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Days of Heaven (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

3.9 out of 5 stars 266 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

One-of-a-kind filmmaker-philosopher Terrence Malick has created some of the most visually arresting movies of the twentieth century, and his glorious period tragedy Days of Heaven, featuring Oscar-winning cinematography by Nestor Almendros, stands out among them. In 1910, a Chicago steel worker (Richard Gere) accidentally kills his supervisor and flees to the Texas panhandle with his girlfriend (Brooke Adams) and little sister (Linda Manz) to work harvesting wheat in the fields of a stoic farmer (Sam Shepard). A love triangle, a swarm of locusts, a hellish fireMalick captures it all with dreamlike authenticity, creating at once a timeless American idyll and a gritty evocation of turn-of-the-century labor.

Special Features

Restored high-definition digital transfer
Audio commentary with Weber, Jack Fisk, Patricia Norris & Dianne Crittenden
Audio interview with Richard Gere
Video interviews with Bailey, Haskell Wexler & Sam Shepard
A booklet featuring an essay by critic Adrian Martin

Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Gere, Brooke Adams, Sam Shepard, Linda Manz, Robert J. Wilke
  • Directors: Terrence Malick
  • Writers: Terrence Malick
  • Producers: Bert Schneider, Harold Schneider, Jacob Brackman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: March 23, 2010
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (266 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003152YXC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,097 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Days of Heaven (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kaya Savas VINE VOICE on October 23, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
MOVIE:
Terrence Malick is one of the greatest filmmakers alive, and after Sergio Leone he is my second favorite director of all time. In his career that spans almost 40 years he has only made four feature length films. What I love about Malick's films is that they are poetry; they break all the conventions of filmmaking. When you sit down to watch a Terrence Malick film you are readying yourself for an experience. The way he examines human nature in every single one of his films is extraordinary. Every one of his films also deals with man's impact on nature and he slowly erases the lines between sanity and insanity. His directorial debut was with Badlands starring Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek; a haunting story of lovers on the run from the law. His next film is still undoubtedly one of the most moving pieces of cinema ever created, Days Of Heaven.

Days Of Heaven tells the story of Bill (Richard Gere) and Abby (Brooke Adams); two young people in love trying to make ends meet and find work. The two go around pretending to be brother and sister as to protect themselves from the outside world. At the beginning of the film Bill gets in a tussle at the steel mill and accidentally kills his boss. Now Bill, Abby and Linda (Linda Manz) hop a train to go work on a farm to harvest wheat. The story is told through Linda's perspective. Linda is the real sister of Bill and she is barely a teenager. It's interesting that Malick lets the story unfold through the eyes of an innocent child; I think it gives complex situations in the film a simpler point of view. As the story unfolds and they work on the farm Bill finds out that the owner of the farm is dying of a terminal illness. The farmer is played by Sam Shepard in his first major role.
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Format: DVD
How fitting it is that the best movie Richard Gere has ever done, and will ever do, is the one where he probably talks the least. Of course, dialogue isn't what's so breathtakingly beautiful about Days of Heaven, one of the forgotten greats of all time. It's the cinematography (maybe the best of all time, sorry I left this off my list, folks), the sad story that runs through the film, and the overwhelmingly aching tone that just resonates from every frame. Days of Heaven is a quiet, meditative film that flies under the radar in emotion and volume for most of the time. The film roams over the open fields of its locale, half-listening to conversations (even important ones) as maybe the watchful eye of God. I saw this movie once before and bought it on a whim, and am convinced more than ever that most great movies don't reveal themselves totally on the first, or even second time. On viewing #2, I can't get Days of Heaven out of my mind. It's a beautiful, sad little tone poem that resonates more than most explosive, violent movies of the '70's. You're missing out if this one isn't on your shelf. GRADE: A+
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Format: DVD
A few years ago Paramount Pictures unceremoniously dumped Days of Heaven on DVD with a decent transfer and no extras save a theatrical trailer. While the folks at Criterion haven't quite given it their deluxe treatment, they have provided a brand new, Terrence Malick-approved transfer that is a revelation and a few, yet substantial extras.

While it was too much to hope for a commentary by the media-shy Malick, Criterion has provided us with the next best thing: a commentary by art director Jack Fisk, editor Billy Weber (both men have worked on all of Malick's films), costume designer Patricia Norris and casting director Dianne Crittenden. Weber talks about Linda Manz's inexperience as an actress and how she kept referring to Richard Gere, Brooke Adams and Sam Shepard by their real names. Fisk talks about the challenges of constructing sets with very little preparation time. They all talk about Malick's working methods and provide fascinating insight into the director's creative process.

There is an audio interview with Richard Gere that plays over footage from the film. The actor says that the filmmaker spent a year casting and this drove him crazy and he almost left the film. Gere candidly reveals that Malick didn't really know how to direct actors and this led to some frustration on their part.

Also included is a 2002 interview with Sam Shepard who mentions that Malick was shy and almost embarrassed to ask him to be in the film. Shepard also talks about the filmmaker's attention to detail and how in awe he was of nature and his desire to capture it on film.

Finally, there are interviews with camera operators John Bailey and Haskell Wexler.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Terrence Mallick's 1978 masterpiece is as strong today as when it was first released...or maybe even better now in comparison to the banal movies of today. The incredible cinematography and minimal narrative create a mood and feeling that very few films would ever even attempt...this is like a poem on film, but easily accessible and amazingly engrossing. Ennio Morricone's score is one of his best and most haunting ever. The entire cast is superb (Gere, Adams, Shepard), but the stand-out has always been young Linda Manz (who also narrates throughout in a subtle almost surreal authenticity)- her low-key performance is absolutely incredible. The minimal narrative has been criticized by some, but anything more would have damaged the mood and emotion of the film. The tragic outcome of events is inevitable...so why clutter it with soap opera? Compare this film to anything else out there and you will see that it is truly one-of-a-kind. Seeing this movie again after almost 20 years reminded me how many great films came out of the 70's. It was a great period for modern cinema --- maybe call them the "days of heaven" for movie-going --- and Mallick's masterpiece stands tall to this day. This is a must see for any serious film buff. The only reason I give it 4 stars instead of 5 is that on the DVD some of the darker scenes are slightly murky...but overall it is still a Very Clean and Nice looking widescreen transfer. The DVD has the original kind of awkward trailer as well. Don't miss this film!
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