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Days of Heaven 1979

One of the most critically-acclaimed films of all time, Days of Heaven is a moving story about two men who love the same woman. Richard Gere, a fugitive from the slums of Chicago, finds himself pitted against a shy, rich Texan (Sam Shepard) for the love of Abby (Brooke Adams).

Starring:
Richard Gere, Brooke Adams
Runtime:
1 hour, 33 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance
Director Terrence Malick
Starring Richard Gere, Brooke Adams
Supporting actors Sam Shepard, Linda Manz, Robert J. Wilke, Jackie Shultis, Stuart Margolin, Timothy Scott, Gene Bell, Doug Kershaw, Richard Libertini, Frenchie Lemond, Sahbra Markus, Bob Wilson, Muriel Jolliffe, John Wilkinson, King Cole, Terrence Malick
Studio Paramount
BBFC rating Parental Guidance
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 5 April 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Filmed mostly in twilight, in the pink flush and phosphorescent blue of sunrise or sunset, Days of Heaven is one of the most visually beautiful films ever made. Its beauty contrasts with the harshness of life during the Depression years and with the almost documentary-like observations of the travelling community in America.
The story is a tragic Hardyesque one, with a love triangle, reminiscent of the story of Abraham and Sarah, when Abraham lies to Pharaoh about Sarah being his sister rather than his wife. Pharaoh complains to Abraham that he will bring evil to his house...and that's precisely what happens to landowner, Sam Shepard.
Ennio Morricone's score is drawn from Saint Saens' The Aquarium, adding to the beauty of the film but also the sense of inevitability.
Sam Shepard and Brooke Adams are excellent (thank goodness they are not the pretty people of tinseltown!) Richard Gere is at his best ever, not quite in the habit yet of detaching himself from the emotion of the story.
Not many people know this film when I tell them it's one of my all time favourites. I've waited for it since seeing it many years ago - at last I have it for myself!
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Format: DVD
It is very rare to see a film that makes you wish that you could walk through the screen and just allow everything to wash over you. Days of Heaven does that! It is a total visual delight, and married with Ennio Morricone's glorious score makes it a gem of a film. Watch it and you will find that wind blowing through wheat will take on a different perspective altogether.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Malick best film maybe. The second he made and the one that made him a legend, taking twenty years since then to appear again with another film (the thin red line). Days of Heaven make blu ray technology worth existing, since it is a sensorial experience, wonderfully shot, with a fantastic sound and a unique storytelling. It is a magical, dreamy approach to talk about individual stories within History, that of an extincted world that was still based on nature cycles but was goingto be torn away by modern age and capitalism. It is a chant for what we imagine of the new world before it became just a tv entertainment. Criterion did a wonderful job and this blu ray is a must have. This is a work of art proving that Malick used to have a sincere yet complex style, without just showing off or being too cryptic spand self-referred, as it happened from The Tree of Life on
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Format: DVD
Ostensibly a story involving a love triangle between a wealthy farmer and two impoverished migrant workers set in rural Texas in the early part of the Twentieth century.
As you would expect from Terence Mallick the film is so much more; the story is secondary to the wonder and beauty the director sees in the natural world. The characters and their story are only a part of a world driven by and kept moving by eternal conflict. Mallick's camera is equally interested in the wind blowing through wheat fields or locusts swarming at dusk.
I don't think it reaches the meditative highs of his next film- The Thin Red Line, but, the film is less ponderous and is a wonderful visual experience.
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Format: DVD
This picture is certainly a treat for the eyes and ears. Director Terrence Malick has prepared each individual shot with the greatest care prior to shooting; immense thought has gone into the colour co-ordination of costume, props and landscape locations, not to mention shooting at just the right time of day and of course of year - the rotation of the seasons is an important feature in the developing story. There is a rich soundtrack of amplified, natural sound plus the appealing film music by Enrico Morricone against which the sparse dialogue almost seems to float.

I think the question is whether the look and sound of the film are married to excellence in all the other elements that make up a really fine picture; and here I think there is at least room for doubt. The narrative of the triangular relationship between employer and two labourers is quite elliptical, and I feel there is an emotional coldness at the heart of it which prevents full engagement by the audience. This also means that the two incidents of violence at the beginning and end of the film lack full impact; and this before one considers whether they are well integrated into the thrust of the film.

I enjoyed the visual aspects of the picture so much that the drawbacks outlined above were all the more disappointing.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
To hell with equivocation or beating around the bush: Terrence Malick's 1978 "Days of Heaven" is the greatest film ever made. There's nothing else on earth like "Days of Heaven." I love it not only for its much-acclaimed cinematography (Nestor Almendros and Haskell Wrexler), or the evocation of a particular time and place (I'm not even sure we know the when or where of it-- pre WW1 ?). This is a mythic film.

Sam Shepard and Richard Gere are quite convincing in portraying, with almost no dialogue, the conflicting emotions and suffering of the rivals for Brooke Adams' affections. Adams also is well cast as the beautiful girl from humble circumstances who is at once corrupted and the source of all truth. And the narration by the child is a wonderful touch that adds an ironic perspective to the tale. Leo Kottke's guitar on the soundtrack is yet another perfect touch. What keeps it real is Terence Malick's passion for natural detail, from locusts and wild turkeys to the guile and weakness in human nature. And his characters' simple, American vernacular, especially the narration of the young girl (Linda Manz), adds another rhythm to the golden-hour visual poetry. Every shot is suitable for framing. Watching the movie again recently, i was struck by the little girl's narration, its her story, told by her, and its subject is the way that hope and cheer have been beaten down in her heart.
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