In Little Big Man, Arthur Penn uses the mode of comic elegy in order to sustain a reverent feeling for the American past without falling into sentimentality
Jack Crabb is 121 years old. His eyes are agate chips; senility seeps through the cracks in his voice. But Crabb is not your average superannuated former Indian fighter. He is Little Big Man, sole survivor of the Battle of Little Bighorn.
Bonnie and Clyde is about violence and crime, and the desire of the ego to define itself, to live in violence and crime if it can’t in anything else. To this end it remains properly sympathetic to the characters it has plucked from history, the sympathy being given not to crime but to a process in which crime figures, to the action by which the ego displays itself as the embattled source of everything—crime, love, violence, goodness, error, dream.
How do you make a good movie in this country without being jumped on? Bonnie and Clyde is the most excitingly American American movie since The Manchurian Candidate.