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'Bonnie & Clyde' miniseries doesn't compare to Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty

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Yet another version has been made recalling the tale of “Bonnie & Clyde.” The four-hour back-to-back TV miniseries concluded Monday night. Initially it aired with part one on Sunday. What made this television event unique was its simultaneous telecast on not one, but three different channels. These networks included A&E, Lifetime, and the History Channel. Many versions chronicling the infamous duo of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow have been created over the decades. One that still stands out from the rest is the 1967 feature film starring Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty. Some may consider that film completely inaccurate and overly romantic. It never claimed to be an exact recreation of those famous bank robbers.

The 2013 miniseries of “Bonnie & Clyde” is an entirely different matter. Since this miniseries was intensely hyped for weeks on end, especially airing on the History Channel, one would expect more historical content. The actress portraying Bonnie, Holliday Grainger, definitely looked straight out of the 1920s-1930s era throughout. The theme of this miniseries more or less puts the blame on Bonnie for encouraging Clyde into his cycle of crime. He was already into it before meeting Bonnie when he and his brother crashed her wedding. There were standout performances, though very brief, of the actors portraying the parents, especially Holly Hunter as Bonnie’s mother. William Hurt is stellar as the Texas Ranger, Frank Hamer.

In this miniseries you do learn about their childhoods, and early adult years before their massive crime wave took hold. That’s one topic the 1967 film didn’t include. Only time will tell if the miniseries will be honored for Emmys next year, while its film counterpart earned an Oscar for the actress portraying Blanche Barrow. The most obvious difference between the two “Bonnie & Clyde” productions is Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty. They are literally mesmerizing even now, while Holliday Grainger and Emile Hirsch are just mediocre.

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