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Badlands (1973)

7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 37,297 users   Metascore: 90/100
Reviews: 174 user | 123 critic | 12 from Metacritic.com

An impressionable teen girl from a dead-end town and her older greaser boyfriend go on a killing spree in the South Dakota badlands.

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Title: Badlands (1973)

Badlands (1973) on IMDb 7.9/10

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Kit
...
...
Ramon Bieri ...
Alan Vint ...
Deputy
Gary Littlejohn ...
...
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
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Storyline

Kit Carruthers, a young garbage collector and his girlfriend Holly Sargis from Fort Dupree, South Dakota, are on the run after killing Holly's father who disagreed with their relationship. On their way towards the Badlands of Montana they leave a trail of dispassionate and seemingly random murders. A very intriguing narrative without judgements, and lacking the usually sensational approach of this genre. Very good acting and directing, and beautiful photography. The script was based upon the true story of the Charles Starkweather and Caril-Ann Fugate murders in 1958. Written by Theo de Grood <tdg@xs4all.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He was 25 years old. He combed his hair like James Dean. She was 15. She took music lessons and could twirl a baton. For a while they lived together in a tree house. In 1959, she watched while he killed a lot of people. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

5 January 1974 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

La balade sauvage  »

Box Office

Budget:

$450,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's tag line ("In 1959 a lot of people were killing time. Kit and Holly were killing people") inspired the Zodiac Killer (who'd been lying low for some years) to write a letter to the newspaper denouncing their flippant attitude to violence in society by running such an ad. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the movie, Kit meets Holly after a long day as a garbage man and his white t-shirt is spotless. Kit then asks Holly to take a walk with him, at which point the t-shirt is magically dirty! See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Holly Sargis: [voice over narration] My Mother dies 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 away from the scene of all these memories he moved us from Texas to Port Dupree, South Dakota.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Looking: Looking for the Future (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Xylophonstucke
[Xylophone pieces] (uncredited)
by 'Gunild Keetman'
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A sophisticated exploration of the nature of good and evil
24 January 1999 | by (Oxfordshire, England) – See all my reviews

Surely one of the most brilliant films ever made. The haunting music and cinematography would almost suffice by itself. The hero is little more than a child: the heroine his willing accomplice, and we are made to question what is good and what is evil by seeing the world through the eyes of children. From the moment when the girl's father shoots her dog to punish her, we lose any loyalty to traditional values or to the rights of parents over their children. By the end, it's obvious to us that society doesn't value the lives of those who were killed. It anticipates Natural Born Killers, but perhaps says more and uses a tighter structure.

Brilliantly acted and directed, with many layers to it. A film to watch again and again.


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