Great movies don't necessarily hit theaters first these days. If you need proof, just check out the Netflix original The Highwaymen that hit the streaming service last week, starring Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson.
It's the story of legendary outlaws Bonnie and Clyde told from the perspective of the two former Texas Rangers who ultimately hunted the duo down after their two-year reign of terror. Though the history of the story depicted in the film was not as cut and dry in reality as it would appear (it never is), it's a damn good movie with memorable performances from Costner and Harrelson.
I've come to believe that if you put two great actors in a car together for extended dialog-heavy scenes and one of them is Woody Harrelson, it's going to turn out good. (Yes, I'm a but True Detective S1 fan.)
The story follows Frank Hamer (Costner), a retired Texas Ranger who built a legend for himself in the early 1900s. Since then, Texas Gov. Miriam Amanda Wallace "Ma" Ferguson (who was one of the first women elected to governor of a state and served two terms, from 1925 to 1927 and again from 1933 to 1935) had disbanded the Texas Rangers, according to the movie. In actuality, the whole affair was a lot messier.
Ma Ferguson had a reputation for being corrupt. After all, she was first elected after her husband "Pa" Ferguson, was impeached and forced to resign.
About 40 Texas Rangers resigned rather than serve under Ma Ferguson for her second term. She then fired all the remaining Rangers and replaced them with her own appointees. Though Hamer retired after 27 years, the commander of the Rangers allowed him to retain a Special Ranger commission as an active Senior Range Captain.
In the movie, "Ma" (Kathie Bates) says that the state legislature had dissolved the Rangers, though its clear that is her policy.
When Hamer was tapped to go after Bonnie and Clyde following a particularly brazen prison break, he was commissioned as an officer of the Texas Highway Patrol to hunt them down—hence the movie title. After recruiting his old Ranger partner, Maney Gault (also retired) for the assignment, the two set out to do what they do best.