Wow…I was gushing over Arthur Penn so hard in my last post that I totally forgot to mention that after years of being relegated to a horribly-grainy, extras-free, pan-and-scan DVD version, “Bonnie & Clyde” was finally given it’s due back in 2008 with the absolutely gorgeous “Bonnie & Clyde: Ultimate Collector’s Edition” DVD.
Remastered, restored and packed full of totally awesome DVD extras, this is the version to buy or, you know, receive as a lovely gift from your friend Ginger (thanks again, chica!). Disc one features a lush, widescreen transfer of the film that will really knock your socks off. Trust me, if it looks good on our old-ass TV, the image quality will positively dazzle on a good HD set!
Disc two features such super cool extras as “Love and Death: The Story of Bonnie & Clyde”, a History Channel documentary on the real-life Bonnie and Clyde, two deleted scenes, Warren Beatty’s original wardrobes tests, a replica of the original road show press kit, and a beautifully put together documentary entitled: “Revolution! The Making of Bonnie & Clyde”. Featuring outstanding interviews with every principal member of the cast and crew, this is the thing that really makes the second disc soar.
Warner Brothers may have taken their sweet time releasing a home video version worthy of this cinema classic, but, wow, they certainly did a bang-up job of it! One of the funniest things I learned from the extras was that Morgan Fairchild (who is interviewed in the “Revolution!” documentary) was actually Faye Dunaway’s stand-in on the shoot. Wow…who knew?
Oh, there is also a miniature folded reproduction of the original telegram that WB studio head, Jack Warner (who was never a fan of the movie, even after the acclaim) sent to Beatty and Penn on the first day of production, wishing them well. I know it sounds completely geeky, but, man, I love that little folded telegram to death. So cool!!
But all that awesomeness aside, my favorite extra in this slick, elegantly-appointed boxed set — even the DVD’s themselves are cool with little bullet holes over each of the stars faces! — is the 36-page collectors book of photos. Usually the so-called “books” included in collector’s edition DVDs are more like pamphlets, but, not this time. This is a genuine article book here, folks, loaded with some of the coolest behind-the-scenes pics you’ll find anywhere. Amazing!
And, hey, even if you don’t dig all the groovy extras, the pristine new print of the movie alone will, pun intended, blow you away. So, light a candle for the late, great Arthur Penn and get thee to a video store…