December 1st, 2012: Badlands (1973)

Badlands

What It’s About: Kit (Martin Sheen) and his teenaged girlfriend Holly (Sissy Spacek) go on the run from South Dakota to towards the Montana Badlands after murdering Holly’s father (Warren Oates), leaving a trail of random murders in their wake.

Why Watch it Today?: The infamous Starkweather Murders might seem like a weird subject for a filmmaker known for beautiful imagery, but somehow Terrence Malick makes it work in this, his début film.  Charles Starkweather committed his first, solo murder (of a gas station attendant who refused to let him buy his 14-year-old girlfriend Carril Ann Fugate a gift on credit) on this date in 1957.

 

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