Arthur Penn, the director most famous for the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde, died of congestive heart failure today, leaving behind a Hollywood legacy that “transformed the American film industry,” and paved the way for such classic films as “The Godfather” and “Tax Driver.”
Penn’s poetic take on sex and violence in on the screen—beautifully played by Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty—was all but unheard of before him. As the Times put it, Bonnie and Clyde “ was sexually explicit in ways unseen in Hollywood since the imposition of the Production Code in 1934—when Bonnie stroked Clyde’s gun, the symbolism was unmistakable—it was violent in ways that had never been seen before,”
“Arthur Penn brought the sensibility of ’60s European art films to American movies,” the writer and director Paul Schrader said. “He paved the way for the new generation of American directors who came out of film schools.”
Penn is also the director behind the Helen Keller movie, The Miracle Worker, as well as The Missouri Breaks (starring Marlon Brando and Jack Nicholson.) He also boasted a repertoire of three Oscar nominations, two Emmy nominations and a Tony Award nomination.
Check out the famous final scene of Bonnie and Clyde and our runners-up for Man of the Day after the jump:
Honorable Mentions: Our runners-up for the Men of the Day didn’t qualify because we didn’t want to exclude their equally brainy female counterparts, but this year’s recipients of the MacArthur “Genius” Grant certainly deserve a nod. Every year the MacArthur Fellowship recognizes exceptional innovators and creative people across a variety of disciplines with $500,000 to continue their work. This years crop ranges from outstanding physics teachers to stone carvers to jazz musicians. Check out all the 2010 MacArthur fellows here.