Courtesy Everett Collection
Warren Beatty and his Bonnie and Clyde costar Faye Dunaway have been tapped to present the Best Picture prize at Sunday night’s Oscars to celebrate their classic film’s 50th anniversary, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The reunion will bring together two legendary stars that continue to act in movies today. Beatty, 79, recently played the infamous Howard Hughes in the 2016 period-piece drama Rules Don’t Apply, which he also co-wrote, produced and directed. The preceding time Beatty appeared onscreen was more than 15 years ago, in the 2001 box office flop “Town and Country.”
Dunaway, 76, has signed on to star alongside Nicolas Cage in the Jonathan Baker-directed thriller Inconceivable that’s set to film in Cincinnati this year.
In Bonnie and Clyde, Beatty starred as bank robber Clyde Barrow and then-newcomer Dunaway played his fellow killer, Bonnie Parker. The 1967 gangster movie brought the “true crime” genre back into vogue. The film was nominated for 10 Academy Awards but won only two, for best supporting actress Estelle Parsons and cinematography.
The film was also notable for marking the first major film appearances by actors Gene Hackman and Gene Wilder.
Both Beatty and Dunaway were nominated for best acting Oscars for Bonnie and Clyde but lost out to Rod Steiger and Katharine Hepburn. The film also was nominated for Best Picture but was overlooked in favor of In the Heat of the Night. The film — often held up as one of the greatest of all time — ranked No. 42 on the American Film Institute’s 2007 list of best American movies ever made.
The ending of the film, in which the two Depression-era bandits die in a hail of bullets, became iconic as “one of the bloodiest death scenes in cinematic history,” according to the New York Times.
Critic Roger Ebert, too, described Bonnie and Clyde as a milestone in the history of American movies. He called the blockbuster “a work of truth and brilliance. It is also pitilessly cruel, filled with sympathy, nauseating, funny, heartbreaking, and astonishingly beautiful. If it does not seem that those words should be strung together, perhaps that is because movies do not very often reflect the full range of human life.”
Other actors presenting Oscar awards on Feb. 26 include Amy Adams, Javier Bardem and Leslie Mann. Live coverage of the 89th Academy Awards will start at 7 p.m. ET on ABC.