As the lights come up, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow are seen dead in a car, covered in blood. As the screen behind them flashes details of their demise, Young Bonnie appears. She dreams of becoming a film star and changing her life forever (“Picture Show”). However her dreaming is interrupted when her mother drags Bonnie into the church for her father’s funeral. In Texas, Young Clyde is also dreaming of being a movie star, imitating Billy the Kid with his rifle. Eight months later, both Bonnie and Clyde have moved to West Dallas and both are unhappy with their living situations. Bonnie is living with her grandmother, and Clyde is in trouble with the law. Despite their problems, both still dream of the glamorous lifestyles featured in the movies. Moving forward to 1930, Bonnie is a waitress in a diner and Clyde and his brother, Buck, are sentenced to two years in jail for theft. In the diner, Bonnie is approached by police officer Ted Hinton and invited to a party with him. Upon hearing that there will be a full band there, Bonnie agrees. Driving home from work, Bonnie’s car breaks down and she is stuck in the middle of a dirt road. Clyde appears, offering to fix her car in return for a lift into West Dallas. Clyde claims he is moving out of West Dallas, going anywhere he likes “just like the legendary Billy the Kid.” Although Bonnie is cynical about Clyde’s grand plans, he tells her that one day he will be rich and famous (“This World Will Remember Me”). Clyde recognizes a fellow dreamer in Bonnie and the pair are drawn together, feeling an instant connection. Clyde tells her that he has just broken out of jail and is on the run from the police. He plans to be miles away by tomorrow but wants to see his parents before he leaves.
Meanwhile, in a West Dallas beauty parlor, Buck and his wife, Blanche, are arguing furiously over Buck’s escape from jail. As the police arrive, Buck dives under a hairdryer and pretends to be a female customer at the salon.