Badlands

An impressionable teenage girl from a dead-end town and her older greaser boyfriend embark on a killing spree in the South Dakota badlands.
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Credits: TheMovieDb.

Film Cast:

  • Kit Carruthers: Martin Sheen
  • Holly Sargis: Sissy Spacek
  • Holly’s Father: Warren Oates
  • Cato: Ramon Bieri
  • Deputy: Alan Vint
  • Sheriff: Gary Littlejohn
  • Rich Man: John Carter
  • Boy: Bryan Montgomery
  • Girl: Gail Threlkeld
  • Clerk: Charles Fitzpatrick
  • Caller at Rich Man’s House: Terrence Malick
  • Boy Under Lamppost: Charlie Sheen
  • Boy Under Lamppost: Emilio Estevez
  • Trooper: John Womack Jr.
  • Boss: Howard Ragsdale
  • Maid: Dona Baldwin
  • Gas Attendant: Ben Bravo

Film Crew:

  • Editor: Billy Weber
  • Costume Design: Rosanna Norton
  • Casting: Dianne Crittenden
  • Director of Photography: Tak Fujimoto
  • Editor: Robert Estrin
  • Art Direction: Jack Fisk
  • Supervising Sound Editor: James Nelson
  • Executive Producer: Edward R. Pressman
  • Director of Photography: Brian Probyn
  • Producer: Terrence Malick
  • Director of Photography: Stevan Larner
  • Associate Producer: Louis A. Stroller
  • Producer: Jill Jakes
  • Original Music Composer: George Aliceson Tipton
  • Sound Editor: Sharron Miller
  • Music Editor: Erma E. Levin
  • Gaffer: Jack English
  • Stunts: George Fisher
  • Sound Re-Recording Mixer: John Wilkinson
  • Hairstylist: Dona Baldwin

Movie Reviews:

  • John Chard: Little did I realise that what began in the alleys and back ways of this quiet town would end in the Badlands of Montana.

    Badlands is written and directed by Terrence Malick. It stars Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek, Ramon Bieri and Warren Oats. Music is by George Tipton and James Taylor and cinematography by Tak Fujimoto, Steven Larner and Brian Probyn.

    Badlands seems to be adored by critics, often being coined as one of the best debuts ever made by a director. Maybe based loosely on the Starkweather-Fugate killing spree of 1958, though the makers have been at pains to ensure we know this is a case of all the characters and situations being fictional, Badlands does indeed have impressive strands. It’s a gorgeous picture visually, the surreal feel that is sometimes garnered by Malick in the narrative gives the piece a haunted edge and Spacek and Sheen are very good given the characters they are asked to play.

    However, Malick’s commentary on amoral youth of 50s America, a corruption of innocence, alienation and etc, never has the depth, to my mind, to really be as special as so many say it is. Some argue the sketchy motives and reasonings involving Kit and Holly are deliberately thought provoking, I’d argue that devoid of psychological meat they are dull characters only livened by the actors’ performances. Holly’s narration is a clever device by Malick, serving to keep us interested since the structure of the film is repetitious, where being in the company of Kit and Holly becomes a chore. And lets not get onto credibility either…

    I know I’m in the minority, but three times I have tried to grasp this supposed genius in Badlands, and I just don’t see it. There’s a myth and mysticism that has been attributed to it, even enhanced as the years have rolled by, but where there is undoubtedly beauty on the surface, down below there is no beast. 6/10

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