Bonnie and Hyde

A young hairdresser and her ex-G.I. boyfriend pull off a wild armored truck heist and take it on the lam South of the Border.

For decorated combat veteran Michael Hyde, civilian life is proving to be quite a comedown as he endures daily indignity as a lowly employee at the U-505 Sub Shop, only to have his ego further bruised in the dairy section of the grocery store by a sharp-tongued hairdresser named Bonnie Parker. But Bonnie gets egg on her own face when, in the parking lot, her bag rips open and she is reduced to crawling around for half-and-half soaked apples and oranges rolling around. Michael comes to her aid, but when an armored truck pulls up and she asks “did you ever dream of robbing one of them?” and he tells her he’s never felt that desperate, she retorts “Doesn’t every red-blooded guy dream of knocking over an armored car at least once in his life?” He tells her he works in “submarine construction,” but when she gives him her number she says “Well, Captain, thank-you for your service- you can go back to your Yellow Submarine now.” The ultimate humiliation occurs when Bonnie shows up at the U-505 Sub Shop with a discount coupon from the Sunday paper. ““Submarine construction indeed!” she laughs at him in front of everybody, and if that weren’t enough the manager gets onto him for putting too many toppings on her sub. He’s had it! “I Quit!” Bonnie finds him sitting on the curb fuming, but still can’t resist needling him when the Castle Armored Truck drives by: “Feeling desperate yet?”

And so a great caper is launched! Drawing on his Army days in Afghanistan, and using nothing more than used clothes bought at Goodwill and stuff from the Dollar Store, Michael transforms himself into a very convincing Moslem Terrorist complete with suicide vest and rocket-propelled grenade launcher, and Bonnie, drawing on her beauty shop skills assumes a very seductive Lolita disguise. In a great comedic scene they not only case the grocery store to determine the Castle Truck schedule, but manage to get into roaring drunk sloppy love-making in the parking lot. But when the Big Day arrives, they both really get it together and pull off a truly professional million-dollar heist.

The Houston police cannot figure out who they are dealing with. “Are they Moslem terrorists?” Detective Captain Nash asks.”Are they funding some kind of terrorist activity?” They have left no clues but for a few hairs from Bonnie’s wig. The Castle Protective Company issues a Wanted poster with a $10,000 reward showing the balaclava-masked “terrorist” and a black-haired woman wearing Lolita sunglasses.

Back at Bonnie’s apartment, the two whoop it up throwing money around, drinking champagne and making love. But Bonnie has a practical streak- how to hide the money? She decides Michael should pretend to be a pot grower needing to launder his money south of the border. They hide the armored truck loot in the seats of her old Cadillac and drive down to Monterrey pretending to be tourists. But to cover their trail they won’t use any credit cards. They clean out their bank accounts at the ATM machine and hit the road riding uncomfortably lumpy seats.

They arrive in Monterrey and immediately start to live it up at the best hotel they can find. Seeing their amorous excitement the staff takes them to be newlyweds and sends musicians to serenade them at breakfast with Wagner’s Wedding Chorus, much to Bonnie’s embarrassment. After enjoying the sights, they go on the prowl for a discrete banker and find one in Senor Diaz who is bribed into opening an account for their “agricultural products” (wink wink) company, though they initially fund it with just a few stacks of bills. They then find somewhere out of the way to take the car seats apart for the rest. Visiting different neighborhoods they are drawn to the colorful, if poor homes lining the hills of the Colonia Indepencia district where they meet eight-year old Miguel Morales forlornly selling pencils, gum and balloons to help his poor mother Maria and grandmother Marie-Elena who have recently lost both of their husbands in an auto accident. In tears, Miguel tells them his mother is desperately ill with fever five days after childbirth, and he thinks she’s dying. So they hurry to the Morales miserable two-room shack where they find the two nearly starving, as is Miguel’s five year old sister Belinda. They rush Maria to the hospital, arrange to pay all her hospital bills and furthermore go on a spending spree buying groceries, clothing and toys for the family and taking the kids to the park, planetarium and aviary. Bonnie begins to have pangs of guilt “living like King Louis and Marie Antoinette” in the midst of all the surrounding poverty.

Meanwhile the Houston police do their best to crack the case. At a bus stop shelter, the Goodwill clerk sees the “terrorist” vest, fatigue jacket and balaclava on the poster and goes to the police with a good description of Michael, who had truthfully told her he was a veteran to get the 25% discount(but was not asked for ID). So they ask the V.A. to send a list of vets in the area fitting the bill age-wise, and are also contacted by someone who had seen the couple drinking and making out “in an old Cadillac in the parking lot,” providing a lead to Bonnie though the grocery store surveillance cameras are anything but crystal clear.

Meanwhile, Michael and Bonnie’s luck starts to change for the worse. Someone steals their tires even though Michael has taken comical precautions to prevent the car itself from being stolen. And when he and Miguel take a taxi to the local tire store for replacements, the manager tries to sell Michael his own stolen tires! Battling the manager in broken Spanish is an uneven contest: “I don’t see your name on those tires, Senor.” Michael is forced to shell out five thousand pesos for his own tires plus another thousand for locking lug-nuts to prevent a repeat. And for Bonnie it is not just a little bad luck: she is kidnapped and brutally handled by Zeta-gang-members in a van outside the clothing store while Michael and Miguel are kicking a soccer ball around half-block away. They hear her scream but cannot come to the rescue in time. However Miguel has gotten the plate number and the police are called. A gallant Detective Fernando Ramirez does his best to help, but Bonnie’s phone battery is dead, it can’t be tracked, and the van turns out to be stolen. The Zetas take her to an abandoned warehouse where they slap her around because she only has a few bucks and no credit cards, and threaten to kill her if she doesn’t come up with $20,000 pronto. The Zetas make her call her parents, but her phone is dead- so she winds up using the Castle driver’s phone which is in her bag, too, alerting the Houston Police as well as the FBI that she is in Monterrey, and the noose tightens when border customs checks reveal that she has driven there with Michael.

Michael, desperate to find Bonnie, is now the object of pity at the Morales. Miguel recalls having seen the van before in the nearby warehouses and leads Michael, who had hidden the driver’s gun beneath the dash to the area. They see a faint light through a corner of one painted-over warehouse window, and Miguel, standing on Michael’s shoulders spots two armed Zetas as well as a bound, gagged and blindfolded Bonnie inside. Gun drawn, Michael quietly tries the door, but it’s locked, and they start to retreat back to their car to call the police. But at that moment, one of the Zetas, hearing nearby gunfire and police sirens goes out to check and spots Michael. A gun-battle breaks out with Michael hit in the shoulder and downed, but his return fire knocks the Zetas’s gun from his hand, and before he can retrieve it, Michael runs over and cold-cocks him with the butt of his automatic. But the other Zeta bursts out firing his submachine gun, and Miguel is pinned down as Michael again finds himself battling for his life. He is hit in the left leg, but hits the Zeta twice in his gun hand and arm and the battle is over, just as a police car arrives and he is ordered to drop his gun. Bonnie is freed shaken but unhurt.

At the hospital Michael receives a hero’s welcome though his wounded arm is in a sling and his leg in a cast. Detective Ramirez is surprised to get word from his District Attorney, who has been contacted by the U.S. Consulate, that Michael and Bonnie must be detained pending extradition hearings. Having, like everyone else, been charmed by Bonnie, and knowing all the help they have given to the Morales, he is very kindly disposed toward them and persuades them to voluntarily turn themselves in after Michael is discharged. He further encourages them that since technically theirs was not actually armed robbery, and given that Michael was already a war hero who had just taken a bite out of crime in Mexico, and that all was recovered but the $10,000 they had spent, that they might expect leniency.

Michael and Bonnie chime in, “We didn’t spend any of it!”

Back in the States, they are on the front pages: “Ex-G.I. takes on Zeta Gang Single-Handed,” “Robin-Hood Couple Help Family in Need,” “Bonnie and Hyde Pull off Million Dollar Heist!” Bonnie makes bail and is quickly approached by big book publishers to write her story with Michael. Though unable to make bail himself, Michael gets the same book offers, and when Bonnie comes to visit, they manage to have a laugh over the idea of getting the publishers into a bidding war. “A Million bucks or no deal!”

Michael tells Bonnie how much he loves her and asks, “Will you wait for me? To which Bonnie, who is used to getting the last word replies “I’m not going anywheres.”

Michael’s lawyer is very optimistic that although “there is no way you’re getting off scot-free robbing an armored car,” his decorated war record, his voluntary surrender and guilty plea, plus the good-will created in Mexico may get him as little as two years, and maybe just one behind bars with time off for good behavior, and the same for Bonnie who is also a client.

And so they face the music heads held high. In the prison beauty shop Bonnie once again listens to tales of unrequited love as she cuts hair, and Michael institutes creative efficiencies in sandwich-making, using a paint roller to apply mustard to 100 slices at once, and overseeing underlings who can’t seem to follow the rules: “It’s one slice of baloney per sandwich, not two!”

Script Excerpt
Written by:
Starring Roles For:
Emma Stone type
A young Warren Beatty type
sad-eyed 8-year old Mexican kid
In the Vein Of:
A Fish called Wanda
Buddy Crime Film
Author Bio:
A native of Johnstown, NY, Robert Tartell has been everything from a factory worker to a pilot, U.S. Army officer and practicing Family Physician and brings a wealth of experience to his creative writing. His recent awards include: 2019: Winner Houston Comedy Film Festival Best Short Screenplay THE KID 2019: Silver Remi Award, Houston Worldfest Screenplay Competition, HARD-HEARTED HANNAH 2020: Finalist HollywoodJust4Shorts Competition CLEOPATRA'S REVENGE 2020: Semifinalist Hollywood Just4Shorts Competition The L.

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