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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Read this Book: Pictures at a Revolution by Mark Harris

The book is over 400 pages (plus 75 pages of notes -- the level of research is phenomenal), yet I found myself wishing it were 2,000 pages or more -- it's that gripping. If you are a movie buff and love to read behind-the-scenes Hollywood lore, this must be one of the best books of its kind ever.

I do have one brief comment about a portion of the content. Harris spends considerable time discussing the decision to remove from "Bonnie and Clyde" (before shooting) all references to Clyde's bisexuality and to a menage a trois involving C W Moss, Clyde and Bonnie.

There seem to be at least two vestigial bits of this remaining in the finished film, and they are not mentioned in the book. I checked my DVD copy last night to be sure.

Near the beginning, in Clyde's "I ain't no loverboy" speech, he says: "There ain't nothin' wrong with me - I don't like boys!" - and as he says it he bumps his head, hard, on the car window he's leaning through, giving the distinct impression that "liking boys" has come up before.

Later, at about the 42-minute mark, C.W. Moss and Buck Barrow are playing checkers, and Clyde is kibitzing. He sits behind CW, his arms around him, showing him moves, while he all but nuzzles CW's neck. At the same time, Bonnie paces back and forth in boredom and sexual frustration, finally pulling Clyde into the bedroom for a brief, unsatisfying talk about whether he is really interested in her physically.

The second scene, especially, is subtle, but the implications seem pretty clear, especially in light of the bisexual ménage a trois in the original version of the screenplay.

As I say, a small point, but I was surprised by its omission.

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