Days of Heaven

1978

Days of Heaven

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

94%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 51

89%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 16,232
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Movie Info

Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven, the long-awaited follow-up to his 1973 debut Badlands, confirmed his reputation as a visual poet and narrative iconoclast with a story of love and murder told through the jaded voice of a child and expressive images of nature. In 1916, Chicago steelworker Bill (Richard Gere, stepping in for John Travolta) flees to Texas with his little sister Linda (Linda Manz) and girlfriend Abby (Brooke Adams) after fatally erupting at his boss. Along with other itinerant laborers, they work the harvest at a wealthy, ailing farmer's ranch, but the farmer (playwright Sam Shepard) falls in love with Abby, and, believing her to be Bill's sister, asks the three to stay on at his elysian spread. Seeing it as his one real chance to escape perpetual poverty, Bill urges Abby to marry the sick man. Marriage, however, has more restorative powers, and the farmer has more magnetism, than Bill had planned. "Nobody's perfect," Linda impassively observes in one of her many voiceovers, after their brief paradise is erased by plagues of locusts, fire, and lethal jealousy. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi

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Cast

Sam Shepard
as The Farmer
Robert J. Wilke
as Farm Foreman
Stuart Margolin
as Mill Foreman
Tim Scott
as Harvest Hand
Gene Bell
as Dancer
Bob Wilke
as Farm Foreman
Jackie Shultis
as Linda's friend
Timothy Scott
as Harvest Hand
Doug Kershaw
as Fiddler
Richard Libertini
as Vaudeville Leader
Frenchie Lemond
as Vaudeville Wrestler
Sahbra Markus
as Vaudeville Dancer
Bob Wilson
as Accountant
Muriel Jolliffe
as Headmistress
King Cole
as Farm Worker
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Critic Reviews for Days of Heaven

All Critics (51) | Top Critics (10)

Audience Reviews for Days of Heaven

  • Apr 28, 2013
    'Days of Heaven'. Terrence Malick's almost perfect exploration and adoration of nature, love and The American Dream. You can definitely see the origins of 'Tree of Life' and 'To the Wonder' in this, and it's much tighter in its focus too. Seeing a 35mm print made it all the more beautiful!
    c0up   Super Reviewer
  • Oct 23, 2012
    Also known as "Golden Hour: The Movie", Terrence Malick's sophomore feature is indisputably one of the most visually beautiful period dramas ever made. Nearly every shot the director puts in front of you almost makes the screen melt away, so uncanny is his eye for historical detail and sense of time and place. The cast is superb as well, with Richard Gere in a star-making role.
    Tedd P Super Reviewer
  • May 05, 2012
    Visually engrossing as it is, "Days of Heaven" is nothing marvelous. The film has a couple of interesting scenes, most of which involve Richard Gere, but the rest are dull and somewhat pointless. Also, there is the issue of the film's final couple of minutes, which feel entirely unnecessary. Overall, "Days of Heaven" is wonderful to watch and Terrence Malick's direction is respectful, but I never felt as close to the characters as I wanted to be, which is a shame.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • Apr 22, 2012
    A simple and beautifully shot story of a young couple who flee from their home after steelworker Bill (Richard Gere) accidentally murders his boss and he takes his girlfriend Abby (Brooke Adams) up work in a ranch occupied by a rich but dying farmer (Sam Shepard), who happens to fall in love with Abby, and Bill convinces her to marry the farmer so they can inherit his fortune. The sheer beauty of this film can not be denied, as director Terrence Malick has proved time and time again that he has an eye for scenery and how to shoot a film. Like "Badlands", another visually stunning and solid film, the film never soars into greatness due to its characters seeming too restrained and detached. The performances are all very good with the material the actors are giving regarding their muted characters. If only Malick had given a little more character detail, his ending would have seemed more powerful instead of sad but inescapably unmoving. With all that said, Malick remains one of my favorite directors given his incredible photography and his willingness to insert his style successfully into whatever material he decides to sink his teeth into.
    Dan S Super Reviewer

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