Where exactly does Bonnie and Clyde rank in the American pantheon? It's a bona-fide classic, to be sure. It placed on the American Film Institute's Top 100 in 1998 and again in 2007. It's also on the IMDB's Top 250 list. Upon closer inspection, however, it's far more than a perfect, polished gemstone. Rather, it's a bundle of contradictions. Everyone knows that it was a groundbreaking film of its day, the first to incorporate a new kind of violence and moral complexity into the mainstream. But screenwriters Robert Benton and David Newman borrowed these elements directly from French New Wave films like Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless (1959) and Francois Truffaut's Shoot the Piano Player (1960). In fact, Truffaut was the first director approached for the project. Despite this, Bonnie and Clyde somehow transcends time. More than just a moldy relic of the 1960s, it has aged much better and is far more watchable today than, say, Easy Rider (1969) or even The Graduate (1967).