The Highwaymen - Historical inaccuracy in film trailer

The Highwaymen - Historical inaccuracy in film trailer

This is a discussion on The Highwaymen - Historical inaccuracy in film trailer within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I was initially excited when I saw the film trailer for The Highwaymen. The idea of a Bonnie & Clyde film being portrayed from Frank ...

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    The Highwaymen - Historical inaccuracy in film trailer

    I was initially excited when I saw the film trailer for The Highwaymen. The idea of a Bonnie & Clyde film being portrayed from Frank Hamer's perspective is rather refreshing and long overdue.

    However, I noticed something in the trailer that struck me as historically inaccurate. In it there are a few clips pertaining to the Grapevine murders, and in them Bonnie is portrayed as shooting one of the motorcycle patrolmen. According to Jeff Guinn's book, Go Down Together, the Grapevine murders were witnessed from two different points of view. A married couple saw the Grapevine murders from one vantage point, while a farmer saw it from a different vantage point. They told two different versions of who did the shooting.

    According the the married couple, who were in their car at the intersection of Highway 114 and Dove Road - Dove Road being the murder site - they saw two men with guns looking at the downed patrolmen. The taller of the two men then walked over to one of the patrolmen, rolled him over on to his back, and shot him several times. The taller man was Henry Methvin. (Henry Methvin's father, Ivy, made a deal with authorities to give clemency to Henry for previous crimes - attempted murder - in exchange for helping Hamer and his posse catch B&C.)

    The farmer, with a view from his front porch, claims he saw a woman and a man shoot the patrolmen, while a third man watched. He said the woman walked over to one of the patrolmen, and shot him several times. The problem with the farmer's story is that Bonnie couldn't really walk by that time. Roughly ten months earlier, her leg had been burned badly in a car accident, by battery acid, and it crippled her in regards to mobility. Clyde very often had to carry her. The farmer was most likely mis-remembering, but at that time his story was the accepted version of who did the shooting in the Grapevine murders. (When the murders happened, the clemency for Methvin had already been agreed to, so it was probably easier to let the public think Bonnie a cold blooded killer.)

    I'll still watch the film because I want to see if there's more to the film's portrayal of the Grapevine story than the trailer is showing. But given Hollywood's inability to get the facts straight in any historical-based production, I'm not really expecting this film to be an exception. I hope the film proves me wrong.


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    I'm reading the Guinn book right now. It has not disappointed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1956 View Post
    I'm reading the Guinn book right now. It has not disappointed.
    I'm glad you're enjoying it, though not surprised. Guinn is a great writer of historical events, IMO. The level of research he does for his books is inspiring to a history geek like me.
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    (When the murders happened, the clemency for Methvin had already been agreed to, so it was probably easier to let the public think Bonnie a cold blooded killer.)
    Agree completely sir, the truth was known by "the laws" from the very beginning. They HAD to protect Henry.

    If that's the worst they do I'll be happy, hopefully that's the worst.

    As was said by the editor/reporter in The Man that Shot Liberty Valance; ""When the legend becomes fact, print the legend."
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    Hollyweird doesn't deal in facts - a fact that seems to attract more than their share of antis. My, what a coincidence!
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    BTW, if you want to read something kinda sympathetic to Bonnie, read "Ambush" by Ted Hinton.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OD* View Post
    Agree completely sir, the truth was known by "the laws" from the very beginning. They HAD to protect Henry.

    If that's the worst they do I'll be happy, hopefully that's the worst.

    As was said by the editor/reporter in The Man that Shot Liberty Valance; ""When the legend becomes fact, print the legend."
    You're right, OD*. The "laws" knew the truth. And newspaper headlines about Bonnie & Clyde were sure to sell more copies than Henry & Clyde headlines ever would.

    I'm just hoping there's more to the film than the trailer shows. I'm definitely gonna watch it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tstone View Post
    You're right, OD*. The "laws" knew the truth. And newspaper headlines about Bonnie & Clyde were sure to sell more copies than Henry & Clyde headlines ever would.

    I'm just hoping there's more to the film than the trailer shows. I'm definitely gonna watch it.
    I can't remember when I first heard about "the deal" it may have been from "Boots" Hinton in one of his many interviews. IIRC, the episode of American Experience about B&C mentioned it. (excellent show if you haven't seen it)
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    Quote Originally Posted by OD* View Post
    BTW, if you want to read something kinda sympathetic to Bonnie, read "Ambush" by Ted Hinton.
    I just looked for the book on Amazon, and the paperback version is priced at $97.91. Talk about robbery!

    Fortunately there's some used copies priced at $25.65. I just ordered one - thanks for the suggestion, OD*.
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    At least she was limping in that scene.
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    I'm kind of looking forward to watching "The Highwaymen" - warts and all. It is kind of interesting that despite inaccuracies, which are merely par for the course for people who wouldn't recognize the truth if it fell out of the sky and landed warm and wiggling on their faces, the casting people got a pretty good look-alike for Frank Hamer:

    The Highwaymen - Historical inaccuracy in film trailer-frankhamerearly1920s.jpg
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    None of my Winchesters have a loading gate on the left .
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tstone View Post
    I just looked for the book on Amazon, and the paperback version is priced at $97.91. Talk about robbery!

    Fortunately there's some used copies priced at $25.65. I just ordered one - thanks for the suggestion, OD*.
    I should have mentioned that, you can find hard back copies in good condition for less if you shop around. I've had my copy for years and got it cheap, it's in great shape, AND it's from the Houston Library.

    The Highwaymen - Historical inaccuracy in film trailer-ambush.jpg
    The Highwaymen - Historical inaccuracy in film trailer-ambush-2.jpg
    Last edited by OD*; March 9th, 2019 at 12:12 PM. Reason: Spellin'
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    At least she was limping in that scene.
    You're right. I didn't notice that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by redmc View Post
    None of my Winchesters have a loading gate on the left .
    Flipped the image, like they did with Billy Bonney.
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