Best Movies by Farr
Badlands Poster
Released Runtime Category
1973 93 Mystery/Thrillers, The Criterion Collection
Director Language
Terrence Malick English
Sissy Spacek, Martin Sheen, Warren Oates


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What's it About
Surly James Dean wanna-be Kit Carruthers (Sheen) collects garbage for a pittance in small-town South Dakota. One day, he spots cute, quirky teenage redhead Holly Sargis (Spacek) on her front lawn twirling a baton, and immediately falls in love. But Holly's father (Oates) disapproves of the rough twenty-something drifter dating his young daughter, so Kit murders him and the two lovers go on the lam to do some more killing.
Why we love it
Loosely based on the 1958 Starkweather-Fugate murder spree that left ten dead in Nebraska, Malick's astonishingly beautiful and accomplished debut marked him as a filmmaker with a unique artistic vision. With Spacek's matter-of-fact voice-over and deliriously gorgeous natural imagery to go alongside the fervid subject matter, "Badlands" was a pastoral renegade epic unlike any other. Spacek is alien-odd and eerily child-like as Holly, but Malick's ace in the hole is Sheen, whose simmering, cock-strutting portrayal of Kit has a strange, perverse beauty all its own.

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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"