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Information

Year
1973
Runtime
94 min.
Director
Terrence Malick
Genres
Crime, Drama
Rating *
7.9
Votes *
26,677
Checks
10,919
Favs
1,255
Dislikes
47
Favs/checks
11.5% (1:9)
Favs/dislikes
27:1
* View IMDb information

Top comments

  1. sixteenmiles's avatar

    sixteenmiles

    Some thoughts on Badlands: https://16miles.wordpress.com/2015/05/19/badlands-1973/

    This begins a Terence Malick love affair that will stretch for decades.

    Badlands is a film of strange personal morality. A beautiful road movie through the waste of America, following the killing spree of two drifting souls. Holly and Kit are creatures of vague motivation. Bored of the tedium of civilisation they break out into the wilderness in a violent spiral towards death. Framed in the macro-beauty of nature.

    For Holly it is unclear why she is so willing to follow Kit down this path of self-destruction. This is no Mickey and Mallory relationship. It becomes clear these characters hold no true love for each other. Only an interest (or fascination?). But for Kit it is about forging an element of fame or iconography of himself. He leaves a constant trail of ‘himself’ as they go. A trail of his morality, recording messages to tape for potential child fans who look up to him as an idol. “Listen to your parents and teachers. They got a line on most things, so don’t treat em like enemies.” he says. This whole ordeal is a quest to find importance. To impart a mark on the world.

    Kit punctuates each action with strange justification and reasoning that Holly accepts. She doesn’t question him, but doesn’t understand him either. The two blaze out into this personal heaven, knowing that it is all temporary. Knowing and preparing for the explosive end.

    Malick as a director has a way of splashing human brutality onto the frame of nature. A film about killing where the takeaway imagery is an aching, fading sun through grass and leaves. Badlands marks the beginning of Malickian cinematography. Film-makers have imitated and emulated this aesthetic style (but never as well) to an extent where it has become pastiche. But it began here.

    This is a beautiful film about brutal, disconnected people.
    3 years 2 months ago
  2. Dieguito's avatar

    Dieguito

    Impressive debut of Terrence Malick! 5 years 3 months ago
  3. mayumi's avatar

    mayumi

    Sissy is so lovely 6 years 7 months ago
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In 21 official lists

  1. This movie ranks #8 in Quentin Tarantino's Coolest Movies of All Time
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    8
  2. This movie ranks #15 in TimeOut's 100 Best Romantic Movies
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    15
  3. This movie ranks #59 in TimeOut's 1000 Films to Change Your Life
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    59
  4. This movie ranks #60 in The Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made
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    60
  5. This movie ranks #71 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die
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    The Guardian's 1000 Film…

    71
  6. This movie ranks #86 in Spike Lee's Essential Film List
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    Spike Lee's Essential Fi…

    86
  7. This movie ranks #121 in National Film Registry
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    National Film Registry

    121
  8. This movie ranks #125 in They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?
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    They Shoot Pictures, Don…

    125
  9. This movie ranks #140 in Sight and Sound 2012 - Combined List
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    Sight and Sound 2012 - C…

    140
  10. This movie ranks #155 in Empire 500
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    Empire 500

    155
  11. This movie ranks #189 in Halliwell's Top 1000: The Ultimate Movie Countdown
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    Halliwell's Top 1000: Th…

    189
  12. This movie ranks #192 in FOK! top 250
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    FOK! top 250

    192
  13. This movie ranks #227 in Harvard University's Suggested Film Viewing List: Narrative Films (2012)
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    Harvard University's Sug…

    227
  14. This movie ranks #229 in 500 Essential Cult Movies
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    500 Essential Cult Movies

    229
  15. This movie ranks #327 in The Story of Film: An Odyssey
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    The Story of Film: An Od…

    327
  16. This movie ranks #381 in Roger Ebert: the great movies
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    Roger Ebert: the great m…

    381
  17. This movie ranks #559 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
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    1001 Movies You Must See…

    559
  18. This movie ranks #637 in Jonathan Rosenbaum's Essential Films
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    Jonathan Rosenbaum's Ess…

    637
  19. This movie ranks #751 in Have You Seen? A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films
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    Have You Seen? A Persona…

    751
  20. This movie ranks #753 in The Criterion Collection
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    The Criterion Collection

    753
  21. This movie ranks #768 in TSPDT 1000 Noir Films
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    TSPDT 1000 Noir Films

    768
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