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Information

Year
1973
Runtime
94 min.
Director
Terrence Malick
Genres
Crime, Drama
Rating *
7.8
Votes *
26,677
Checks
11,688
Favs
1,314
Dislikes
46
Favs/checks
11.2% (1:9)
Favs/dislikes
29:1
* 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.
    5 years 6 months ago
  2. Dieguito's avatar

    Dieguito

    Impressive debut of Terrence Malick! 7 years 8 months ago
  3. mayumi's avatar

    mayumi

    Sissy is so lovely 8 years 11 months ago
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In 22 official lists

  1. This movie ranks #2 in BFI's 100 Road Movies
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    BFI's 100 Road Movies

    2
  2. This movie ranks #4 in BFI's 100 American Independent Films
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    BFI's 100 American Indep…

    4
  3. This movie ranks #8 in Quentin Tarantino's Coolest Movies of All Time
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    Quentin Tarantino's Cool…

    8
  4. This movie ranks #53 in The New York Times's Book of Movies
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    The New York Times's Boo…

    53
  5. This movie ranks #59 in Time Out's 1000 Films to Change Your Life
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    Time Out's 1000 Films to…

    59
  6. 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
  7. This movie ranks #86 in Spike Lee's Essential List of Films for Filmmakers
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    Spike Lee's Essential Li…

    86
  8. This movie ranks #87 in Time Out's The 100 Best Romantic Films
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    Time Out's The 100 Best …

    87
  9. This movie ranks #121 in Library of Congress's National Film Registry
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    Library of Congress's Na…

    121
  10. This movie ranks #132 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films
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    TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest F…

    132
  11. This movie ranks #140 in Sight & Sound's The Greatest Films of All Time
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    Sight & Sound's The Grea…

    140
  12. This movie ranks #155 in Empire's The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time
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    Empire's The 500 Greates…

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

    189
  14. This movie ranks #227 in Harvard's Suggested Film Viewing: Narrative Films
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    Harvard's Suggested Film…

    227
  15. This movie ranks #229 in Jennifer Eiss's 500 Essential Cult Movies
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    Jennifer Eiss's 500 Esse…

    229
  16. This movie ranks #327 in Mark Cousins's The Story of Film: An Odyssey
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    Mark Cousins's The Story…

    327
  17. This movie ranks #382 in Roger Ebert's Great Movies
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    Roger Ebert's Great Movi…

    382
  18. This movie ranks #557 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
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    1001 Movies You Must See…

    557
  19. This movie ranks #637 in Jonathan Rosenbaum's Essential Cinema
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    Jonathan Rosenbaum's Ess…

    637
  20. This movie ranks #753 in The Criterion Collection
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    The Criterion Collection

    753
  21. This movie ranks #755 in David Thomson's Have You Seen?
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    David Thomson's Have You…

    755
  22. This movie ranks #768 in TSPDT's 1,000 Noir Films
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    TSPDT's 1,000 Noir Films

    768
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