7.8/10
62,730
227 user 138 critic

Badlands (1973)

Trailer
1:37 | Trailer
An impressionable teenage girl from a dead-end town and her older greaser boyfriend embark on a killing spree in the South Dakota badlands.

Director:

Terrence Malick

Writer:

Terrence Malick
Reviews
Popularity
3,631 ( 294)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Martin Sheen ... Kit
Sissy Spacek ... Holly
Warren Oates ... Father
Ramon Bieri ... Cato
Alan Vint ... Deputy
Gary Littlejohn Gary Littlejohn ... Sheriff
John Carter ... Rich Man
Bryan Montgomery Bryan Montgomery ... Boy
Gail Threlkeld Gail Threlkeld ... Girl
Charles Fitzpatrick Charles Fitzpatrick ... Clerk
Howard Ragsdale Howard Ragsdale ... Boss
John Womack Jr. John Womack Jr. ... Trooper
Dona Baldwin Dona Baldwin ... Maid
Ben Bravo Ben Bravo ... Gas Attendant
Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A hot-tempered farm laborer convinces the woman he loves to marry their rich but dying boss so that they can have a claim to his fortune.

Director: Terrence Malick
Stars: Richard Gere, Brooke Adams, Sam Shepard
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Adaptation of James Jones' autobiographical 1962 novel, focusing on the conflict at Guadalcanal during the second World War.

Director: Terrence Malick
Stars: Jim Caviezel, Sean Penn, Nick Nolte
The New World (2005)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The story of the English exploration of Virginia, and of the changing world and loves of Pocahontas.

Director: Terrence Malick
Stars: Colin Farrell, Q'orianka Kilcher, Christopher Plummer
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The story of a family in Waco, Texas in 1956. The eldest son witnesses the loss of innocence and struggles with his parents' conflicting teachings.

Director: Terrence Malick
Stars: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain
To the Wonder (2012)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

After falling in love in Paris, Marina and Neil come to Oklahoma, where problems arise. Their church's Spanish-born pastor struggles with his faith, while Neil encounters a woman from his childhood.

Director: Terrence Malick
Stars: Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Javier Bardem
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A writer indulging in all that Los Angeles and Las Vegas has to offer undertakes a search for love and self via a series of adventures with six different women.

Director: Terrence Malick
Stars: Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman
Song to Song I (2017)
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Two intersecting love triangles. Obsession and betrayal set against the music scene in Austin, Texas.

Director: Terrence Malick
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, Michael Fassbender
A Hidden Life (2019)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The Austrian Franz Jägerstätter, a conscientious objector, refuses to fight for the Nazis in World War II.

Director: Terrence Malick
Stars: August Diehl, Valerie Pachner, Maria Simon
Blue Velvet (1986)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The discovery of a severed human ear found in a field leads a young man on an investigation related to a beautiful, mysterious nightclub singer and a group of psychopathic criminals who have kidnapped her child.

Director: David Lynch
Stars: Isabella Rossellini, Kyle MacLachlan, Dennis Hopper
Breathless (1960)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, Daniel Boulanger
The Killing (1956)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Crook Johnny Clay assembles a five man team to plan and execute a daring race-track robbery.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A paranoid, secretive surveillance expert has a crisis of conscience when he suspects that the couple he is spying on will be murdered.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Allen Garfield
Edit

Storyline

It's the late 1950s. Mid-twenty-something Kit is a restless and unfocused young man with a James Dean vibe and swagger which he has heard mentioned about him more than once. Fifteen year old Holly has a somewhat cold relationship with her sign painter father, if only because she is the primary reminder of his wife, who died of pneumonia when Holly was a child. The two meet when Holly and her father move from Texas to the small town where Kit lives, Fort Dupree, South Dakota. They slowly fall in love, something about which she cannot tell her father because of their age difference and Kit coming from the wrong side of the tracks. When he tries to take Holly away with him, Kit, on an impulse, shoots her father dead. After letting the initial emotions of the situation settle down, Holly decides voluntarily to go with Kit, they trying to make it look like they committed suicide in a house fire. But they soon learn that their plan did not work, there being a bounty on their heads. As such,... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In 1959 a lot of people were killing time. Kit and Holly were killing people. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Badlands (1973) received a place in the film reference book "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die". See more »

Goofs

The passenger train that passes Kit and Holly on the trestle is pulling Amtrak cars. Amtrak was not established until 1971, and this film takes place in 1959. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Holly Sargis: [voice over narration] My Mother died of pneumonia when I was just a kid. My Father kept their wedding cake in the freezer for ten whole years. After the funeral he gave it to the yard man. He tried to act cheerful but he could never be consoled by the little stranger he found in his house. Then one day hoping to begin a new life away from the scene of all these memories he moved us from Texas to Port Dupree, South Dakota.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Dating Scene (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Love Is Strange
(Mickey Baker (as M. Baker)-Ethel Smith (as B. Smith)-Sylvia Robinson (as S.Robinson))
Sung by Mickey & Sylvia (as Mickey and Sylvia)
See more »

User Reviews

 
A Not Unimpressive Amoral Film
30 July 2005 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

While the end credits were rolling I noticed an on screen disclaimer along the lines of " All the characters and situations are fictional and any relation between the events depicted in this film is entirely coincidental " which had me scratching my head because whenever I read about Terence Malik's BADLANDS I'm told that it's based on a true story about two teenage lovers who went on a killing spree in 1950s America . Thank you very much IMDb for pointing out via the trivia section and other reviewers comments as to why the producers suddenly wanted everyone to think that this is not intended as a true story . I'm sure it would have been impossible to make anti heroes out of the true life protagonists

As it stands Kit and Holly are portrayed as two amoral children living out a childhood wish fulfillment . They kill someone and then spend a long period of time living out in the woods . It's almost like these childhood fantasies we have when we're younger how wonderful it would be if we could just escape from a world of industrialization and adults and just do whatever the hell we wanted with no interference and the point is hammered home when Kit builds a tree house out in the woods . Who but a child has ambitions to spend their life in a tree house ? However I find myself asking myself how this would be possible , is it likely that two teenagers wanted for murder , who have no probable experience of rural life and who both smoke cigarettes being to live off the land without having to buy groceries or go into town ? I could have accepted this if it stuck to a true story but not if it's been heavily fictionalised . Likewise we really don't find out the motivation behind the killing spree , Kit and Holly ( Well Kit since Holly is portrayed as being a bystander of sorts ) allow some people to live and some people to die without any rhyme or reason to it . Come to think of it perhaps the reason BADLANDS is so well regarded is because it's supposedly based on a true story . If you start looking upon it as a made up story it seems shallow and unimpressive for the most part doesn't it ?

Not to be negative this is a good debut by director Terance Malik who manages to bring out two very good performances from the then fairly unknown Sissy Spacek and Martin Sheen . Remember I said something about childhood wish fulfillment ? that's exactly how Spacek and Sheen play their roles - As two children with misguided views on the world in general and love in particular . It's as if Kit and Holly are unaware of what consequence is , which again seems like a child's mentality would be . I also couldn't help noticing that Malik seems to have a great love of nature with shots of wild life and glorious and beautiful sun sets filling the screen , something he used in his later masterwork of THE THIN RED LINE which made me ask myself if Malik is a member of Greenpeace ? Perhaps not since he's an auteur who seems to know that while there's great beauty in nature there's also great cruelty present too

A good though perhaps not great example of cinema from the 1970s when amorality was all the rage


39 of 71 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 227 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

5 January 1974 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

Badlands See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$450,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$54,396
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed