Badlands is a 1973 American period crime drama film written, produced, and directed by Terrence Malick in his filmmaking debut, starring Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek, and featuring Warren Oates and Ramon Bieri. Malick has a small speaking part, although he does not receive an acting credit. The story, though fictional, is loosely based on the real-life murder spree of Charles Starkweather and his girlfriend, Caril Ann Fugate, in 1958, though such a basis was not acknowledged when the film was released.
In 1993, Badlands was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."
| Spoiler warning: The following contains plot details about|
the entire movie.
The film is narrated by Holly (portrayed by Sissy Spacek), a teenage girl living in a dead-end small town in South Dakota. One day, she meets Kit (portrayed by Martin Sheen), a young greaser, who charms her and takes her as his accomplice on a cross-country killing spree. Holly's narration, describing her adventures with Kit with romantic clichés, is juxtaposed with the grim reality of Kit's sociopathic actions. The two are eventually arrested; Kit is executed for his crimes, while Holly receives probation.
- Martin Sheen as Kit Carruthers
- Sissy Spacek as Holly Sargis
- Warren Oates as Father
- Ramon Bieri as Cato
- Alan Vint as Deputy
- Gary Littlejohn as Sheriff
- John Carter as Rich Man
- Bryan Montgomery as Boy
- Terrence Malick as Man at the Door (uncredited)
- Charlie Sheen as Boy Under Lamppost (uncredited)
- Emilio Estevez as Boy Under Lamppost (uncredited)