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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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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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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

When Randy, one of the guitarists, reacts to Doyle's demands to leave, Randy is seen from behind putting on his coat. However, when he walks out the door, the coat is draped over his arm. See more »

Quotes

Karl: [Eating potted meat] I reckon it tastes alright.
Frank: You really think it's got peckers in there?
Karl: You know better than that. You ought not say that word.
Frank: It smells funny.
Karl: Yeah, it's pretty loud. Looky there. I believe you right. I believe I see one right in there.
[They laugh]
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Crazy Credits

Dedicated to Jimmy Don Thornton See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Sling Bat (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Shenandoah
Performed by Emmylou Harris
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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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Message Boards

Recent Posts
One thing changes the whole idea behind the character of 'Karl'... MikeDopeLess
Delete your post, Doyle Hargraves style. ocwritin
Karl's REAL reason for killing Doyle finaltouchcleaning
Sling Blade about racism? sean-conley89
What scene made you cry? sagal702-3
Why didn't Doyle get up? longlivepeewee
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