Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Badlands (1973)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Badlands (1973)

In the debut film of 29 year-old director Terrence Malick:

  • the opening voice-over, monotone narration of South Dakotan, magazine-addicted, 15 year-old teenager Holly Sargis (Sissy Spacek), who was baton-twirling in the street: ("My mother died of pneumonia when I was just a kid. My father had kept their wedding cake in the freezer for ten whole years. After the funeral, he gave it to the yardman. He tried to act cheerful, but he could never be consoled by the little stranger he found in his house. Then, one day, hoping to begin a new life away from the scene of all his memories, he moved us from Texas to Ft. Dupree, South Dakota. Little did I realize that what began in the alleys and backways of this quiet town would end in the Badlands of Montana")
Two Troubled Teens
Holly Sargis
(Sissy Spacek)
Kit Carruthers
(Martin Sheen)
  • the introduction to Holly's unstable, garbage collector boyfriend - a charismatic, James Dean look-alike named Kit Carruthers (Martin Sheen)
  • the image-filled torching of Holly's house after the killing of her widowed father (Warren Oates) by Kit, and their faking of a fiery suicide
  • Kit's execution of a basketball
  • their killing spree and flight through the Badlands and into the wild frontier of Montana, and later into Canada
  • their final dance in their Cadillac's headlights (to the tune of Nat King Cole singing A Blossom Fell on the radio), when Kit told Holly: "Boy, if I could sing a song like that, I mean, if I could sing a song about the way I feel right now, it'd be a hit."
  • Kit's leading of troopers and a Sheriff on a chase and his eventual capture and idolization

Kit Torching Holly's House

Dancing in the Cadillac's Headlights

Kit's Capture by Police


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