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The American crime film Bonnie and Clyde directed by Arthur Penn in 1967 is considered by majority of the viewers as a landmark film in the Hollywood epoch because it went against many cinematic taboos of the time by presenting violence and sex in its scenes. Although the gangster movie is dominated by a wave of gangster flicks coupled with romance, the technique of editing has played a key role in supporting the film’s narrative as will be discussed herein.

The violence in the movie

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It is most imperative, however, to note that editing has greatly changed the tone of the originally violent gangster film to comic and romantic version. Penn depicted quite a number of violent scenes with a witty tone. Prior to the production of this movie, not a single Hollywood producer has managed to blend the two conflicting themes of gangster shootings, kidnappings and romance pretty well in a single movie as did Arthur Penn as a result of editing.

The choppy editing has indeed seen the film experience a rapid budge of tone toward its closing sequence. Towards the end of the film, all seems to be working so well for Clyde and Bonnie as they successfully bargained a leniency with Hamer for the kidnapped boy but a pensive mood sets in at once when the police open fire and the couple’s bodies violently riddled.

Suffice it to say, editing renders the film unique and one of its own in the mainstream American cinema. This is apparent in the way Bonnie and Clyde introduces the sheer use of squibs: invisible explosive charges fitted with pockets of stage blood that can trigger bullet hits inside an actor’s clothes on detonation. This led to the portrayal of Clyde and Bonnie’s death scene with a graphic realism courtesy of editing.

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