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The Retribution of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker (1934)


Sound | 1934

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  •  Clyde Barrow teams up with Raymond Hamilton to rob a store in Hillsboro. The store’s owner, J. N. Bucher, was killed in the process. While Barrow was accused of the murder, he reportedly stayed outside in the car during the robbery.  
  •  W. D. Jones, a member of the Barrow Gang, talks about Barrow’s crimes. Jones was convicted as an accessory to the murder of Tarrant County Deputy Malcolm Davis in October 1934.  
  •  Clyde meets Bonnie. Contrary to the film’s narration, Bonnie Parker became involved with Barrow years before the 1932 crime spree. She was in the car with Jones when Barrow shot and killed Deputy Davis.  
  •  The deaths of highway patrolmen H. D. Murphy and Edward Bryant near Grapevine on April 1, 1934. An eyewitness account implicating Parker in the murders was later discredited. Barrow Gang member Henry Methvin later admitted that he fired the first shot, after which Barrow joined in. Parker was likely asleep in the car at the time of the encounter. Public outcry over the murders galvanized law enforcement into action, with Governor of Texas Ma Ferguson offering a $500 reward for each of the alleged killers.  
  •  A posse composed of four Texas officers and two Louisiana officers lays in wait for the infamous couple 
  •  Aftermath of the shootout 
  •  Crowds gather outside the undertaker’s building 
  •  Four members of the posse, including Deputy Sheriff Prentiss Morel Oakley and Sheriff Henderson Jordan of Louisiana and Deputy Sheriff Bob Alcorn and Deputy Sheriff Ted Hinton of Dallas County 
  •  Statements from Alcorn and Hinton 
  •  Homecoming of Clyde Barrow in Dallas 
  •  Parker’s funeral 
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Produced by the Dallas-based Jamieson Film Company, this short film combines dramatic reenactments with actual footage to chronicle the rise and fall of Bonnie and Clyde. Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, both Texans, met in 1930, fell in love, and went on a three-year crime spree that involved many bank robberies and murders. Photographs of the good-looking couple found at their hideouts were published by the press, who glamorized their life of crime. They were ambushed and killed on May 23, 1934, by a posse of four Texas officers and two Louisiana officers. Like much of the media coverage surrounding the infamous outlaw couple at the time, this film takes liberties with the facts of their crimes. Among other inaccuracies, the narrator falsely identifies Parker as the shooter of highway patrolman H. D. Murphy. Nevertheless, the film also includes scenes of the aftermath of the shootout with police as well as the couple’s funerals in Dallas. Please note that this footage contains images that may not be appropriate for young children.
Clyde Chestnut Barrow was born near Telico, Texas, on March 24, 1909, and grew up in impoverished conditions. In his teens, he was arrested several times, and he began regularly robbing stores and stealing cars. In 1930, he was sent to Eastham Prison Farm, where he beat an inmate to death who had assaulted him. 
Bonnie Elizabeth Parker was born on October 1, 1910, in Rowena, Texas. Her father died when she was young, and her mother moved the family to a suburb of Dallas. Parker excelled in school and wrote poetry often, but she dropped out to marry Roy Thornton weeks before her 16th birthday. They separated a few years later, but never divorced, and Bonnie went to work as a waitress. 
Bonnie and Clyde met in 1930, and it is believed that Bonnie joined Clyde because she was in love with him.  They began committing small crimes with several other individuals, though Bonnie was not heavily involved in the acts themselves. By 1932, Clyde and his associates had killed several civilians and authority figures and were in and out of jail. The group went into hiding in Joplin, Missouri, but was later ambushed by the police. Amidst gunfire, they were able to escape, as well as kill both a detective and a constable. In the aftermath, photos developed from film left at the hideout were published and brought Bonnie and Clyde national notoriety. 
The Barrow Gang continued their crime spree around Texas and as far north as Minnesota, willing to kidnap or even kill those who got in their way. The manhunt for Bonnie and Clyde came to an end in Bienville Parish, Louisiana, on May 23, 1934, when a posse of law enforcement officers opened fire on their car. The two died on the scene.