Days of Heaven (1978)
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The Criterion Collection.
|One-of-a-kind filmmaker-philospher 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 fire-Malick captures it all with dreamlike authenticity, creating at once a timeless American idyll and a gritty evocation of turn-of-the-century labor.|
"One of the great cinematic achievements of the 1970s. Variety
Editor's NoteTerrence Malick's follow-up to BADLANDS is an exquisitely photographed story of a group of early-20th-century itinerant workers who find themselves entangled in a deadly love triangle. Bill (Richard Gere) and Abby (Brooke Adams) are lovers who are forced to flee Chicago after Bill accidentally murders his foreman. Together, with Bill's little sister, Linda (Linda Manz), they settle on the land of a wealthy farmer (Sam Shepard) and spend their days working in the wheat fields. Bill discovers that the farmer is terminally ill and convinces Abby to marry him so they can inherit his fortune. As the days progress, it becomes apparent that the farmer isn't getting any sicker, and when he discovers that Abby and Bill had initially set out to con him, their carefree existence comes to a deadly end.Notorious for its extended postproduction schedule, DAYS OF HEAVEN remains a beautifully composed work of art. Malick uses dialogue minimally, sometimes choosing not to fade in the sound of a scene until the actors have finished speaking. To combat this, he applies Linda's innocent voice-over--as he did with Sissy Spacek's in BADLANDS--to add a poetic dimension. Combined with Nestor Almendros's Oscar-winning cinematography and Ennio Morricone's mellifluent score, DAYS OF HEAVEN is a timeless motion picture that confirms Malick's directorial prowess.
Cast & Crew
|Bert Schneider - Producer|
|Billy Weber - Editor|
|Ennio Morricone - Original Music By|
|Jack Fisk - Art Director|
|Jacob Brackman - Executive Producer|
|Nestor Almendros - Cinematographer|
|Terrence Malick - Director|
|Terrence Malick - Writer|
Plot SummaryTerrence Malick's second film is a lyrical screen poem about life in America at the turn of the century. When a Chicago steel-mill worker is fired after a fight with his supervisor, he hops a train for the Great Plains with his girlfriend and his younger sister. The trio join itinerant workers following the farming season and find a place with a quiet, lonely landowner. As the year passes and the harvest nears, a fateful love triangle develops, with fiery consequences. The performances match the moody compositions in this elegy for the premodern prairie, which now stands firmly as one of the most beautiful motion pictures of all time.
|British Academy Awards, Ennio Morricone, Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music|
|Cannes Film Festival, Terrence Malick, Best Director|
|Cannes Film Festival, Terrence Malick, Golden Palm Award|
|Golden Globe, Terrence Malick, Best Director - Motion Picture|
|Golden Globe, Days of Heaven, Best Motion Picture - Drama|
|Oscar, Nestor Almendros, Best Cinematography|
|Oscar, Patricia Norris, Best Costume Design|
|Oscar, Ennio Morricone, Best Music, Original Score|
|Oscar, John Wilkinson, et. al., Best Sound|
|"I been thinkin' what ta do wit' my fyoochuh... I could be a mud doctuh..." (Linda Manz)|