Days of Heaven (1978)

PG   |    |  Drama, Romance


Days of Heaven (1978) Poster

A hot-tempered farm laborer convinces the woman he loves to marry their rich but dying boss so that they can have a claim to his fortune.

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7.9/10
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  • Linda Manz in Days of Heaven (1978)
  • Brooke Adams in Days of Heaven (1978)
  • Terrence Malick in Days of Heaven (1978)
  • Brooke Adams in Days of Heaven (1978)
  • Brooke Adams and Sam Shepard in Days of Heaven (1978)
  • Brooke Adams in Days of Heaven (1978)

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1 March 2005 | rustyk-5
Up there with Casablanca & Citizen Kane
I can understand why Malick didn't make another movie after he made Days of Heaven. The film was panned by the majority of the critics who could only find the cinematography worthy of praise. However, Malick was hugely misunderstood by these dumb critics.

They complain that the film is ponderously slow. This was the intention. Malick used pause to convey that the characters think. Too many actors rattle off their lines without letting their characters think of them. It also conveys the slow pace of their lives.

Critics complain that the characters are too remote - one feels removed from them and can't get involved. Hello! It is narrated by a 13 yr old and is essentially her view of the events that transpired. Naturally she does not grasp most of the more adult moments between them and thus is herself removed from being fully involved in Bill and Abby's relationship and that is what has to come across.

Then Malick, in a moment of genius, allied the four main characters to the four elements; Earth, Air, Fire & Water. Bill is Fire - he is seen at first in front of the furnaces of a foundry where he works. We can see his temper is volatile. Abby is water - in the very first shot she is scavenging(?) by a stream and she is seen against the backdrop of the river. Linda is Earth - In her narration she says that she is close to the "Oith". The Farmer is Air - constantly tinkering with his weather vane, and his fields of wheat are often seen waving in the wind.

All in all a severely mies-judged film and the critics owe Malick a huge apology. The work is pure genius!

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