Year Released: 1973
How It Fared Back Then: This was Terrence Malick’s first feature and it was fairly successful but more of a starting point for Malick (and Sissy Spacek for that matter). It was a critical success and (I’m guessing) really cool and trendy.
Why It’s Lasted: It’s kind of a classic 70s outsider movie. After films like Easy Rider, outsider/road movies were all the rage and for good reason! Back then, people wanted to see stories about badasses making their own paths, and now this movie is part of that generation of alternative/outlaw 70s films. I think this movie in particular held up because of the cast and director; Sheen, Spacek and Malick are all veteran pros. Also, don’t underestimate classic American nostalgia. The movie is from ’73 and set in the 50s, so it’s based on nostalgia and now, these days, has double nostalgia (you get it right?).
Classic Moments: I knew nothing about this movie going in so there were no widely known (to me anyways) scenes or characteristics. That being said, the treehouse sequence is pretty memorable. Our two heroes live in a homemade treehouse for a bit while on the run, just living off the land and playing all day. It’s a defining sequence because it’s a reminder of what kind of characters you’re watching: they’re just kids!
Does It Still Hold Up?: Uhhh Martin Sheen’s body and tight jeans sure hold up!
To be honest, it’s kind of dated story-wise and character-wise, but it is a really beautiful movie. Also the music was kind of odd and perfect! People love Malick for a reason, and it’s obvious that the only thing that’s changed over the years is his budget. He’s a pro at gorgeous scenes.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcFx06cBmbk]