Bonnie Parker and Clyde Chestnut Barrow, the American criminal couple who traveled the Central United States with their gang during the Great Depression, are well-known for their bank robberies, although they preferred to rob small stores or rural funeral homes.
Their exploits captured the attention of the American press and its readership during what is occasionally referred to as the “public enemy era” between 1931 and 1934. They are believed to have murdered at least nine police officers and four civilians.
Numerous books and movies have been made about Bonnie Parker and Clyde and mystery fans are always curious to learn more about these figures. So in this guide we provide you with an overview of the most notable facts about Bonnie Parker’s life, and the books and movies featuring her story.
Movies And Series Featuring Bonnie Parker
The following is a list of some of the notable movies and documentaries featuring Bonnie Parker.
- The Bonnie Parker Story (1958)
- Bonnie And Clyde (1967) – Directed by Arthur Penn
- Bonnie and Clyde Italian Style (1983)
- Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow (1999) – TV Episode
- Bonnie and Clyde (2013) – short film
- American Experience: Bonnie & Clyde (2016) – PBS
- Bonnie & Clyde (2013) (TV Mini Series) aka “Bonnie and Clyde: Dead and Alive”
- The highwaymen (2019)
Bonnie And Clyde (1967) – Directed by Arthur Penn
An all time classic! Small-time crook Clyde Barrow (Warren Beatty) tries to steal a car and winds up with its owner’s daughter, dissatisfied small-town girl Bonnie Parker (Faye Dunaway).
Their crimes quickly spiral from petty theft to bank robbery, but tensions between the couple and the other members of their gang–hapless driver C.W. (Michael J. Pollard), Clyde’s suave older brother Buck (Gene Hackman) and Buck’s flibbertigibbet wife, Blanche (Estelle Parsons) –could destroy them all.
American Experience: Bonnie & Clyde
Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow embark on a two-year crime spree during the Great Depression and become known as the most famous criminal couple in U.S. history.
Bonnie & Clyde (2013) (TV Mini Series) aka “Bonnie and Clyde: Dead and Alive”
Based on the true story of Clyde Barrow, a charismatic convicted armed robber who sweeps Bonnie Parker, an impressionable, petite, small-town waitress, off her feet, and the two embark on one one of most infamous bank-robbing sprees in history.
Bonnie and Clyde Italian Style (1983)
Two stupid lowlifes are “forced” into a life of violent crime on the streets of Italy. What follows is a mocking takeoff of the American crime classic Bonnie and Clyde (1967).
Bonnie and Clyde (2013) – short film
A British spin on the story of two of America’s best known bank robbers, Bonnie and Clyde, a pair who captured the imaginations of a nation disillusioned by financial crisis. This is the story of a young couple embroiled in a life of burglary and murder until inevitably their dangerous lifestyle catches up with them.
The Bonnie Parker Story (1958)
In the 1930s, amoral blonde tommy-gun girl Bonnie Parker cut a swath of bodies across the South-West. Starting out on gas stations and bars with side-kick Guy Darrow she graduated to bank hold-ups with Darrow’s brother and, after bloodily springing him, her jailed husband. But there was never any doubt who was in charge.
Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow (1999) – TV Episode
This is an episode from “Great Romances of the 20th Century”. The Dust Bowl bandits whose blood-splattered spree of robbery and murder became a Depression legend and the basis for Arthur Penn’s Oscar-winning movie.
The highwaymen (2019)
Featuring Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson. Former Texas Rangers Frank Hamer and Maney Gault come out of retirement and join forces to try and apprehend notorious outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.
Free Biography Films About Bonnie Parker
Bonnie & Clyde: Love & Death | Full Documentary | Biography Channel
The following 44-minute “Biography” channel episode provides a fresh look at the bank robbers, killers, and lovers. Their uncanny ability to escape police and Bonnie’s poetry, published in newspapers, made them popular anti-heroes. Features interviews with Marie Barrow, Clyde’s sister, and experts on their lives.
BBC Timewatch – The Real Bonnie and Clyde
This documentary is a 57-minute overview of Bonnie Parker and Clyde story.
Books Featuring Bonnie Parker
The following is a list of the most notable books featuring Bonnie Parker story.
- Bonnie and Clyde: The Making of a Legend
- The Family Story of Bonnie and Clyde
- Bonnie and Clyde: The Lives Behind the Legend
- Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde
- Running With Bonnie and Clyde: The Ten Fast Years of Ralph Fults
- My Life with Bonnie and Clyde
Bonnie and Clyde: The Making of a Legend
Bonnie and Clyde: we’ve been on a first name basis with them for almost a hundred years. Immortalized in movies, songs, and pop culture references, they are remembered mostly for their storied romance and tragic deaths. But what was life really like for Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker in the early 1930s? How did two dirt-poor teens from west Texas morph from vicious outlaws to legendary couple? And why?
Award-winning author Karen Blumenthal devoted months to tracing the footsteps of Bonnie and Clyde, unearthing new information and debunking many persistent myths. The result is an impeccably researched, breathtaking nonfiction tale of love, car chases, kidnappings, and murder set against the backdrop of the Great Depression.
The Family Story of Bonnie and Clyde
Perhaps the most infamous couple in the history of the United States, Bonnie and Clyde have become a part of American folklore, yet their true story-their family story-has remained elusive . . . until now.
In the 1930s, the Great Depression cast a dark cloud on America’s economy and created an atmosphere of poverty and despair, which transformed many everyday people into criminals. Arising from such circumstances, Bonnie and Clyde, along with fellow outlaws Raymond Hamilton and Ralph Fultz, formed the Barrow Gang that robbed and ran throughout the state of Texas.
Marie Barrow Scoma, Clyde Barrow’s youngest sister, felt that no book, film, article, or video told the Barrow Gang story completely or accurately.
Collaborating with Phillip Steele to tell the truth, she offered not only her personal insight, but also previously unpublished photographs and her mother’s diary, which had never before been seen by anyone outside of the Barrow family. The result is a revelatory reminiscence that sheds dramatic new light on Bonnie and Clyde’s exploits.
Bonnie and Clyde: The Lives Behind the Legend
The flesh-and-blood story of the outlaw lovers who robbed banks and shot their way across Depression-era America, based on extensive archival research, declassified FBI documents, and interviews
The daring movie revolutionized Hollywood—now the true story of Bonnie and Clyde is told in the lovers’ own voices, with verisimilitude and drama to match Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood.
Strictly nonfiction—no dialogue or other material has been made up—and set in the dirt-poor Texas landscape that spawned the star-crossed outlaws, Paul Schneider’s brilliantly researched and dramatically crafted tale begins with a daring jailbreak and ends with an ambush and shoot-out that consigns their bullet-riddled bodies to the crumpled front seat of a hopped-up getaway car.
Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow’s relationship was, at the core, a toxic combination of infatuation blended with an instinct for going too far too fast. The poetry-writing petite Bonnie and her gun-crazy lover drove lawmen wild. Despite their best efforts the duo kept up their exploits, slipping the noose every single, damned time.
That is until the weight of their infamy in four states caught up with them in the famous ambush that literally blasted away their years of live-action rampage in seconds. Without glamorizing the killers or vilifying the cops, the book, alive with action and high-level entertainment, provides a complete picture of America’s most famous outlaw couple and the culture that created them.
Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde
Forget everything you think you know about Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker—previous books and films, including the brilliant 1967 movie starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, have emphasized the supposed glamour of America’s most notorious criminal couple, thus contributing to ongoing mythology. The real story is completely different—and far more fascinating.
In Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde, bestselling author Jeff Guinn combines exhaustive research with surprising, newly discovered material to tell the real tale of two kids from a filthy Dallas slum who fell in love and then willingly traded their lives for a brief interlude of excitement and, more important, fame.
Their timing could not have been better—the Barrow Gang pulled its first heist in 1932 when most Americans, reeling from the Great Depression, were desperate for escapist entertainment. Thanks to newsreels, true crime magazines, and new-fangled wire services that transmitted scandalous photos of Bonnie smoking a cigar to every newspaper in the nation, the Barrow Gang members almost instantly became household names on a par with Charles Lindbergh, Jack Dempsey, and Babe Ruth. In the minds of the public, they were cool, calculating bandits who robbed banks and killed cops with equal impunity.
Nothing could have been further from the truth. Clyde and Bonnie were perhaps the most inept crooks ever, and their two-year crime spree was as much a reign of error as it was of terror. Lacking the sophistication to plot robberies of big-city banks, the Barrow Gang preyed mostly on small mom-and-pop groceries and service stations. Even at that, they often came up empty-handed and were reduced to breaking into gum machines for meal money.
Both were crippled, Clyde from cutting off two of his toes while in prison and Bonnie from a terrible car crash caused by Clyde’s reckless driving. Constantly on the run from the law, they lived like animals, camping out in their latest stolen car, bathing in creeks, and dining on cans of cold beans and Vienna sausages. Yet theirs was a genuine love story. Their devotion to each other was as real as their overblown reputation as criminal masterminds was not.
Go Down Together has it all—true romance, rebellion against authority, bullets flying, cars crashing, and, in the end, a dramatic death at the hands of a celebrity lawman hired to hunt them down. Thanks in great part to surviving Barrow and Parker family members and collectors of criminal memorabilia who provided Jeff Guinn with access to never-before-published material, we finally have the real story of Bonnie and Clyde and their troubled times, delivered with cinematic sweep and unprecedented insight by a masterful storyteller.
Running With Bonnie and Clyde: The Ten Fast Years of Ralph Fults
One of the most sought-after criminals of the Depression era, Ralph Fults began his career of crime at the improbable age of fourteen. At nineteen he met Clyde Barrow in a Texas prison, and the two men together founded what would later be known as the Barrow gang. Running with Bonnie and Clyde is the story of Fults’s experiences in the Texas criminal underworld between the years 1925 and 1935 and the gripping account of his involvement with the Barrow gang, particularly its notorious duo, Bonnie and Clyde.
Fults’s “ten fast years” were both dramatic and violent. As an adolescent he escaped numerous juvenile institutions and jails, was shot by an Oklahoma police officer, and was brutalized by prison guards. With Clyde, following their fateful meeting in 1930, he robbed a bank to finance a prison raid.
After the ambush of Bonnie and Clyde, in 1934, he joined forces with Raymond Hamilton; together the two robbed more banks and eluded countless posses before Hamilton’s capture and 1935 execution. One of the few survivors among numerous associates who ended up shot, stabbed, beaten to death, or executed, Fults was later able to reform himself, believing that the only reason he was spared was to reveal the darkest aspects of his past-and in so doing expose the circumstances that propel youth into crime.
Author John Neal Phillips tells Fults’s story in vivid and at times raw detail, recounting bank robberies, killings, and prison escapes, friendships, love affairs, and marriages. Dialogues based on actual conversations amongst the participants enhance the narrative’s authenticity. Whereas in books and mms, Fults, Parker, Barrow, and Hamilton have been romanticized or depicted as one-dimensional, depraved characters, Running with Bonnie and Clyde shows them as real people, products of social, political, and economic forces that directed them into a life of crime and bound them to it for eternity.
Although basing his account primarily on Fults’s testimony, Phillips substantiates that viewpoint with references to scores of eyewitness interviews, police files and court documents, and contemporary news accounts. An important contribution to criminal and social history, Running with Bonnie and Clyde will be fascinating reading for scholars and general readers alike.
Bonnie and Clyde were responsible for multiple murders and countless robberies. But they did not act alone. In 1933, during their infamous run from the law, Bonnie and Clyde were joined by Clyde’s brother Buck Barrow and his wife Blanche.
Of these four accomplices, only one—Blanche Caldwell Barrow—lived beyond early adulthood and only Blanche left behind a written account of their escapades. Edited by outlaw expert John Neal Phillips, Blanche’s previously unknown memoir is here available for the first time.
Blanche wrote her memoir between 1933 and 1939, while serving time at the Missouri State Penitentiary. Following her death, Blanche’s good friend and the executor of her will, Esther L. Weiser, found the memoir wrapped in a large unused Christmas card. Later she entrusted it to Phillips, who had interviewed Blanche several times before her death.
Drawing from these interviews, and from extensive research into Depression-era outlaw history, Phillips supplements the memoir with helpful notes and with biographical information about Blanche and her accomplices.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bonnie Parker
What follows is the answers to some of the frequently asked questions about Bonnie Parker and Clyde.
Why did Bonnie Parker become so Famous?
Bonnie Parker became a folk hero almost overnight. This was partially because of her image as a female criminal which was captivating for public and also the fact that the police described her as cigar-smoking, gun-slinging, and just as brutal as Clyde.
Did Bonnie Parker have a baby?
No, she didn’t have any children.
Did Bonnie Parker have a limp?
Yes. after having a car accident and some third-degree burns, Bonnie, like Clyde, walked with a limp for the rest of her life. At times, the pain was so severe that she needed Clyde to carry her.
Was Bonnie Parker a tall girl?
No, she a petite girl, standing at only 4’11” and weighing 90 pounds.
Can you visit Bonnie’s Grave?
Generally no. In terms of visiting Clyde’s grave though, in 2014, on Memorial Day weekend North Texans had the rare opportunity to visit Clyde Barrow’s final resting place.
Did Bonnie Parker have siblings?
Yes, Billie Parker.
Bonnie Parker: A Quick History
Bonnie Elizabeth Parker was born in 1910 in Rowena, Texas, the second of three children. Her father, Charles Robert Parker (1884–1914), was a bricklayer who died when Bonnie was four years old. Her widowed mother, Emma (Krause) Parker (1885–1944), moved her family back to her parents’ home in Cement City, an industrial suburb in West Dallas where she worked as a seamstress.
As an adult, Bonnie wrote poems such as “The Story of Suicide Sal” and “The Trail’s End”, the latter more commonly known as “The Story of Bonnie and Clyde”.
In her second year in high school, Parker met Roy Thornton (1908–1937). The couple dropped out of school and married on September 25, 1926, six days before her 16th birthday. Their marriage was marred by his frequent absences and brushes with the law, and it proved to be short lived.
They never divorced, but their paths never crossed again after January 1929. She was still wearing his wedding ring when she died. Thornton was in prison when he heard of her death. He commented, “I’m glad they jumped out like they did. It’s much better than being caught.” Sentenced to 5 years for robbery in 1933 and after attempting several prison breaks from other facilities, Thornton was killed while trying to escape from the Huntsville State Prison on October 3, 1937.
After the end of her marriage, Parker moved back in with her mother and worked as a waitress in Dallas. One of her regular customers was postal worker Ted Hinton. In 1932, he joined the Dallas Sheriff’s Department and eventually served as a member of the posse that killed Bonnie and Clyde. Parker briefly kept a diary early in 1929 when she was 18, writing of her loneliness, her impatience with life in Dallas, and her love of taking pictures.
Several accounts describe Parker and Barrow’s first meeting. The most credible states that they met on January 5, 1930, at the home of Barrow’s friend, Clarence Clay, at 105 Herbert Street in the neighborhood of West Dallas.
Barrow was 20 years old, and Parker was 19. Parker was out of work and staying with a female friend to assist her during her recovery from a broken arm. Barrow dropped by the girl’s house while Parker was in the kitchen making hot chocolate.
Both were smitten immediately; most historians believe that Parker joined Barrow because she had fallen in love with him. She remained his loyal companion as they carried out their many crimes and awaited the violent death that they viewed as inevitable.
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