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'Bonnie and Clyde' a dramatized version of real life gangsters on three networks

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"Bonnie & Clyde," the newest version of the lives of the real life Depression Era gangsters airs tonight on three cable networks, A&E, Lifetime TV and History Channel, according to the A&E Networks website. The two part, four-hour television event debuts on Dec. 8 and Dec. 9, 2013. Emile Hirsch and Holliday Grainger lead the cast, which includes Holly Hunter, Wiliam Hurt, Sarah Hyland, Lane Garrison, Elizabeth Reaser and Dale Dickey. The NY Post posted quotes from some of the cast describing their characters on Dec. 7.

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Bonnie & Clyde TV crime drama features star-studded cast

"Bonnie & Clyde" is a dramatized version of real life characters, meaning that while they truly existed, much of the story is romanticized and fictionalized. They joined other well known gangsters of the era, such as Al Capone, John Dillinger and Pretty Boy Floyd in the hall of infamy. Since it is impossible to know the details of their lives, much of the story has to come from legend and speculation.

Stars Holliday Grainger and Emile Hirsch are abundantly attractive and appear to be in glowing good health. The real Bonnie & Clyde had known years of poverty and hunger and appeared almost emaciated and older than their years. They lived life on the run, on the dusty roads of Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Louisiana and New Mexico before coming to a violent death in Kansas in 1934.

The televised movie is bound to be compared to the 1967 film starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. In both films the leads are sanitized and glamorized versions of the real personalities. The story may be of interest to fans of such shows as HBO's "Boardwalk Empire," the Prohibition Era drama of the 1920s, which preceeded the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the subsequent Depression Era. "Boardwalk Empire" is a superior drama based on real life characters along with fictional characters.

Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow went on a crime spree that lasted from 1932-1934, according to accounts on the FBI website. They are believed to have murdered 13 people, including two police officers, during their two year run of petty bank heists across the Plains States.

Some people considered them folk heroes, since banks were not popular during the Depression Era. The era bears similaries to present day economics, as people were losing their homes due to unemployment, poverty and foreclosure across America. Banks and bankers were seen as villians, and there was not much sympathy for the overlords of the land while so many people were homeless and starving.

It is worth looking back to the era in history, while keeping in mind that the details are not necessarily historically accurate.

The made-for-television film stars Emile Hirsch ("Into the Wild") and Holliday Grainger ("The Borgias") as Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, real life bank robbers who went on a two-year crime spree in the 1930s. Also starring are Oscar winner Holly Hunter ("The Piano") stars as Clyde Barrow's mother. Oscar winner William Hurt ("Too Big to Fail") stars as Texas Ranger Frank Hamer.

The cast of "Bonnie & Clyde" includes: Sarah Hyland ("Modern Family") plays Clydes's sister-in-law Blanche Barrow; Lane Garrison ("Prison Break") portrays Clyde’s brother; Elizabeth Reaser ("The Twilight Saga") plays writer P.J. Lane; Austin Hebert ("True Blood") plays lawman Ted Hinton; and Dale Dickey ("Winter’s Bone") portrays Clyde's mother Cummie Barrow.

Bonnie & Clyde is written by John Rice and Joe Batteer (Windtalkers, Blown Away) and directed by two-time Oscarnominee Bruce Beresford (Tender Mercies, Breaker Morant). Beresford is best known as the director of Driving Miss Daisy. The mini-series is executive produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron.

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