Study Guide

Bonnie and Clyde Guns

Guns

Cocked And Ready

What's long, hard, and caressed by Bonnie in one of the first scenes of the movie?

Clyde's…pistol.

We'd ask you to get your mind out of the gutter, but the thing is this: Arthur Penn put your mind in that gutter. The first time we see a gun in Bonnie and Clyde, Clyde holds it at crotch level and Bonnie strokes it, murmuring "Yeah."

To make matters even more innuendo-tastic, we see that Clyde has a match held between his teeth. As he holds his pistol near his fly, he moves his teeth in such a way that this (very erect) matchstick waggles up and down.

We are not making this up.

After this exchange, Bonnie looks up and says breathily:

BONNIE: But you wouldn't have the gumption to use it.

Use it he does—Clyde robs a general store, and Bonnie starts smooching him as they drive away. But once they get to a secluded spot, Clyde jumps out of the car. "I'm not much of a lover boy," he says. And Bonnie replies, snarkily:

BONNIE: Your advertising is just dandy. Folks wouldn't guess you don't have a thing to sell.

She's referring, clearly, to the "advertising" of the gun. Guns are so synonymous with penises—think of the old quip "Is that a gun in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?"—that Bonnie assumes when a man shows off his gun, he's intimating that he'd like to show off something else, as well.

Of course, there are more than just phallic guns in this film. You can't rob a bank without firing off a few warning shots, and the police that track and ultimately kill B & C are locked and loaded.

But because our first introduction to firearms is a groaning with Freudian symbolism, we never quite shake the association between pocket rockets and…pocket rockets.

P.S. 

Not a fan of the Freudian analysis? Check out the 1950 movie Gun Crazy and see if you can spot any similarities to our Bonnie and Clyde. (Hint: we bet you can.)