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Published:December 11th, 2013 08:40 EST
The Miniseries 'Bonnie & Clyde' Has Total Disregard For the Chronological Sequence of Events!

The Miniseries 'Bonnie & Clyde' Has Total Disregard For the Chronological Sequence of Events!

By John G. Kays

Alright, so I made a mistake, Part 2 of the miniseries Bonnie & Clyde (directed by Bruce Beresford) does cover the Platte City, Mo. shootout fairly accurately, but what`s this about the star-crossed, doomed outlaws taking a sunny vacation to Panama City, Florida, with Texas Ranger Frank Hamer on their trail? I`m still thumbing through Go Down Together (by Jeff Guinn) for any clues to an excursion into Florida. The abuses of chronological time sequencing are so innumerable (the script writers are John Rice and Joe Batteer), I`ll have to dedicate an entire week just to unraveling this mess; and we have to remember this was running on The History Channel, not the Science Fiction Network (or whatever they call it).

Well, I`ve been getting the Bonnie & Clyde story wrong, ever since I went to Downtown Dallas back in 1967, attending the Majestic Theater, and witnessing the violent shock of Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty (who`s plays Clyde Barrow as a semi-homosexual), robbing banks and killing officers of the law (and innocent citizens) with abandon, and looking like they almost enjoyed it (a Flower Child twist). The first factual error I had to get straight, was clearing up the fact that it wasn`t D. W. Moss (W. D. Jones) who ratted on Bonnie and Clyde, it was actually Henry Methvin. They got that right, for a change! 

Just to clear the picture up a little, Frank Hamer didn`t come into the narrative until just after the Easter Sunday (4/01/1934) brutal execution of patrolmen, H. D. Murphy and Edward Bryant Wheeler in Grapevine, Texas; this event also had the not so good effect of liberating the Robin Hood myth (turning ordinary people against them) from the bodacious banditos of Depression Era infamy. Okay, so I don`t know what the writers had in mind here? Frank Hamer (played by William Hurt) had to be the central character, the top billing attraction, I figure.

Hamer was just as over-the-top, senselessly violent as Bonnie and Clyde were! I won`t address this controversy at this juncture, but just to toss it out there. Back to the sequential faux paus, which seem to doom this miniseries to an eternity in the infamous Cutout Bin Graveyard (akin to Andersonville or the Eastham prison farm)! Bonnie`s horrible burns to her leg during a car accident in Wellington, Tx really occurred before Platte City and Dexfield Park (where Buck nearly got his head blown off); the date of the accident is June 10, 1933, while the dates of Platte City and Dexfield Park are mid-July of 1933, more than a month later. The miniseries puts Bonnie`s leg burning after these pivotal events, that really mark the beginning of the end for B & C!

The reason why I`m whining prodigiously about the (uncalled for) liberties taken (by the miniseries` producers or writers) with the true historical record, is that we`ve been spending 46 long years trying to set the record straight (since the Arthur Penn movie). Well, these errors begin surfacing even before the posse starting firing in Gibsland, La. Take like the killing of the patrolmen in Grapevine; the Beresford production buys into the falsehood (the eyewitness farmer had lied) that Bonnie had fired the coup de grace into E. B. Wheeler. Read Jeff Guinn, who finally gets it right, Bonnie was asleep in the back seat; it was Clyde Barrow and Henry Methvin (the turncoat) who really executed the law officers!