Sling Blade

Sling Blade

4.8 16

Cast: Billy Bob Thornton, Dwight Yoakam, J.T. Walsh, John Ritter

     
 

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Sling Blade marked the directorial debut of country singer turned actor Billy Bob Thornton, who also authored the script (expanding George Hickenlooper's acclaimed short Some Folks Call it a Sling Blade) and stars in the picture. Thornton plays Karl Childers, a mildly retarded man who spent most of his life in a mental institution. When Karl was a boy,See more details below

Overview

Sling Blade marked the directorial debut of country singer turned actor Billy Bob Thornton, who also authored the script (expanding George Hickenlooper's acclaimed short Some Folks Call it a Sling Blade) and stars in the picture. Thornton plays Karl Childers, a mildly retarded man who spent most of his life in a mental institution. When Karl was a boy, he was severely mistreated by his abusive father (Robert Duvall). At age 12, Karl found his mother having intercourse with a man who tormented him endlessly; he snapped, flew into a homicidal rage, and killed both individuals by decapitating them. Years later, as a middle-aged man, Karl is deemed harmless to society and released from the mental institution where he resides. Karl says he has learned his lesson and adds, "I reckon I got no reason to kill no one." He returns to the town of his boyhood, where he's befriended by Frank (Lucas Black), the son of a widowed mother who sees the eccentric but open-hearted Karl as a kindred spirit. Karl also gets a job at a fix-it shop and resides in the backroom, until Frank's mother, Linda (Natalie Canerday), takes a liking to Karl and lets him stay with them. However, Karl also meets Doyle (Dwight Yoakam), Linda's boyfriend, a sadistically cruel, narrow-minded drunk who tosses casual abuse at Frank, treats Linda like dirt, and mocks Karl endlessly. The late John Ritter co-stars as Linda's friend Vaughan, a mild-mannered homosexual who works at the neighborhood dollar store. Musicians Col. Bruce Hampton and Vic Chesnutt are among Doyle's party guests.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Billy Bob Thornton's Sling Blade is a fascinating, superbly nuanced tale, alternately sweet and disturbing. Thornton's turn as writer, director, and star of the independently made feature established him as a true talent -- he received an Oscar for his screenplay -- but his isn't the only stellar work. The surprise casting of John Ritter as a gay storeowner is no stunt; he gives life and complexity to a character which, in a lesser film, would have been a mere caricature. The real revelation, however, is country & western singer Dwight Yoakam's fascinatingly loathsome domestic abuser Doyle. Yoakam and Thornton refuse to make things easy on us: Doyle possesses a cowardly ambivalence, summed up wonderfully in a scene in which he pathetically slinks away from his girlfriend's crusading son.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/15/2011
UPC:
0031398138006
Original Release:
1996
Source:
Miramax Lionsgate
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
2:15:00
Sales rank:
21,616

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Billy Bob Thornton Karl Childers
Dwight Yoakam Doyle Hargraves
J.T. Walsh Charles Bushman
John Ritter Vaughan Cunningham
Lucas Black Frank Wheatley
Natalie Canerday Actor
James Hampton Jerry Woolridge
Robert Duvall Karl's Father
Jim Jarmusch Dairy Queen Boy

Technical Credits
Billy Bob Thornton Director,Screenwriter
David L. Bushell Producer
Barry Cole Musical Direction/Supervision
Douglas Hall Costumes/Costume Designer
W.M. Halle Asst. Director
Clark Hunter Production Designer
Kingshill Group Associate Producer
Traci Kirshbaum Set Decoration/Design
Jeff Kushner Sound/Sound Designer
Daniel Lanois Score Composer,Songwriter
Paul Ledford Sound/Sound Designer
Barry Markowitz Cinematographer
Larry Meistrich Executive Producer
Brandon Rosser Producer
Sarah Tackett Casting
Hughes Winborne Editor

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