Badlands plus Trailer and Clips

Badlands is the first feature of former Rhodes scholar and Harvard philosophy student Terrence Malick. An independent production by Pressman-Williams Enterprises, Badlands was purchased for distribution by Warner Brothers after its smashing debut at the 1972 New York Film Festival, where critics hailed it in terms like this: “In Terrence Malick's cool, sometimes brilliant, always ferociously American film...Kit (Martin Sheen) and Holly (Sissy Spacek) take an all-American joyride across the upper Middle West, at the end of which more than half a dozen people have been shot to death, usually at point blank range. Badlands inevitably invites comparison with three other important American films: Arthur Penn's Bonnie and Clyde, and Fritz Lang's Fury and You Only Live Once. But it has a different vision of violence and death. Mr. Malick spends no great amount of time invoking Freud to explain the behavior of Kit and Holly, nor is there any Depression to be held ultimately responsible. Society is, if anything, benign. This is the truth of Badlands, something that places it very much in the seventies in spite of its carefully recreated period detail.” (Vincent Canby, N.Y. Times) Based on the bloody saga of Charles Starkweather and Caril Fugate, whose murder spree erupted in January 1958, Badlands is by far the best of the recent group of outlaw couple movies (Sugarland Express, Thieves Like Us, etc.) but, perhaps because it is so cool and intelligent in its formal conception, it has not reached the wider audience it deserves. And Warner Brothers seems to have given up on it so far as distribution is concerned.

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