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Sling Blade (1996)

 -  Drama  -  27 November 1996 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 61,152 users   Metascore: 84/100
Reviews: 293 user | 99 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)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 13 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:

Sometimes a hero comes from the most unlikely place. 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:

Sling Blade  »

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

Fellow independent filmmaker Jim Jarmusch appears as the "Frosty Kreme" worker in the beginning. His name tag reads "Deke", the name of the film's Electrical Best Boy. See more »

Goofs

When Karl is on Jerry's daughter's bed, the stuffed pig changes direction. See more »

Quotes

Frank: You ever have any brothers or sisters growing up?
Karl Childers: I had one there for a little while. But, uh, it didn't get old enough for me to play with it.
Frank: Why not? It die?
Karl Childers: Yes, Sir.
Frank: Why?
Karl Childers: It got born too early. My mother and father made it come out too early some how or other.
Frank: So it died when it came out?
Karl Childers: My daddy came out to the shed and got me. He said, "Here, take this and throw it away", and he handed me a towel with something or another in it. Well I started for that barrel and I opened up the towel '...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Special Thanks Emily Gerson Saines See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cook (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Shenandoah
Performed by Emmylou Harris
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User Reviews

Thoroughly Thornton!
28 April 1999 | by (San Francisco) – See all my reviews

A magnificent film! Watching Billy Bob, I was reminded of Bo Radley (Robert Duvall)in To Kill a Mockingbird. The irony of seeing Duvall in Sling Blade made it that much more rewarding. Yes, it's true, the ending was inevitable, but so what? The journey to the end was what made this film the gem that it is. Dwight Yoakam made my skin crawl, and Lucas Black as little Frank brought out my motherhood instinct. Protect that boy, Karl! And he did. This had all the elements of a great film: an unselfish hero who brings about changes in the lives of others in a meaningful way. Granted, had his mental capabilities been greater he might have made another choice. Given the circumstances of the film, there was no other choice.


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