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Sling Blade (1996)

R | | Drama | 14 March 1997 (USA)
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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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...
...
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Natalie Canerday ...
...
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Karl's Father
Rick Dial ...
...
...
Melinda (as Christy Ward)
Sarah Boss ...
Kathy Sue Brown ...
Wendell Rafferty ...
Melvin
...
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:

14 March 1997 (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

Production Co:

,  »
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

Robert Duvall appearing as Karl's father was a kind turn to Billy Bob Thornton, who would play a small role in Duvall's The Apostle (1997) for free in exchange. See more »

Goofs

The morning after Karl slept at the warden's house the scene opens with an exterior view of a one-story house. The next shot is in the interior and shows a set of stairs that are obviously going up to a second floor. See more »

Quotes

Doyle: I don't like homosexuals and she goes out and buddies up with one so I gotta deal with that. I don't like little wimpy-ass kids or mental retards and she got one of each livin' with her.
[laughs]
Doyle: I'm just kidding about that really.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Dedicated to Jimmy Don Thornton See more »

Connections

Referenced in I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Lonely One
Written and Performed by Tim Gibbons
Courtesy of Tim Gibbons and Bent Knees/Socan
See more »

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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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One thing changes the whole idea behind the character of 'Karl'... MikeDopeLess
Delete your post, Doyle Hargraves style. ocwritin
What scene made you cry? sagal702-3
Why didn't Doyle get up? longlivepeewee
DIDN'T LIKE IT! HELP ME OUT FANS! sergiozaciu
Things We Learned From Watching Sling Blade, Mm-hmm MierdaDeToro
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