"Crap! I wish I hadn't seen Ricky on the sidewalk."

"You will be fine for 31 minutes. You will be dead in 32 minutes."

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


I watched Badlands (Malick, 1973) again recently.

It's loosely based on the Charles Starkweather-Caril Ann Fugate crime spree from 1958 and like all Terrence Malick films, the natural landscape plays a significant supporting role.  
Holly (Sissy Spacek) is fifteen and lives alone with her father.  Her boyfriend Kit (Martin Sheen)is ten years older. He's from the wrong side of the tracks, but he's dreamy like James Dean.  He's also hot-tempered, impulsive, and carries a gun in his ass pocket.

When Holly's father finds out about the relationship, he kills Holly's dog. Kit shows up and shoots Holly's father, then burns their house down. The pair go on a multi-state murder spree before the authorities apprehend them.

Each time Martin Sheen's mug filled the screen, I thought he's just like a healthy version of Charlie Sheen. 

There's a point, very late in the movie, where Holly gives up.  A police helicopter is closing in and she can't go on running. 

Kit throws a tantrum. He stomps around, kicking up dirt.  "What is the matter with you, huh?" 

If I ever run into Nicolas Cage, I'm going to ask him about that moment. I feel like he might have based his whole career on it.

This is my favorite shot from the movie:

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