From Real to Reel


Cast of charactors
Warner Bros. Movie

Production Company       Tatira-Hiller
Producer                 Warren Beatty
Director                 Arthur Penn
Screenwriter             David Newman
                         Robert Benton

Warren Beatty            Clyde Barrow
Faye Dunaway             Bonnie Parker
Michael J. Pollard       C. W. Moss
Gene Hackman             Buck Barrow
Estelle Parsons          Blanche  
Denver Pyle              Frank Hamer
Dub Taylor               Ivan Moss
Evans Evans              Velma Davis 
Gene Wilder              Eugene Grizzard
Clyde Howdy              Deputy
Ken Mayer                Sheriff Smoot

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.

Faye Dunaway's contract had stipulated that she shall not be called upon to smoke,
consume or otherwise inhale more than three cigars per day while working in her role.

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?"

During a time of disagreement between Warren Beatty and Jack L. Warner, Mr. Warner
pointed towards the WB water tower outside the window, to prove his position with
the studio and asked Mr. Beatty "Who's name do you think is on that tower out there?"
Warren Beatty exclaimed "Actually, those are my initials, J.L." 

In 1990 Warren Beatty directed "Dick Tracy" in which he played the role of Detective Tracy.
You might have noticed that he brought in a couple of his old friends from "Bonnie and Clyde."
Estelle Parsons was Mrs. Trueheart and Michael J. Pollard played the character "Bug Bailey" 

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 and Jack Nicholson were both considered for the role of
C.W. Moss. It was a no go, but they later starred in 1969's "Easy Rider"

Cher (Bono) auditioned for the role of Bonnie Parker.

Boney Parker?
She looked dang good to me, before!

Just coming off the movie "Hurry Sundown," Faye was considered too overweight for the part of
Bonnie. Leading up to the deadline, she starved herself, had worn workout weights and reputedly
popped diet pills in order to lose some 25 pounds, which she did and ended up getting the part.

above still (left) "Hurry Sundown" and WB "Bonnie and Clyde"(right)

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.

Faye Dunaway did her own make-up, however make-up man Bob Jiras stood by anyway.

above still (behind the scenes) WB "Bonnie and Clyde"

Then Irving High School student, Travis Lemmond doubled for Michael J. Pollard.
Travis Lemmond, seen on left in photo below as he appeared in his 1968 yearbook.

His father, Charles Lemmond was a transportation worker who made arrangments for
stars and equipment used in films being shot in the area. At the age of 10, Travis starred in
the 1960 movie "My Dog, Buddy," about a boy and his pet, separated after an auto accident.

"My Dog, Buddy" Columbia Pictures movie still

"My Dog, Buddy" Poster

"My Dog, Buddy" Lobby Card

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 (Lemon 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.

Clyde Barrow and Bob Dylan

Comparison image above was made from the original photos seen below.

Music icon Bob Dylan was 25 years old in 1966. Early on Beatty had considered Dylan for
the part of Clyde Barrow in the Warner Bros. movie. Judging from the uncanny likeness in
the photos below, it's not hard to see why the 5'6" youth was being considered for the part!

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".

Evans Evans in later years

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.

Rose Stivers "Rose's Bluebonnet Sandwich Shop"

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.

Stills from Warner Bros. movie "Bonnie and Clyde"

Created for Faye Dunaway by make-up man Emile LaVigne
Above photo shows one of the special effects "skin pulls" that were used on Faye Dunaway for her bullet-wound death scene.

Movie techs had tied one of Faye Dunaway's legs to the gear shift of the car during
the ambush scene to keep her from actually falling out of the car as her body went limp
and hung suspended outside of the car following Bonnie's death.

Be careful. You'll shoot your eye out!

Above stills from Warner Bros. movie "Bonnie and Clyde"

In the failed bank robbery scene, where Clyde discovered that the bank was closed and
had no money, he became irritated and forced the bank teller to go out to car and explain
the situation to Bonnie. Upon seeing Bonnie laughing hysterically, Clyde becomes incenced
and climbs into his car, aims his gun at the bank's plate glass window and commences to shoot
the heck out of it. Special effects men Howard Jensen and Danny Lee were responsible for
the effect of shattering the window, by using special gimmicks. They used a contraption that
fired 3/8" ball bearings at the window by way of CO2. The gadget consisted of four small pipes,
containing ball bearings. They would stand by and trigger an electrical current to the device,
opening the valves, which in turn sprayed the ball bearings towards the window, shattering it.
While watching the scene, it appears that it is Clyde, shooting out the window with his gun.
Not everything works right on the first try. For this reason the effects crew had over a dozen
of these windows on hand in case they had to do retakes before getting the scene just right.

Mabel Bruce Cavitt
Red Oak Cemetery

The Warner Bros scene which showed the family gathering, had been filmed in Red Oak, Texas, 7 miles southwest of Seagoville,
in a gravel pit which was lined with deep sand. Mabel Cavitt, a local resident and school teacher was standing off to the side,
as a spectator, where she was spotted by Penn to play the part of Bonnie's elderly mother, because she had the "hard life" look
that Penn thought the real Mrs. Parker carried. Mabel earned $100 a day, which came to $225 a day, with overtime for two
days of filming which took place in October. Her son was born in 1934, the same year that Bonnie and Clyde were killed.

Stills from Warner Bros. movie "Bonnie and Clyde"

1930s Cavitt family photo of Stanley Edward and Mabel Bruce Cavitt with son.

Stanley Bruce Cavitt Ph.D.
Mabel Cavitt's son in group photo below.

Stanley Bruce Cavitt's 1948 Red Oak School photo below.

What you may not know about Mabel Cavitt's son, is that he majored in Chemistry at the University
of Texas in Austin, where he had lived in later life. In 1958 he was the teacher's assistant at the
University. He went onto become a patented inventor and authored at least one book on chemistry.

As a Graduate of the University of Texas 1960

Morgan Woodward who portrayed "Boss Godfrey" in the movie "Cool Hand Luke"
was originally slated to play Frank Hamer. The part played by Denver Pyle.


"Deep Night"
Music by Charles Henderson
Lyrics by Rudy Vallee
Performed by Rudy Vallee
(heard over the opening credits)

The original script had Michael J. Pollard's character, C.W., as this football
player who was to be a sexual partner to both Bonnie and Clyde. Beatty said
"I'm not playing a homosexual", but Arthur Penn thought that Clyde should have
some sexual dysfunction, so they came up with him being impotent.

It took the movie makers five hours of hunting around the cemetery in West Dallas
to find Clyde and Buck's graves in "this huge garbage dump with bramble bushes
and beer cans". Finally, they found the joint headstone, which read
"Gone but Not Forgotten."

Indoor scenes for "Bonnie and Clyde" had been shot at a 5,000 square foot,
air conditioned sound stage in Dallas. It was Stage 2 at 5642 Dyer Street owned
by Bill Stokes Associates, Inc., a Dallas firm which provides facilities and
equiptment for filming. Extensive bedroom sets were constructed on Stage 2 for
scenes in the many tourist and rooming houses visited by Bonnie and Clyde on
their crime spree in the 1930s. 

Bedroom scene (Warner Bros. still) filmed at Stage 2

A little known fact about the movie. Several of the movie's scenes were shot in
the small town of Crandall. Crandall is a city located in Kaufman County, Texas
about 23 miles from Dallas on Hwy 175. 

The specific scenes were:
1) when the father of CW Moss is talking to Hamer in
the ice cream shop
2) the location where Bonnie and Clyde stole the
undertaker's car

3) the location at the end of the movie showing
Arcadia LA was actually downtown Crandall.

anonymous contributor

Filmed out at Lemmon Lake is this still from Warner Bros. movie "Bonnie and Clyde"
In 1968 Hamer's widow and son, Frank Jr. sued the producers of the movie
for their portrayal of Frank Hamer, for defamation of character and were
awarded an out of court settlement in 1971. 

Check out the Nick Guzan contribution
"Firearms used in the Bonnie and Clyde Film"

"Actors seen in the 1967 Bonnie and Clyde movie"


Behind the scenes shots from Warner Bros. movie "Bonnie and Clyde"