“The casting for Bonnie and Clyde was an interesting and inspired one…”

A shaven Emile Hirsch and the lovely Holliday Grainger star in this TV adaptation of Bonnie and Clyde, the infamous duo who, during the depression, robbed and killed their way to fame and ultimately death, when the car they were driving was riddled with bullets fired from ambush by a task-force led by Frank Hamer, set up to put a stop to their two-year spree.

The casting for Bonnie and Clyde was an interesting and inspired one that really helped sell this three-hour long, two-part story. Playing Bonnie Parker with a flawless American accent was the gorgeous British actress Holliday Grainger, who is perhaps best known from her role in The Bourgeois.

Bonnie and Clyde
Directed by
Bruce Beresford
Holliday Grainger, Emile Hirsch, William Hurt, Holly Hunter
Release Date
9/10 December 2013
Ed’s Grade: B+

I found her Bonnie Parker most appealing but more so, very convincing as the gun-toting outlaw. Grainger managed this role extremely well, as Parker would turn on the charm one minute, then become cold and hard the next. During the first part of Bonnie and Clyde, when Parker was convincing the jury of her innocence in the robberies was amusing, and then the scene near the end of part two, when she shoots the cop in the head and was one that highlights her cold side. A splendid performance indeed.

Playing Clyde Barrow was Emile Hirsch, who hasn’t done any TV work in quite some time. He really needs no introduction and is best known for playing the lovesick Matthew Kidman from The Girl Next Door. Since then Hirsch has taken on more dramatically challenging roles and has never put a foot wrong. He also played Barrow expectedly well but never really got a chance to showcase his considerable talents. In this version of Bonnie and Clyde, Barrow appeared to have a sixth sense, as witnessed during a raid on a speakeasy he and Bonnie were at while on their first date.

William Hurt played Frank Hamer, an ex-lawman brought out of retirement due to his proven track record of always getting his man. For me, Hurt’s best scene came right at the end after the pair were gunned down. He goes over to the bullet-riddled car and looks in at the bloodied couple with a look on his face that spoke volumes. Hurt is a brilliant and underrated actor who, for all he didn’t have a large role in this TV effort, played the lawman perfectly.

Holly Hunter was Mrs. Parker, mother of Bonnie, and again, performed the part well. I haven’t managed to catch anything Hunter’s been in since her standout role in Thirteen, other than hearing her voice in The Incredibles. Playing reporter P.J. Lane (known as P.J. to hide the fact she was a female reporter), who wrote about the duo throughout their two-year reign was Twilight‘s Elizabeth Reaser. Hamer blamed the reporter for romanticizing the couple instead of condemning them. There’s a scene at the close when a press conference is given, where Lane demands to know from Hamer if it was right to kill the couple in cold blood without giving them a warning. He replies, “I’m afraid we gave Bonnie and Clyde exactly what they wanted.”

Bonnie and Clyde was a great way to pass a few hours and if you haven’t seen it yet, I recommend you do. It may have been historically inaccurate but it was most certainly entertaining.

TV Review by Ed Blackadder, Lead Entertainment Writer

Image Courtesy of A&E