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Days of Heaven (1978)

PG | | Drama, Romance | 6 October 1978 (USA)
A hot-tempered farm laborer convinces the woman he loves to marry their rich but dying boss so that they can have a claim to his fortune.

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Linda Manz ...
...
The Farm Foreman (as Robert Wilke)
Jackie Shultis ...
Linda's Friend
...
Mill Foreman
Timothy Scott ...
Harvest Hand (as Tim Scott)
Gene Bell ...
Dancer
Doug Kershaw ...
Fiddler
...
Vaudeville Leader
Frenchie Lemond ...
Vaudeville Wrestler
Sahbra Markus ...
Vaudeville Dancer
Bob Wilson ...
Accountant
Muriel Jolliffe ...
Headmistress
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Storyline

Bill and Abby, a young couple who to the outside world pretend to be brother and sister are living and working in Chicago at the beginning of the century. They want to escape the poverty and hard labor of the city and travel south. Together with the girl Linda (who acts as the narrator in the movie) they find employment on a farm in the Texas panhandle. When the harvest is over the young, rich and handsome farmer invites them to stay because he has fallen in love with Abby. When Bill and Abby discover that the farmer is seriously ill and has only got a year left to live they decide that Abby will accept his wedding proposal in order to make some benefit out of the situation. When the expected death fails to come, jealousy and impatience are slowly setting in and accidents become eventually inevitable. Written by Theo de Grood <tdg@xs4all.nl>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Your eyes... Your ears... Your senses... will be overwhelmed. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

6 October 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Días de gloria  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Even though Richard Gere's first notable role was in Looking for Mr. Goodbar in 1977, he actually made Days of Heaven first, but the film took two years to edit and wasn't released until 1978. See more »

Goofs

Any Fokker Dr.1 triplanes available just after WWI would have the original rotary engine, rather than a radial engine. The difference is that the rotary engine spins along with the propeller, and a radial engine doesn't. The Fokker in the 59th minute clearly has a radial engine. See more »

Quotes

Linda: There were people sufferin' in pain and hunger. Some people their tongues were hangin' out of their mouths.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Visions of Light (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Swamp Dance
Words and Music by Doug Kershaw
Performed by Doug Kershaw
Used by permission of Tree Publishing Co., Inc. B.M.I. Copyright 1974
See more »

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User Reviews

Up there with Casablanca & Citizen Kane
1 March 2005 | by (South Africa) – See all my reviews

I can understand why Malick didn't make another movie after he made Days of Heaven. The film was panned by the majority of the critics who could only find the cinematography worthy of praise. However, Malick was hugely misunderstood by these dumb critics.

They complain that the film is ponderously slow. This was the intention. Malick used pause to convey that the characters think. Too many actors rattle off their lines without letting their characters think of them. It also conveys the slow pace of their lives.

Critics complain that the characters are too remote - one feels removed from them and can't get involved. Hello! It is narrated by a 13 yr old and is essentially her view of the events that transpired. Naturally she does not grasp most of the more adult moments between them and thus is herself removed from being fully involved in Bill and Abby's relationship and that is what has to come across.

Then Malick, in a moment of genius, allied the four main characters to the four elements; Earth, Air, Fire & Water. Bill is Fire - he is seen at first in front of the furnaces of a foundry where he works. We can see his temper is volatile. Abby is water - in the very first shot she is scavenging(?) by a stream and she is seen against the backdrop of the river. Linda is Earth - In her narration she says that she is close to the "Oith". The Farmer is Air - constantly tinkering with his weather vane, and his fields of wheat are often seen waving in the wind.

All in all a severely mies-judged film and the critics owe Malick a huge apology. The work is pure genius!


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