Terrence Malick’s BADLANDS
Based on the true story of the Charles Starkweather killing spree in the 1950s, Badlands (1973) is the directorial debut of Terrence Malick (The Thin Red Line). The film stars Martin Sheen as Kit and Sissy Spacek as Holly, two young lovers on the run from the law. Where the real life story of Starkweather and his girlfriend Caril Ann Fugate was much more disturbing, Malick’s cinematic spin turns it into a romanticized adventure with Sheen playing Kit as a combination of James Dean and Billy The Kid. Sissy Spacek’s Holly is his doe eyed, freckle faced teen lover who, after Kit murders her father (Warren Oates) becomes his ‘captive of the heart’. The special thing about the film is how Malick takes such dark subject matter and turns it into a cinematic fable, which is helped in large part by Spacek’s child-like voice-over narration throughout the film.