Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5. USA, 1978. Paramount Pictures. Screenplay by Terrence Malick. Cinematography by Nestor Almendros. Produced by Bert Schneider, Harold Schneider. Music by Ennio Morricone. Production Design by Jack Fisk. Costume Design by Patricia Norris. Film Editing by Billy Weber. Academy Awards 1978. Cannes Film Festival 1979. Golden Globe Awards 1978.
Every single frame in this gorgeous melodrama is dripping with beauty (it deservedly won an Oscar for its cinematography). Richard Gere and Brooke Adams, unmarried and pretending to be siblings when they are actually lovers, go to live as workers in the fields of Sam Shepard‘s sprawling Midwestern ranch with his little sister (Linda Manz). When Shepard takes a liking to Adams, thinking there is nothing standing in his way, he sets in motion a tragedy of Steinbeckian proportions. Terrence Malick’s second feature, literally one of the most attractive looking films of all time, is depressing and melancholy but fascinating in its rich subtext and visual splendor.