Saturday, October 02, 2010

ARTHUR PENN 1922-2010

The passing of Tony Curtis this week perhaps overshadows the loss of another of America's treasures of the film world. Arthur Penn, arguably one of the most underrated directors, died on September 28. Penn captured my imagination with two of the boldest and most brilliant movies of the 60s-70s, Bonnie & Clyde and Little Big Man. They were made when I was too young to care about such things, but they played again and again on Saturday afternoon TV, back before anyone in Jacksonville, Florida had cable.

What do you say, muleskinner? I watched it so many times. I also read Thomas Berger's novel, which, if one can believe, is even better than the movie.

Bonnie and Clyde is justly famous for for its supremely bloody final scene. But what hooked me was the anarchic, black humor that fueled the story of murderous outlaws on the run.

Thanks for some wonderful times Mr. Penn. You are missed.
-Dave Hardy

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