|The Bonnie Parker Story|
US film poster by Reynold Brown
|Directed by||William Witney|
|Produced by||Stanley Shpetner|
|Written by||Stanley Shpetner|
|Music by||Ronald Stein|
|Cinematography||Jack A. Marta|
|Edited by||Frank P. Keller|
|Distributed by||American International Pictures|
|April 28, 1958|
The Bonnie Parker Story is a 1958 crime film directed by William Witney. It is loosely based on the life of Bonnie Parker, a well-known outlaw of the 1930s. The film stars Dorothy Provine as Parker; Parker's actual historical partner, Clyde Barrow, is renamed Guy Darrow for the film's story, and played by Jack Hogan. The film was released by American International Pictures as a double feature with Machine Gun Kelly.
Diner waitress Bonnie Parker is just as tired of her job in 1932 Texas as she is of customers like Guy Darrow, who try too hard to make her acquaintance. When she goes too far, fending off Guy with hot oil, Bonnie is fired.
With her husband Duke Jefferson still in prison and no means of support, Bonnie teams up with Guy on a series of small holdups. She also kills a cop who's chasing them, which leads to Tom Steel of the Texas Rangers, a fictionalized version of Frank Hamer, being assigned to the case.
Guy's incarcerated cousin Chuck is paroled in late 1933, so Bonnie and the Darrows travel north to Missouri and Iowa for more robberies. Bonnie thinks it's time to stop thinking small and aim for banks instead of gas stations and such. She also decides the gang should bust Duke out of the pen.
Their daring breakout succeeds, but Chuck is shot. Now that her husband's in charge, the trio begins making some big scores and become America's most wanted criminals. But when a big scheme by Bonnie to rob an armored truck backfires, the guards locking themselves inside a vehicle that's bulletproof, things continue to go wrong when Guy accidentally kills Duke.
On the lam, Bonnie decides it's time to hide out in Louisiana, but it's only a matter of time before Steel and the Rangers find them. Bonnie and Guy go down in a hail of bullets.
- Dorothy Provine as Bonnie Parker
- Jack Hogan as Guy Darrow
- Richard Bakalyan as Duke Jefferson
- Joe Turkel as Chuck Darrow
- William Stevens as Paul Baxter
- Douglas Kennedy as Tom Steel
Recent critics have been more enthusiastic. Bob Mastrangelo wrote, "The Bonnie Parker Story is an obscure oddity that exists in the shadow of the far better known Bonnie and Clyde, but this little film is also able to stand on its own legs."
Quentin Tarantino considers the film's director, William Witney, to be a "lost master"; he's quoted as saying of this film that, "I was blown away. It was like, whoa, who made this? I have to see everything he ever did."
Elaine Lemmon wrote in Senses of Cinema that, "Other than the predictable final shoot-out, The Bonnie Parker Story bears no other resemblances to the later film, especially in terms of visual style, where it remains strictly in the B-movie tradition of American International Pictures, its production company. However, it is told and shot with verve, and is pleasingly lurid, with an appropriately vivacious characterisation by Dorothy Provine."
- "The Bonnie Parker Story (1958)". AFI. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
- Gary A. Smith, The American International Pictures Video Guide, McFarland 2009 p 31
- The Bonnie Parker Story at AllMovie.
- Kael, Pauline (2011). Schwartz, Sanford (ed.). The Age of Movies: Selected Writings of Pauline Kael. Library of America. p. 297. ISBN 9781598531718.
- Mastrangelo, Bob. "The Bonnie Parker Story (1958) - Review". allmovie.
- Lyman, Rick (September 15, 2000). "Whoa, Trigger! Auteur Alert!". The Los Angeles Times.
- Tarantino, Quentin (6 April 2020). "I Escaped from Devil's Island". The New Beverly Cinema.
- Lemmon, Elaine (February 2006). "Riding the New Wave: The Case of Bonnie and Clyde". Senses of Cinema (38).