• Badlands (1973)


Release Date: 1973

DVD Release Date: April 27th, 1999

PG |1 hr 35 min

Plot Summary

Inspired by real-life killers Charles Starkweather and Caril-Ann Fugate, this tale of crime and love begins in a dead-end town. Teenage girl Holly (Sissy Spacek) angers her father (Warren Oates) when she begins dating an older and rebellious boy (Martin Sheen). After a conflict between Holly and her father erupts in murder, the young lovers are forced to flee. In the ensuing crime spree, they journey through the Midwest to the Badlands of Montana, eluding authorities along the way.

Cast: Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek, Warren Oates, Ramon Bieri, Alan Vint, Gary Littlejohn, John Carter, Bryan Montgomery

Director: Terrence Malick

Genres: Crime drama

Production Co: Badlands Company, Pressman-Williams

Keywords: Car, Murder, House, Pursuit, 1950s, Father, Brooding, Forbidden love, Escape

Ratings & Reviews

  • 90

    The difficulty of humanizing killers without romanticizing them may present a challenging problem, but Malick showed it’s not impossible to solve. show more

  • 100
    Roger EbertChicago Sun-Times

    The movie makes no attempt to psychoanalyze its Kit Carruthers, and there are no symbols to note or lessons to learn. What comes through more than anything is the enormous loneliness of the lives these two characters lived, together and apart. show more

  • 100
    Michael WilmingtonChicago Tribune

    Badlands is about a landscape as much as the couple fleeing across it. Watching it, you sense that Malick finds his outlaw lovers beautiful and terrible, pathetic and monstrous, funny and overwhelmingly sad. [27 March 1998] show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com

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Nominated Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1975)