The Bonnie Parker Story

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The Bonnie Parker Story
The top third of the poster contains large lettering, reading "The Bonnie Parker Story" and "Cigar Smoking Hellcat of the Roaring Thirties". Immediately below is an image of the head and arms of a woman firing a submachine gun. The woman appears to be in her 20s; she is blonde. The woman is smoking a cigar. She is firing the gun through a jagged hole in a glass window. Below the image is more text: "Starring - Dorothy Provine - Jack Hogan - Richard Bakalayan". In a smaller font near the bottom is the text: "Written and produced by Stan Shpetner - Directed by William Witney - A James H. Nicholson and Samuel Z. Arkoff Production".
Theatrical release poster by Reynold Brown
Directed by William Witney
Written by Stanley Shpetner
Starring Dorothy Provine
Jack Hogan
Richard Bakalyan
Music by Ronald Stein
Cinematography Jack A. Marta
Edited by Frank P. Keller
Release date
April 28, 1958
Running time
79 mins.
Country United States
Language English

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.[2]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.


Critical response[edit]

In her review of the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde, Pauline Kael dismissed The Bonnie Parker Story as "a cheap - in every sense - 1958 exploitation film."[3] 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."[4] 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."[5] 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."[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gary A. Smith, The American International Pictures Video Guide, McFarland 2009 p 31
  2. ^ The Bonnie Parker Story at AllMovie.
  3. ^ Kael, Pauline (2011). Schwartz, Sanford, ed. The Age of Movies: Selected Writings of Pauline Kael. Library of America. p. 297. ISBN 9781598531718.
  4. ^ Mastrangelo, Bob. "The Bonnie Parker Story (1958) - Review". allmovie.
  5. ^ Lyman, Rick (September 15, 2000). "Whoa, Trigger! Auteur Alert!". The Los Angeles Times.
  6. ^ Lemmon, Elaine (February 2006). "Riding the New Wave: The Case of Bonnie and Clyde". Senses of Cinema (38).

External links[edit]