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Posted at 2:15 PM ET, 09/29/2010

Paying tribute to Arthur Penn, dead at the age of 88

By Jen Chaney

Filmmaker Arthur Penn has died, just one day after his 88th birthday. He was known for directing many films, including "The Miracle Worker," "Little Big Man" and "Alice's Restaurant." But it's indisputably "Bonnie and Clyde" for which he'll be best remembered.

Of all the moments in that hugely influential 1967 movie -- a movie that presented many challenges for Penn, including constant battles with Warren Beatty and his ego -- none is more memorable than the climactic killing that closes the film. Even though you know what's coming, it still stands as a shocking, masterfully edited, gorgeously conceived piece of cinema, one that set a standard for shoot-'em-up scenes for decades to come.

Or, to put it in the words that "Bonnie and Clyde" screenwriter Robert Benton once used, that violent finale remains "a masterpiece of a ballet of death." Watch, assuming you can handle all the bullets and blood, and marvel at the man's work.

By Jen Chaney  | September 29, 2010; 2:15 PM ET
Categories:  Movies  
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Mr. Penn has gone to sit on that big "Group W" bench in the sky. Adieu, Adieu.

Posted by: elias_howe | September 29, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

I am heartbroken. He was one of my favorite directors, brash, unconventional and a true original. One of the greats to come from TV drama and Broadway. R.I.P. Arthur.


Posted by: rodeno | September 29, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 29, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

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