8.0/10
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316 user 104 critic

Sling Blade (1996)

R | | Drama | 14 March 1997 (USA)
Trailer
1:52 | Trailer

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ON DISC
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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Writers:

(play), (screenplay)
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Popularity
2,108 ( 122)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Karl Childers
... Doyle Hargraves
... Charles Bushman
... Vaughan Cunningham
... Frank Wheatley
... Linda Wheatley
... Jerry Woolridge
... Karl's Father
Rick Dial ... Bill Cox
... Scooter Hodges
... Melinda (as Christy Ward)
Sarah Boss ... Marsha Dwiggins
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:

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:

Official Facebook | Official site

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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 USA:

$36,644, 1 December 1996

Gross USA:

$24,475,416, 27 July 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

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

Molly Ringwald played the newspaper reporter in Some Folks Call It a Sling Blade (1994). Sarah Boss replaced her for this movie. See more »

Goofs

When Jerry and Karl walk up to Bill Cox's repair shop for the first time, the Steadicam operator's reflection can easily be seen in the right front hubcap of Jerry's car. He is visible during the entire shot, which lasts about 10 seconds. See more »

Quotes

Charles Bushman: There was a young man by the name of John Leggit Hunter who ran a filling station business, a good filling station business and he's one of these young men we all come across in life, I'm sure you've come across 'em, who did not deserve what he had and what he had was a beautiful young bride named Sarah. She was a Georgia peach. In fact, she was the picture I had in my mind of the perfect woman so I took it upon myself to take her away from John Leggit Hunter who did not deserve her. Oh, I ...
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Crazy Credits

Dedicated to Jimmy Don Thornton See more »

Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Memo to the Academy - 1997 (1997) 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

 
Billy Bob's Break
3 March 2007 | by See all my reviews

I was watching I love the 90's with my sister last night and the mentioned Sling Blade, I remember trying to watching this when I was younger, but I couldn't get through it. Figuring now that I'm a little older to give it a chance and I'm glad I did, I just watched it last night and I was extremely impressed with the fact that this was Billy Bob's first movie, not only did he act in it, but he also wrote and directed it as well. It was like Forrest Gump meets Silence of the Lambs, it was a movie that kept your nerves up and your curiosity going into what would happen next.

Karl is a slow man who has just been released from the mental institution for killing his mom and her boyfriend when he was a child. When he is released into town, he has no where to stay, but then he meets a young boy who he befriends, the boy has no father and asks his mom if Karl can stay with them, she agrees to it. But their lives are far from perfect, they have an extremely abusive man in their lives, Doyle, who threatens their lives on a daily basis. Karl wants to protect them, but it may lead him back into the life that he was just told he was "well" from.

Sling Blade is a very well acted movie that despite it's length, it keeps you going. The characters are so well thought out, it's hard to choose who was the break out actor of the film. But Billy in his first major role, he was just amazing, he looked so calm and relaxing, but yet you didn't know what he was going to do next. John Ritter was also amazing, his character was so sympathetic and beautiful. I would highly recommend this movie, it's a terrific dark drama that deserves it's praise.

9/10


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