IMDb > Sling Blade (1996)
Sling Blade
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Sling Blade (1996) More at IMDbPro »

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Sling Blade -- HV
Sling Blade -- 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.

Overview

User Rating:
8.1/10   63,675 votes »
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Up 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers (WGA):
Contact:
View company contact information for Sling Blade on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
14 March 1997 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Sometimes a hero comes from the most unlikely place. See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 14 wins & 9 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Filmmaking at it's Best See more (297 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Billy Bob Thornton ... Karl Childers

Dwight Yoakam ... Doyle Hargraves

J.T. Walsh ... Charles Bushman

John Ritter ... Vaughan Cunningham

Lucas Black ... Frank Wheatley
Natalie Canerday ... Linda Wheatley

James Hampton ... Jerry Woolridge

Robert Duvall ... Karl's Father

Rick Dial ... Bill Cox

Brent Briscoe ... Scooter Hodges

Christine Renee Ward ... Melinda (as Christy Ward)
Sarah Boss ... Marsha Dwiggins
Kathy Sue Brown ... Theresa Evans
Wendell Rafferty ... Melvin
Bruce Hampton ... Morris (as Col. Bruce Hampton Ret.)
Vic Chesnutt ... Terence

Mickey Jones ... Monty Johnson
Ian Moore ... Randy Horsefeathers
Judy Pryor Trice ... Mrs. Woolridge

Scott Stewart ... Bubba Woolridge
Betty Lynn Hall ... Woolridge Daughter

Jim Jarmusch ... Frostee Cream Boy
Gary Don Fletcher ... Preacher
Tim Holder ... Albert
Tom Kagy ... Freddy
Stacy Barrow ... Woodridge Secretary
Jackie Stewart ... Walter
Jamie Stewart ... Teenage Boy
D.J. Royston ... Housekeeper
Lacy Bailey ... Karen
Raymond Lewallen ... Ticket Agent
Bill Glasscock ... Old Man (voice)

Directed by
Billy Bob Thornton 
 
Writing credits
(WGA)
Billy Bob Thornton (play)

Billy Bob Thornton (screenplay)

Produced by
David L. Bushell .... producer
Larry Meistrich .... executive producer
Brandon Rosser .... producer
 
Original Music by
Daniel Lanois 
 
Cinematography by
Barry Markowitz (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Hughes Winborne 
 
Casting by
Sarah Tackett 
 
Production Design by
Clark Hunter 
 
Set Decoration by
Traci Kirshbaum 
 
Costume Design by
Doug Hall  (as Douglas Hall)
 
Makeup Department
Kate Biscoe .... key hair stylist (as Kate Morgan Biscoe)
Tracy Warbin .... key makeup artist
 
Production Management
Robert Salerno .... production manager
Laura Seymann .... post-production supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
W.M. Halle .... first assistant director
Todd Jameson .... second assistant director
Daron McAfee .... second assistant director
 
Art Department
Jacob Alsbrook .... lead man
Joe Arnold .... on-set dresser
Max Biscoe .... assistant set decorator
Joe Cuzan .... swing art
Dwayne Grady .... propmaster
Carlton Rude .... assistant props
 
Sound Department
Gary Alexander .... sound re-recording mixer
Weldon Brown .... adr recordist
Eric A. Christoffersen .... foley assistant (as Eric Christoffersen)
Pete Conlin .... first assistant sound editor (as Peter Conlin)
Russell Creak .... assistant foley artist
Theodore K. Dietz .... sound production assistant
David Ellinwood .... foley recordist (as Dave Ellienwood)
Wi Ding Ho .... apprentice sound editor
Mark Howard .... dialogue loop editor
Mark Howard .... sound recordist
Ivan Hurzeler .... assistant sound editor
Lucinda Komisar .... assistant sound editor
Jeff Kushner .... sound designer
Jeff Kushner .... supervising sound editor
Paul Ledford .... production sound mixer
Ronald Matthew Lee .... additional sound effects recordist (as Matthew Lee)
Wayne Lorenz .... additional sound engineer
Alison Sanford .... sound recordist
Sila A. Soyer .... apprentice sound editor (as Sila Soyer)
James Wright .... stereo sound consultant: Dolby
Keenan Wyatt .... boom operator
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Ehab Assal .... assistant camera
Ehab Assal .... camera production assistant
Michael Audino .... grip (as Michael D. Audino)
Jonathan Brown .... Steadicam operator
Dalton .... second assistant camera
Marc Eckhardt .... grip
Edwin M. Figueroa .... key grip
Douglas W. Hill .... electrician
R. Derek Keener .... best boy electric
Robert Ortiz .... video playback operator
Stewart Wright Pallister .... grip
Tom Potoskie .... dolly grip (as Thomas W. Potoskie)
Nate Ranger .... first assistant camera
J.A. Riggs .... generator operator
John Wagner .... gaffer
Michael Yarish .... still photographer
Rob Koch .... assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Margaret Critz .... wardrobe production assistant
Rani Cunningham .... wardrobe supervisor
Theba Lolley .... set costumer
 
Editorial Department
Peter T. DaPuzzo .... post-production intern
David Hamme .... assistant colorist
Lawrence Mischel .... negative cutter (as Larry Mischel)
Dan Muscarella .... color timer
Patti Nunez .... assistant post-production supervisor
Johnny Wilson .... assistant editor
Stefan Bruck .... post-production consultant (uncredited)
Sue Mischel .... negative cutter (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Peter Afterman .... music consultant
Brian Blade .... additional musician: drums
Malcolm Burn .... additional musician: keyboards
Barry Cole .... music supervisor
Tim Gibbons .... musician: bass, drums and vocals
Emmylou Harris .... special guest vocalist
Mark Howard .... music programmer: drums
Ali Jennings .... additional musician: slide guitar
Darrell D. Johnson .... musician: bass, conga drum, organ and hand drum (as Darryl Johnson)
Pascal Nabit Meyer .... musician: organ
Bambi Lee Savage .... musician: vocals and guitar
Elizabeth Wendel .... music consultant
Russ Wilson .... musician: falsetto harmony, percussion piano, bass and bass pedal
 
Other crew
Umber Ayoob .... intern
Josh Baxter .... intern
Leonard John Bruno .... product placement (as Leonard Bruno)
Aaron Bryson .... projectionist
Brig Caldwell .... assistant caterer
Steve Carlis .... post-production auditor
Steve Carlis .... production executive
Joe Glass .... production assistant
Sheryl Glubok .... assistant location manager
Susan Jacobs .... unit publicist
Susan Jacobs .... unit publicity
Jonathan Jasay .... intern
Jason Jersey .... production assistant
Sharon Kahn .... unit publicist
Jeremy Levy .... intern
Danna Liebert .... script supervisor
Ginny Lou Litsey .... assistant production auditor
Joe McCrackin .... assistant to director
Larry Meistrich .... production executive
Kathy Morris .... craft service
Heather Mosher .... product placement assistant
Tim Olivett .... caterer
J. Robert Saettele .... key set production assistant
David Scolli .... location intern
Dena Silberstein .... product placement
Mary Sunshine .... production auditor
David Tuttle .... production executive
George Vowteras .... location manager
Benjamin Meade .... production staff (uncredited)
Daniel J. Victor .... production financing (uncredited)
 
Thanks
Leslie Abell .... special thanks
Erskine Caldwell .... special thanks
Tom Epperson .... special thanks
John Faulkner .... special thanks
William Faulkner .... special thanks
Suzy Lilly .... thanks
Bob Myman .... special thanks
Jerry Myman .... special thanks
George Newcomb .... special thanks
John Fergus Ryan .... special thanks
Emily Gerson Saines .... special thanks
Emily Schweber .... thanks
Harry James Thornton .... special thanks
Jimmy Don Thornton .... dedicatee
Pietra Thornton .... special thanks
Virginia Faulkner Thornton .... special thanks
Brad Wilson .... thanks
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated R for strong language, including descriptions of violent and sexual behavior
Runtime:
135 min | USA:148 min (director's cut)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:16 | Australia:M (original rating) | Australia:MA (re-rating) | Canada:14A (original rating) | Chile:14 | Finland:K-12/9 | Hong Kong:IIB | Iceland:12 | Netherlands:16 (original rating) | Netherlands:6 (re-rating) | Norway:11 | Peru:18 | Portugal:M/16 | Singapore:PG (cut) | Singapore:NC-16 (re-rating) | South Korea:15 | Spain:18 | Sweden:11 | UK:15 | USA:R | USA:Not Rated (director's cut)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Billy Wilder advised Billy Bob Thornton to write a screenplay where he could exploit his less than perfect features.See more »
Goofs:
Boom mic visible: Shadow visible in front of a tree when Jerry and Karl are walking.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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Hungry for Love (2009)See more »
Soundtrack:
PlungerSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
140 out of 153 people found the following review useful.
Filmmaking at it's Best, 20 April 2003

As someone who loves good filmmaking, I rate this film among the best I've ever seen in all areas of the craft. Some of the criticisms of this film are hard to fathom.

The screenplay has the tight conciseness of a well-honed play (which this essentially was derived from) and doesn't fail to prick at the emotions and the intellect of the viewer. The photography, the casting and the editing all click together quite admirably.

However, I always marvel at the negative, emotionalized responses to otherwise superb films such as this by those who seem to miss the entire point of a movie like "Sling Blade".

I did not see a political message about abortion, or a justification of murder or even a backhanded putdown of the rural people of Arkansas. (Many of the characters were locals, by the way.) Some viewers are setting themselves up to be against this film since they are wearing their own feelings on their sleeves and fail to see the subtle layers of the story. They are seeing only the reflection of themselves on the surface of the water, rather than the complex world below.

Theater and film are rooted in images and characterizations designed to help us explore the human condition. It was once said that Tolstoy's voluminous novel "War and Peace" could be summed up in a single sentence thereby negating the need to write the book. Art is not a fast explanation, but a captivating and thought-provoking trip that hopefully forces us to think about our own motivations. Taking a one-dimensional view of this film might lead one to believe that Karl Childer's central message is that we should all eat biscuits smeared with mustard.

"Sling Blade" excels at the job of making us examine the terrible choices life gives us by providing a set of characters who interact in a moving, curious and revealing way. It is not reality nor is it political, but a method by which we can look at our own individual realities.

Others who seemed disenchanted with this film out-of-hand are those who found it "slow". Helloooo! This film is SUPPOSED to be slow and agonizingly so. It is carefully walking you to the conclusion, step-by-step, so you can squirm uncomfortably at the overall foreshadowing. It ain't an explosion-a-minute John Woo filmmaking and it certainly isn't light comedy, though it induces a surprising number of smiles.

This is a film that makes us look at true evil in the form of J.T. Walsh, Dwight Yoakum and Robert Duval's characters and compare it to the pure goodness of the damaged creature portrayed by Billy Bob Thornton, whose own brutalization leads him to seek justice in his own imperfect way.

To help those out who didn't "get" this film, I might recommend that you consider Thornton's character to be an amalgamation of Herman Melville's innocently homicidal protagonist in "Billy Budd" and Mary Shelley's sad monster Frankenstein. These characters, like Thornton's Karl Childers, were dramatic vehicles for the purpose of making us think. They did bad things but we were forced to view them compassionately because they reflected our own conflicting traits.

Don't read things into a film that aren't there, but don't ignore the interesting elements that are. Get those wheels upstairs turning and start enjoying intelligent filmmaking instead of merely seeking an excitement fix!

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (297 total) »

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