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Sling Blade (1996)

R | | Drama | 14 March 1997 (USA)
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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(play), (screenplay)
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1,946 ( 456)

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ON DISC
Won 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 11 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
Rick Dial ...
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Melinda (as Christy Ward)
Sarah Boss ...
Kathy Sue Brown ...
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:

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Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 March 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Resplandor en la noche  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$890,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$24,475,416 (USA) (25 July 1997)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Harvey Weinstein - then co-chairman of Miramax - only saw the first 30 minutes of Sling Blade (1996) when he agreed to pay $10m for the rights to the film. He later regretted this and forced Billy Bob Thornton to cut about 20 minutes from the movie. See more »

Goofs

Linda works at Hoochie's Dollar Store and is shown price tagging merchandise. You wouldn't need to put a price tag on anything if everything cost the same amount, in this case, a dollar. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Woolridge: Karl, I hear Jerry's taking you somewhere else tomorrow.
Karl: I don't reckon I know nobody named Jerry.
Dr. Jerry Woolridge: She's talking about me, Karl, that's my first name.
Karl: He's carrying me to look for work over in Millsburg where I's borned.
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Crazy Credits

Dedicated to Jimmy Don Thornton See more »

Connections

Referenced in Slash (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Softly and Tenderly
(uncredited)
Written by Will L. Thompson
[Sung by the congregation after the baptism]
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User Reviews

 
Convincing and thought provoking.
1 March 2004 | by (Washingtin, DC) – See all my reviews

Sling Blade is a very well acted, well displayed, and interesting masterpiece. I just loved it from beginning to end.

First I would like to comment on the excellent acting across the board, especially the late John Ritter and Billy Bob Thornton's ensemble portrayal of Karl. I could not help but feel very attached to Karl from the opening scene, his release from the mental institution, his struggles with the outside world, and how he related to the town people. Sling Blade is one of those movies that I would love to sit down and talk about for hours with a friend. I would also love to hear others' perspectives about what made this movie great.

It seems that every scene was worked to perfection. From the lighting and camera's viewpoint to the acting and music. I enjoyed every scene, but thought that three really stood out. Without giving too much away, they are as follows. No spoilers here:

1. Inside the house after band practice where Karl does not move from the couch.

2. When Karl is visited at work and we see him make eye contact for the first time.

3. The scene where Karl is in the garage late at night. The chilling music really captures the mood. My heart was pounding during this one!

I hold Mr. Thornton to a very high respect. He created a masterpiece that is emotional, thrilling, dramatic, humorous, and entertaining.


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