Badlands. It's not just a place. It's also a frame of
What's it all about?
Fifteen-year-old Holly loves Kit because she thinks he looks like
James Dean. While Holly's vision is faulty, she's a perfectly loyal
girlfriend who stands by her man even after he kills her widower father
for coming between them. Holly continues to outdo Tammy Wynette as Kit
continues killing on their cross-country run from the law.
|Kit and Holly stroll down the street
|Kit and Holly flee bounty hunters at their
|The fugitive couple at the rich man's house
|Kit and Holly in the car backseat
|Criminal mastermind Kit demonstrates his talent
for fleeing from the law
|Actor Martin Sheen and director Malick on the set
- Martin Sheen (Kit)
- Sissy Spacek (Holly)
- Warren Oates (Holly's Father)
- Ramon Bieri (Cato)
- Alan Vint (Deputy)
- Gary Littlejohn (Sheriff)
- John Carter (Rich Man)
- Bryan Montgomery (Boy)
- Gail Threlkeld (Girl)
- Charles Fitzpatrick (Clerk)
- Howard Ragsdale (Boss)
- John Womack, Jr. (Trooper)
- Dona Baldwin (Maid)
- Ben Bravo (Gas Attendant)
My mother died of pneumonia when I was just a kid. My father kept
their wedding cake in the freezer for ten whole years. After the funeral
he gave it to the yard man. He tried to act cheerful but he could never be
consoled by the little stranger he found in his house. Then one day hoping
to begin a new life from all his memories he moved us from Texas to Fort
Dupree, South Dakota.
Heard the news Kit?
Been in all the headlines.
You've been fired. Ain't that a hell of a note?
Little by little we fell in love. As I'd never been popular in school
and didn't have a lot of personality I was surprised that he took such a
liking to me especially when he could have had any other girl in town if
he'd given it half a try. He said that I was grand though, that he wasn't
interested in me for sex and that coming from him this was a compliment.
He'd never met a fifteen year old girl who behaved more like a grown
up and wasn't giggly.
(Shot of a cow lying on its side panting. It looks like it's dying.)
He didn't care what anyone else thought. I looked good to him and
whatever I did was okay. And if I didn't have a lot to say well that was
Kit made me get my books from school so I wouldn't fall behind. We'd
be starting a new life he said and we'd have to change our names. His
would be James. Mine would be Priscilla. We'd hide out like spies
somewhere in the north where people didn't ask a lot of questions. I could
have snuck out the back or hid in the boiler room I suppose but I sensed
that my destiny now lay with Kit for better or for worse and that it was
better to spend a week with someone who loved me for what I was than years
We had our bad moments like any couple. Kit accused me of only being
along for the ride while at times I wished he'd fall in the river and
drown so I could watch.
One day while taking a look at some vistas in dad's stereopticon it
hit me that I was just this little girl born in Texas whose father was a
sign painter who had only just so many years to live. It sent a chill down
my spine and I thought where would I be this very moment if Kit had never
met me or killed anybody this very moment if my mama'd never met my dad if
she'd never died and what's the man I'll marry gonna look like? What's he
doing right this minute? Is he thinking about me now by some coincidence
even if he doesn't know me? Does it show on his face? For days afterwards
I lived in dread. Sometimes I wished I could fall asleep and be taken off
to some magical land where this never happened.
Film and Literature
- In a 1975 interview with Sight and Sound,
Malick says his literary influences for Badlands include: The Hardy Boys,
Swiss Family Robinson, Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn and Nancy Drew.
Back to the Flicks of Terrence Malick