For many students, the essence of summer is the road trip. Though holding up a liquor store, stealing a getaway car and killing a cop may not be on your agenda, there’s nothing like a good movie to romanticize the open road and life on the run.
Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
Director: Arthur Penn
Most of us know the general story, but few have actually seen this romantic classic. Fresh out of jail, Clyde Barrow hooks up with Bonnie Parker and the duo goes on a bank-robbing, shoot-em-up spree in the southwest. Sounds like a dream date to me.
In Cold Blood (1967)
Director: Richard Brooks
Based on Truman Capote’s novel, the movie follows two men who have no conscience when they’re together. After finding little money in a wealthy farmer’s home, they brutally kill the whole family so they won’t be identified, then head out onto the road.
High Sierra (1941)
Director: Raoul Walsh
Humphrey Bogart stars as “Mad Dog” Earle, helped out of prison by a mobster who wants Earle’s assistance in an upcoming robbery. Weary, Earle goes along with the idea and befriends two ladies in the process. But when the heist goes wrong and a man is killed, an injured Earle must flee to the Sierra Nevada Mountains. With film noir queen Ida Lupino.
Director: Terrence Malick
When garbage collector Kit Caruthers (Martin Sheen) falls for the quiet high schooler Holly Sargis (Sissy Spacek), Holly’s father won’t hear of it. Kit murders him to solve their problem, they run for the Badlands of Montana and people are left dead in their wake. Beautiful cinematography and a sense of distance run through the entire film.
Gun Crazy A.K.A. Deadly is the Female (1949)
Director: Joseph H. Lewis
Bart Tare has a fascination with guns, but even as a boy he refuses to shoot anything living. Grown up and out of the army, He meets carnival sharpshooter Annie Starr. Not long after the two marry, Annie wants money and turns Bart to a life of crime.
The list goes on forever; these are just some of the older favorites. Keep your eyes peeled for the 1997 German film Bandits, where a bunch of imprisoned girls form a rock band and escape during a performance at the police ball. How can you go wrong?
Rachel Barbara can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org