Badlands

Badlands

Director: Terrence Malick Cast: Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek, Warren Oates
4.7 4

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Overview

Badlands

"He wanted to die with me and I dreamed of being lost forever in his arms." A young couple goes on a Midwest crime spree in Terrence Malick's hypnotically assured debut feature, based on the 1950s Starkweather-Fugate murders. Fancying himself a rebel like James Dean, twentysomething Kit (Martin Sheen) takes off with teen baton-twirler Holly (Sissy Spacek) after shooting her father (Warren Oates) when he tries to split the pair up. Once bounty hunters discover their riverside hiding place, Kit and Holly head toward Saskatchewan, leaving dead bodies in their wake. As the law closes in, however, Holly gives herself up -- but Kit doesn't hold it against her, as he basks in his new status as a momentary folk hero. Inaugurating the use of voice-over narration that he would continue in Days of Heaven (1978) and The Thin Red Line (1998), Malick juxtaposes Holly's flat readings of her flowery romance-novel diary prose with the banal and surreal details of their journey. Singularly inarticulate with each other, Kit and Holly are more intrigued by mythic celebrity gestures, as Holly peruses her fan magazines and Kit commemorates key moments before orchestrating a properly dramatic capture for himself (complete with the right hat). The sublime visuals lend a dreamlike beauty to the couple's trip even as their actions are treated casually; Malick neither glamorizes Kit and Holly nor consigns them to the bloody end of their fame-fixated predecessors in Bonnie and Clyde (1967). With the couple's opaque dialogue and Holly's fanzine dream narration, Malick further denies an easy explanation for their crimes. Made for under 500,000 dollars, Badlands debuted at the 1973 New York Film Festival, along with Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets, and was released within months of two other outlaw-couple road movies, Steven Spielberg's The Sugarland Express and Robert Altman's Thieves Like Us. Although Badlands did not make an impression at the box office, its pictorial splendor and cool yet disquieting narrative established Malick as one of the most compelling artists to come out of early-'70s Hollywood.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/19/2013
UPC: 0715515104210
Original Release: 1973
Source: Criterion
Region Code: A
Time: 1:34:00
Sales rank: 13,905

Special Features

New, restored 4K digital transfer, approved by director Terrence Malick, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack; Making "Badlands," a new documentary featuring actors Martin Sheen and Sissy spacek and art director Jack Fisk; New interviews with assiciate editor Billy Weber and executive producer Edward Pressman; "Charles Starkweather," a 1993 episode of the television program American Justice, about the real-life story on which the film was loosely based; Trailer; Plus: a booklet featuring an essay by filmmaker Michael Almereyda

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Martin Sheen Kit Carruthers
Sissy Spacek Holly Sargis
Warren Oates Mr. Sargis, Father
Alan Vint Deputy
Ramon Bieri Cato
Gary Littlejohn Sheriff
John Carter Rich Man
Terrence Malick Salesman
Dona Baldwin Maid
Ben Bravo Gas Station Attendant
Charles Fitzpatrick Clerk
Howard Ragsdale Boss
John Womack Trooper on plane

Technical Credits
Terrence Malick Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Robert L. Estrin Editor
Jack Fisk Art Director
Tak Fujimoto Cinematographer
Stevan Larner Cinematographer
James Nelson Sound/Sound Designer
Edward R. Pressman Executive Producer
Brian Probyn Cinematographer
Ed Richardson Art Director
William P. Scott Production Manager
Louis A. Stroller Associate Producer
George Aliceson Tipton Score Composer

Customer Reviews

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Badlands 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Brilliant picaresque tale with a young Spacek and Sheen. Too bad Malick didn't make more features after Days of Heaven until The Thin Red Line 20 years later!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Terence Malick's debut film is his best, telling the Starkweather-esque story of Kit Carruthers and his girlfriend Holly in a strange and hypnotic manner that somehow still manages to feel both naturalistic and right. The lead performances are two of the finest in film history, with Sheen and Spacek capturing the exact mix of wistfulness, childishness, and chilling nonchalance of two sociopaths who see their killing spree as a grand and romantic, though not necessarily exciting, adventure. Spacek's narration and the beautifully bizarre yet oddly appropriate calypso-style score accent the film's dreamy feel, and help make this one of the best from cinema's greatest decade.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago