law Blanche were captured.
Over 30,000 blank rounds were used in the movie, with nearly 7,000 blanks
alone having been fired during the Dexfield Park ambush scene.
Six truants from a Dallas Reform School were used as deputized teens
in the reenacted Dexfield shoot-out scene. (In 1933, teens had been deputized
to bring firearms out for the battle against the real Barrow gang.)
Dub Taylor, the actor who played the father of CW Moss had gotten letters
after the movie, asking him why he set up Bonnie and Clyde to be ambushed.
One of the first independent female casting directors in Hollywood, Ann Palmer
also played the part of Bonnie's sister in the family gathering scene.
Evans Evans who played Bonnie and Clyde kidnap victim Velma Davis,
was married for over 40 years to the late John Frankenheimer who directed
Warren Beatty in "All Fall Down", Gene Hackman in "The French Connection II"
and "The Gypsy Moths", Faye Dunaway in "The Extraordinary Seaman" and
Estelle Parsons in "I Walk The Line".
While in the Dallas area during the filming of Bonnie and Clyde, Faye Dunaway
and Warren Beatty dined at "Rose's Bluebonnet Sandwich Shop" where Rose prepared
breakfast for the two stars. Rose's husband, James Stivers, now deceased, had
played the part of the butcher who was assulted during a robbery.
Producer Warren Beatty re-shot a bed scene with costar Faye Dunaway because
the original, lensed on location in Denton, Texas, was too sexy.
Gene Hackman was on the set one day when he noticed a guy standing behind
him and staring. The man said, "Hell, Buck would've never wore a hat like that."
Hackman turned around and looked at him and said, "Maybe not." He looked like
an old Texas farmer. The man introduced himself and said, "nice to meet you -
I'm one of the Barrows."
The real Blanche Barrow said: "That movie made me look like a screaming horse's ass."
Warren Beatty later directed the 1990 movie "Dick Tracy", once again donning his
30s Fedora in the role as Detective Dick Tracy, taking along his co-stars from the
Bonnie and Clyde movie days who played a part of that film. Michael J. Pollard
had played "Bugs Bailey" and Estelle Parsons had played Mrs. Trueheart.
Special effects technicians spent almost two weeks rigging the movie "death car"
for the bullet holes, splintered glass, smashed windows and exploding tires.
Warren Beatty squeezed a pear in his hand, as a "cue" to the effects crew to
fire off the squibs which were attached to his and Dunaway's bodies - which
made it appear that they were being riddled with bullets. He originally wanted
to squeeze a peach, which would have been juicier, but peaches were out of season,
so they injected the pear with water.