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Sling Blade (1996)

 -  Drama  -  27 November 1996 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 63,186 users   Metascore: 84/100
Reviews: 297 user | 101 critic | 26 from Metacritic.com

Karl Childers, a simple man hospitalized since his childhood murder of his mother and her lover, is released to start a new life in a small town.

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Title: Sling Blade (1996)

Sling Blade (1996) on IMDb 8.1/10

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Natalie Canerday ...
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Karl's Father
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Melinda (as Christy Ward)
Sarah Boss ...
Kathy Sue Brown ...
Theresa Evans
Wendell Rafferty ...
Melvin
Bruce Hampton ...
Morris (as Col. Bruce Hampton Ret.)
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Storyline

A partially handicapped man named Karl is released from a mental hospital, about 20 years after murdering his mother and another person. Karl is often questioned if he will ever kill again, and he shrugs in response saying there is no reason to. Now out of the mental institution, Karl settles in his old, small hometown, occupying himself by fixing motors. After meeting a young boy named Frank, who befriends him, Karl is invited to stay at Frank's house with his mother Linda, who views Karl as a strange but kind and generous man. However, Linda's abusive boyfriend, Doyle, sees things differently in the way rules ought to be run- normally insulting Linda's homosexual friend Vaughan as well as Karl's disabilities, and having wild parties with his friends. As Karl's relationship with Frank grows, he is watchful of Doyle's cruel actions. Written by commanderblue

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A simple man. A difficult choice. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language, including descriptions of violent and sexual behavior | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

|

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 November 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Resplandor en la noche  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$890,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$36,644 (USA) (29 November 1996)

Gross:

$24,475,416 (USA) (25 July 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Billy Bob Thornton, he invented Karl's unique facial expressions and speech patterns, plus ad-libbed the entire "sling blade" speech at the beginning of the film, while looking at himself in a make-up room mirror, waiting to film his scene as a train conductor in The Man Who Broke 1,000 Chains (1987). His scene was later cut from that film. See more »

Goofs

When Jerry and Karl walk up to Bill Cox's repair shop for the first time, the Steadicam operator's reflection can easily be seen in the right front hubcap of Jerry's car. He is visible during the entire shot, which lasts about 10 seconds. See more »

Quotes

Vaughan Cunningham: Please don't tell anybody at the store that Albert was here. You know how this town is. Everybody spreads cruel rumors.
Melinda: You mean about you and Albert being that way...? I think everybody at the store already knows about it. Maureen Ledbetter told the most awful story about why you ain't allowed at the First Baptist Church no more.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Special Thanks Emily Gerson Saines See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bowfinger (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Shenandoah
Performed by Emmylou Harris
See more »

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User Reviews

Best movie of 1996 I reckon, um hum!
13 November 1999 | by (San Antonio, Texas) – See all my reviews

Surprisingly, this movie is not based on a true story, but it sure was Thornton's breakthrough in the movie business. I feel he sold out to the mainstream when he made the awful Armageddon. Thornton's Karl Childers is released from a mental insitution after 20 years from killing his mother as a child and returns to his backwoods Arkansas town with no family or friends to speak of, but befriends a fatherless boy and his mother. The entire cast is superb; Dwight Yoakum as a bigoted redneck, John Ritter as a gay store manager, Robert Duvall in a cameo as Thornton's almost catatonic father, Rick Dial (a boyhood friend of Thornton's) as Karl's genial boss, etc. The movie has just the right touch for life in the small-town south without the traditional Hollywood glamorization.


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