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Discussion in 'The Moving Picture' started by scotrace, Feb 21, 2019.
The trailer was released yesterday. Looks like plenty of great backgrounds, if nothing else.
That trailer actually lessened my interest in the movie. I'll probably still watch it, but I'm not expecting much as far as factual accuracy is concerned; wouldn't be the first time.
Any movie with Woody Harrelson in it ups my interest - the movie might not be good, but he almost always gives a good performance.
Turned out to be quite good. Lots of cramped Fords, short ties and smashed up hats.
My wife and I just saw this and really enjoyed it. I gather this was to "correct" to some degree the abomination that was the Warren Beatty/Faye Dunaway "history" of the trackers.
Interesting take that I would recommend! Your mileage may vary...
It does provide some counterbalance to the Beatty/Dunaway version by portraying Frank Hamer as a more-than-competent lawman and doesn't glamorize Parker and Barrow the way the '67 movie did, but it also contains some factual inaccuracies and perpetuates the myth that Parker was a gun-toting femme fatale. As with many projects of this type, the truth lies somewhere in-between and depends on who's telling the story. As a result, I thought The Highwaymen was another by-the-numbers retelling of the story that only differed by telling the story from the "law enforcement" perspective for a change. Just to be clear, I'm not trying to say that's a good or a bad thing, but just once I'd like to see a story like this told by sticking to the facts and presenting a balanced/unbiased point-of-view.
The problem with that is, such a thing is called a documentary. Not sure how this portrayed Bonnie as anything more than a killer, as she has about five words of dialogue from a distance, and you do not even see her face until the end.
And the primary focus was as you say on the trackers, not the killers. I found that an interesting take as anything else would focus on B and C. They were anything but glamorous, and the fact that thousands turned out to their funerals is a shame.
I don't dispute that. Parker and Barrow were "active" for approximately two years more or less, so it's virtually impossibly to accurately sum up that time period in a movie that's only a couple of hours long. On the other hand, I can't recall ever having seen a documentary that wasn't biased or pushing some form of pro or con agenda, so why should I expect movies would be any different?
That in itself is part of the problem with this particular movie--there's no evidence that Bonnie Parker ever killed anyone. In fact, there are only two accounts of her ever firing a gun. So the scenes showing her firing the machine gun during the Eastham Prison Farm breakout and the coup de grace shot that killed one of the Highway Patrol officers that stopped them on Easter Sunday in 1934 are false, but people are going to see this movie and believe it's the truth. I'm not trying to defend her choices and actions after she met Clyde Barrow, but she simply wasn't the killer she was made out to be in the newspaper reports of the era and the pro-law statements made by the people tasked with stopping her and Barrow.
I agree. Every other "Bonnie and Clyde" project I've seen focused on them, and any information about their pursuers was mostly included only to show how it affected them. And "anything but glamorous" is spot on. They (and the various "gang" members who ran with them) were small-time crooks who mostly lived out of stolen cars from not long after the day they met until the day they died, and they were almost constantly on the run; not exactly an ideal lifestyle for a young couple.
This interesting article (posted by the screenwriter of the Netflix movie) details the research for the facts that went into proving that Bonnie was, indeed, guilty of murdering officers of the law, and using a weapon several times while escaping (and that any 'facts' that came out later about her not using a gun were revisionist narratives pushed by the family members and 'fans').
Evidence of a recently uncovered indictment for Bonnie and Clyde for the Grapevine murders:
On another note: Does anyone know who made the hats for Costner and Harrelson in this movie? And, what style is Costner's...a Homburg of some type (as I have read elsewhere)?
Interesting. Everything I've read (and, admittedly, it's been a while) about the "Grapevine" murders stated there was only one eyewitness account, and that had been discredited when Henry Methvin later admitted he fired the first shot and that he and Barrow killed officers Murphy and Wheeler. Methvin also claimed Parker did approach the officers, but only to see if she could help them in some way. In retrospect this was probably more "revisionist narrative" with Methvin attempting to minimize Parker's participation.
I have no idea who made them, but both Costner and Harrelson wore fedoras in the movie. The brims on both were mostly flattened out, with a little upturn in the back and a little downturn in the front.
I read elsewhere that Optimo made them custom, which were basically an OR style with a Homburg crease, instead of the Cattleman crease.
Whatever it is, it's one cool looking hat.
None too familiar with the background story, but a tracker film seems interesting.
I really enjoyed this movie. Not sure about the historical accuracy, I did not have much knowledge coming in. I loved Kostner and Harrelson and thought they made a great team. I particularly enjoyed the scene between Frank and Clyde's father. Very strong performances by the majority of the cast. Worth a watch.
Recently saw this movie and having read the book "Go Down Together" about a decade ago my memory's a little fuzzy on the details. Still thought it was interesting to see how they portrayed Bonnie and I mistakenly believed she was innocent of the 114 killing, as well. Interesting article. Will have to flip back through that book to rethink my positions and see if that marker is on 114 and Dove.
I liked the movie. Watched it in Spanish in an Ecuadorian household in Miami first, and then liked it enough to watch it again in English when we got back home.
I don't understand any reference to Homburg or Open Road styles regarding the hats Costner and Harrelson wore. Nothing about those hats says anything but fedora with center crease. Any competent hatter could recreate those hats.
I do like the Costner hat, but Harrelson's has too much taper for my liking.
As for historical accuracy regarding hats, I don't think I've seen any photos of Frank Hamer wearing a hat that resembles Costner's hat in the movie. Not saying Hamer never wore a fedora, just never a saw a picture of him wearing a hat styled like the one in the movie.
I fell asleep to this tryingb to watch it too late last night. I'll give it another go in due course. I liked how it looked and the pacing was good. I'm very much not one to howl about society gonig to hell and celebrating criminals, but all the same it was nice for once to see this story told from the point of view of law enforcement.
I too noticed the degree of taper on Harrelson's hat and smirked at myself as I doubt I'd have spotted that before I got involved in this place. That said, he's supposed to be somewhat down at heel as a character, so I wonder if th hat being misshapen is meant to mark out that he, unlike others, can't afford to buy something new / better.
I'm quite enjoying how the story fits around the tropes of the Old Boys Who Don't Do Things By The Book / The Politically Correct Way comnig out of retirement to do Just One More Job, with Harrelson in particular in the role of Former Drunk Who Redeems Himself.
The above posts and links speak to the accuracy, or not, of the movie much, much better than I could.
I go into all of these type of movies assuming they'll play fast and loose with the facts - which is another way of saying that I look to get my historical facts elsewhere - so I just try to take these movies as they come.
And that way, I liked, didn't love, this one. The two things that worked well were the period details and the Costner-Harrelson relationship.
On the period details - I'm sure there are plenty of inaccuracy that many here will spot, but I'm not that good at it and simply enjoyed the beautiful time-travel of it all. From filing cabinets, mailboxes and gas stations to cars, planes and office buildings (with wonderfully high ceilings, wide hallways and windows everywhere) - it felt like a pretty real trip to a thoughtfully curated 1930s.
But the core of the movie is the Costner-Harrelson relationship arguing that, sometimes, plots and stories - even important historical ones - exist only to frame what really matters - the human drama. Acknowledging some cliches and easy fixes, Costner and Harrelson humanized the renascent friendship of two older men - friends that had fallen out of touch and whose lives had gone in different directions - similarly to what Eastwood and Freeman did in Million Dollar Baby.
As the kids say, IRL, friends lose touch, but the friendship is still there just waiting to come back. You see it in the trust Costner and Harrelson have for each other, in their easy banter, their ability to pick on each other but knowing where the lines are and, when necessary, their willingness to push the line to help the other. It's complex, sometimes challenging, but also life at its best.
If I had trekked to the movie theater - and paid movie theater prices (in NYC, for two, it's approaching $30) - I'd have grumbled a bit, but in a "hey, what do you want to watch tonight from our couch" scenario, it is an enjoyable enough couple of hours highlighted by two acting pros bringing a complex old friendship to life amidst a lot of Fedora Lounge eye candy.
N.B., Maybe not the "real" Bonnie and Clyde story (whatever that is at this point), but The Highwaymen at least helps erase the horrible memory of Hollywood's last B&C effort, 2013's Bonnie & Clyde, whose singular redeeming feature was Nico Vega's outstanding cover of Bang Bang.
Watched this again the other day, with eldest daughter, that is, until she fell asleep (not owing to the film, it was really late!).