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Badlands (Criterion Collection)

4.7 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Badlands announced the arrival of a major talent: Terrence Malick (Days of Heaven). His impressionistic take on the notorious Charles Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate killing spree of the late 1950s uses a serial-killer narrative as a springboard for an oblique teenage romance, lovingly and idiosyncratically enacted by Martin Sheen (Apocalypse Now) and Sissy Spacek (Carrie). The film also introduced many of the elements that would earn Malick his passionate following: the enigmatic approach to narrative and character, the unusual use of voice-over, the juxtaposition of human violence with natural beauty, the poetic investigation of American dreams and nightmares. This debut has spawned countless imitations, but none have equaled its strange sublimity.

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration
  • "Charles Starkweather," a 1993 episode of Great Crimes and Trials
  • Making "Badlands," a new documentary featuring the actors
  • New interview with editor Billy Weber
  • New interview with producer Edward Pressman
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by filmmaker Michael Almereyda

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek
    • Directors: Terrence Malick
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
    • Language: English
    • Subtitles: English
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated:
      PG
      Parental Guidance Suggested
    • Studio: Criterion Collection
    • DVD Release Date: March 19, 2013
    • Run Time: 94 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B00AQ6J4CS
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,014 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    By Wayne Klein HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 6, 2013
    Format: Blu-ray
    A brilliant debut Terrence Malick's "Badlands" first film is a fair cry from what most people would consider a first film--it's an assured debut with strong performances from Sissy Spacek and Martin Sheen in the lead roles. Based on the roadtrip and killing spree of Charles Starkweather and his 14 year old girlfriend that occurred in 1958.

    Malick's film arrives in a stunning 4K blu-ray transfer that has amazing depth and detail. The colors look gorgeous throughout and the widescreen images (true to the original aspect ratio of the film)are often breaktaking.

    This isn't an action film nor a typical thriller.

    The audio is presented in a lossless mono soundtrack. The only way they could have improved this would have been to create a 5.1 mix from the original elements (which, no doubt, no longer exist).

    We get a New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack.

    The special features included with this set are quite good."Charles Starkweather," a 1993 episode of Great Crimes and Trials which gives us background on the people that inspired Malick's film. We also get a new documentary on the making of the film with new interviews featuring Spacek and Sheen discussing the making of the film. We also get new interviews with film editor Billy Weber and producer Edward R. Pressman. As with all Criterion releases we get a booklet featuring an essay by filmmaker Michael Almereyda.

    The only person missing is Malick who keeps a pretty low profile now. It's a pity that we don't an audio commentary but the documentary does make up for that.

    This edition of "Badlands" features a transfer that is the best the film has ever appeared on home videowith some nice extras for the film.
    Read more ›
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    Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
    A masterwork is a hard thing to come by, and once you find one, it becomes impossible to let it go. Make no mistake about it, Badlands is a masterpiece of the highest order. It is a film I might never recover from, like all of Terrence Malick's films, Badlands aims to get personal with its audience. Badlands has officially entered my top ten favorite films ever made. Chilling, haunting, sublime, and enigmatic, Badlands is a blessing.

    It is a film about a savage murder spree and the lovers who went through with it. Kit and Holly, played incredibly well by Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek, are the lovers on the run, killing anyone they see fit, all the while remaining charismatic, likable, and most of all, relatable. Just imagine if the films of Quentin Tarantino actually had soul. My interest in the films of Quentin Tarantino dwindles more and more as the years go by. I've come to the conclusion that the man is not only a hack but a thief, and his crimes against Badlands did not go unnoticed nor can they ever by forgiven or forgotten.

    If I could pick one word to describe the films of Terrence Malick, it would have to be 'poetry'. Badlands is one of the cinema's boldest and most chilling poems. I could go on forever about how I analyzed the film but these 'films of the day' are meant to be brief, so I'll spare myself the time and energy I'd spend on writing something that will never actually be read. Just know that the film is brilliant, in every single aspect, one the my favorite films of all time, and the best directorial debut ever. Beautiful and intimate, Badlands is a true treasure.

    Bare with me while I praise Martin Sheen. He was just incredible in the film. Badlands' Kit is quickly becoming one of my all time favorite screen characters.
    Read more ›
    Comment 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: Blu-ray
    This is one interesting drama from the early '70s. And it is a facinating film, especially in this full blown restoration Criterion has done to this little gem. Have had this on LD, VHS, DVD and they all looked bad. This blu ray is like seeing the movie with a new set of eyes! Cannot get over the beautiful cinematography captured on this blu ray. The picture looks grander being in its original 1.85 aspect ratio and the lush colors and detail...breathtaking! Not only is the video prestine, the disc includes a great documentary on the making of this classic with the two leads being interviewed. I can listen to Sissy Spacek talk about movie making all day, very facinating how she really gets in on this interview. Just wished the director was more involved (not even a running commentary). At least he approved this transfer (according to the cover). But all in all, this is a must have in any film collector's collection. This is Malick at his best! Once again Criterion has proved to us why they are THE trusted studio when it comes to blu ray restorations!
    1 Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    it's seldom stated, but the event that inspired the film was a beginning of the generational shift that buried the quiet, old, safe smugness of the post-WWII '50s. malik-spacek-sheen got it right. i'm looking back 55 years now, and my jaw is still agape. i generally don't purchase film in any format, but this one is not in wide circulation these days. product quality is A+, as is the sales service, as usual.
    Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD
    1958 was a more innocent time in America than today, thus when Charles Starkweather and his teenage girl friend, Carol Ann Fugate, went on a cross-country killing spree, the nation was shocked.

    In 1974, writer, producer director Terrence Malick loosely fictionalized the couple's sensational story in BADLANDS, coming up with a hypnotic, visually stunning film that starred Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek as the fugitive lovers.

    Spacek lives with her widowed father (Warren Oates) in a small South Dakota town when she first meets Sheen, a local garbage collector. Dad, who objects to the relationship, becomes Sheen's first victim, after which the couple takes off, taking up residence in a forest tree house until they are forced to kill again. What really makes this story so disturbing is that it's true.

    This edition from The Criterion Collection features a new 4K digital transfer, approved by Malick, a "Making of" documentary featuring interviews with Sheen, Spacek and art director Jack Fisk, interviews with associate editor Billy Weber and producer Edward Pressman and a 1993 episode of AMERICAN JUSTICE that tells the true story of Charles Starkweather.

    There is also an accompanying booklet with an essay by filmmaker Michael Almereyda.

    © Michael B. Druxman
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