Days of Heaven

( 7 )

Overview

Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven, the long-awaited follow-up to his 1973 debut Badlands, confirmed his reputation as a visual poet and narrative iconoclast with a story of love and murder told through the jaded voice of a child and expressive images of nature. In 1916, Chicago steelworker Bill Richard Gere, stepping in for John Travolta flees to Texas with his little sister Linda Linda Manz and girlfriend Abby Brooke Adams after fatally erupting at his boss. Along with other itinerant laborers, they work the ...
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Overview

Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven, the long-awaited follow-up to his 1973 debut Badlands, confirmed his reputation as a visual poet and narrative iconoclast with a story of love and murder told through the jaded voice of a child and expressive images of nature. In 1916, Chicago steelworker Bill Richard Gere, stepping in for John Travolta flees to Texas with his little sister Linda Linda Manz and girlfriend Abby Brooke Adams after fatally erupting at his boss. Along with other itinerant laborers, they work the harvest at a wealthy, ailing farmer's ranch, but the farmer playwright Sam Shepard falls in love with Abby, and, believing her to be Bill's sister, asks the three to stay on at his elysian spread. Seeing it as his one real chance to escape perpetual poverty, Bill urges Abby to marry the sick man. Marriage, however, has more restorative powers, and the farmer has more magnetism, than Bill had planned. "Nobody's perfect," Linda impassively observes in one of her many voiceovers, after their brief paradise is erased by plagues of locusts, fire, and lethal jealousy.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
Terrence Malick's follow-up to his acclaimed 1973 debut Badlands confirmed his reputation as a visual poet and narrative iconoclast. Inspired by silent master F.W. Murnau's City Girl (1930), and shot by Nestor Almendros and Haskell Wexler in natural light primarily during the "magic hour" before sunset, Malick's spectacular imagery took the place of conventional exposition and excessive dialogue. The tragic love triangle between a migrant worker couple and a wealthy landowner must be pieced together through brief, cryptic incidents and child observer Linda's jaded, distant voice-over; the expressive sequences of nature's radiance and brutality allude to the emotions brewing beneath the adults' cool surfaces. Ennio Morricone's delicate, dreamy score further complemented the narrative restraint and sensory beauty. Hailed as a lushly visual masterpiece, even by viewers less taken with Malick's elliptical story-telling, Days of Heaven won a Cannes Film Festival prize and an Oscar for its cinematography, and received Oscar nominations for Score, Costumes, and Sound. Malick himself won Best Director awards from Cannes and the New York Film Critics' Circle. Despite its critical success, Days of Heaven failed to find an audience in 1978; Malick took a 20-year sabbatical from directing before making The Thin Red Line (1998).
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/6/1997
  • UPC: 097360894219
  • Original Release: 1978
  • Rating:

  • Source: Paramount
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Richard Gere Bill
Brooke Adams Abby
Sam Shepard The Farmer
Linda Manz Linda
Robert J. Wilke Farm Foreman
Stuart Margolin Mill Foreman
Jackie Shultis Linda's friend
Gene Bell Dancer
Doug Kershaw Fiddler
Muriel Jolliffe Headmistress
Frenchie Lemond Vaudeville Wrestler
Richard Libertini Vaudeville Leader
Sahbra Markus Vaudeville Dancer
Timothy Scott Harvest Hand
John K. Wilkinson Preacher
Bob Wilson Accountant
Technical Credits
Terrence Malick Director, Screenwriter
Nestor Almendros Cinematographer
John Bailey Camera Operator
Jacob Brackman Executive Producer
Jamie Brown Makeup
Skip Cosper Asst. Director
Dianne Crittenden Casting
Jack Fisk Art Director
Robert W. Glass Jr. Sound/Sound Designer
Peter Gregory Sound/Sound Designer
Les Kimber Production Manager
Leo Kottke Score Composer
Mel Merrells Special Effects
Ennio Morricone Score Composer
Pat Norris Costumes/Costume Designer
John Reitz Sound/Sound Designer
George Ronconi Sound Mixer
Bert Schneider Producer
Harold Schneider Producer
Robert Thirlwell Sound/Sound Designer
Barry Thomas Sound Mixer
John Thomas Special Effects
Billy Weber Editor
Haskell Wexler Cinematographer
John K. Wilkinson Sound/Sound Designer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(5)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    There's a reason this version costs more than the standard version...

    ...that reason is "Criterion."

    There's nothing "wrong" with the standard version of this film, which is much cheaper, but for a film like this, to be mastered and restored in a new high definition digital transfer with a new Dolby 5.1 soundtrack, and LOADS of great bonus material, it's an easy choice...an even better choice might be the upcoming Blu-Ray release that Criterion is planning in a couple months.

    There's a good chance you may not have heard of "Terrence Malick" (the writer/director) or the film. But once you see it, it becomes quite clear why Malick has become almost iconic even though he only made two films in the 70s (this and "Badlands")...and then took a rather long hiatus until 1998's "The Thin Red Line" where his near-legendary reputation attracted one of the finest ensemble casts in recent memory.

    To rate this film visually 5 stars out of 5, seems almost ineadequate. This is truly an artistic work unique to cinema, its visuals are unsurpassed, the narration (which often can backfire) is on the mark, and the sounds and sights take a bland love triangle, migrant worker story into something truly transcendent.

    There are very few films I would truly describe as "poetic," but this, like much of Malick's work is undeniably so.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    An obscure gem from the 1970's.

    DAYS OF HEAVEN is Terrence Malick's masterpiece; a visually stunning tale about the struggles of the pursuit of the "American Dream". Set in the rural Texas panhandle of the early 20th century, the film examines the decision-making process of a young, unmarried couple trying to eke out a simple existence. A friend of mine, who emigrated from India in the 1980's, has told me that this film helped him to understand the concept of America more than any other. I highly recommend it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    BEAUTIFUL FILM

    THIS A BEAUTIFUL FILM, AND IT DISPLAYS THE TIME PERIOD PERFECTLY. THE ACTING IS GREAT AND STORYLINE IS TANGLED BETWEEN WHAT IS SHOWN AS A BROTHER IN LOVE WITH HIS SISTER WHO MARRYS A RICHMAN FOR A BETTER LIFE. OF COURSE, SIN FOLLOWS SIN, AND THE OUTCOME IS QUITE ENTERTAINING. SAM SHEPARD GIVES A GREAT PERFORMANCE, INCLUDING RICHARD GERE WITH HIS CHICAGOE! ACCENT.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2010

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews