Directed by Terrence Malick • 1978 • United States
Starring Richard Gere, Brooke Adams, Sam Shepard
One-of-a-kind filmmaker-philosopher Terrence Malick has created some of the most visually arresting films 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 steelworker (Richard Gere) accidentally kills his supervisor, and he, his girlfriend (Brooke Adams), and his little sister (Linda Manz) flee to the Texas panhandle, where they find 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 a timeless American idyll that is also a gritty evocation of turn-of-the-century labor.