Sling Blade (1996)


“I don’t think anything bad ought to happen to children. I think the bad stuff should be saved up for the people whose grown up. That’s the way I see it. ” – Karl

Number of Times Seen – Twice (Video in the 90’s and 6 Jul 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A simple minded man is released from a mental institution and befriends a young boy

My Take on it – This is a film that I recall seeing on vidoe not long after t came out and it made a big impression on me that it stayed quite fresh in my mind for over twenty years.

This was the film that made Billy Bob Thorton a known and respected figure in Hollywood.

He wrote directed and starred in this film and it is clear that it is a very personal kind of story for him.

His performance in this film is very memorable and was able to garner him an Oscar nomination for BEst Actor.

He also was able to win an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for his work here.

The story moves along at a great pace despite the fact that the main character himself moves very slowly and has a very unique and distinct accent and mannerism.

The plot revolves around a quick friendship between a young boy and a man with mental deficiencies who are both innocents, yet they wisely chose not to take the story in directions which most people would expect with such characters.

The supporting cast is great with John Ritter, JT Walsh, Dwight Yoakam and Robert Duvall all giving stellar performances in small yet very significant roles and add much credibility to this story.

Bottom Line – Thornton does a great job with this film that seems so personal to him. He directed, wrote and starred in this film and broke out onto the world scene with this film. His performance is extremely memorable and he was able to get an Oscar nomination for Best Actor for this role while also winning an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for the story. Things move at a great pace even if the character himself moves slow and has a very unique speech pattern. The plot revolves around the quick friendship between two innocents – a child and a man with mental problems and I give them credit for not turning this story in a direction that most people would expect for it to go. Great supporting roles by John Ritter, Dwight Yoakam and JT Walsh who help enhance the credibility of the story as its being told. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Billy Wilder once told Billy Bob Thornton that he was “too ugly” to be an actor, and that he should write a screenplay for himself, where he could exploit his “less than perfect” features. After this movie launched Thornton’s career, Thornton publicly discussed his conversation with Wilder, which was at a cocktail party where Thornton was working as a waiter. Thornton got a call from Wilder, who invited him over to his house. Wilder said he didn’t recall the conversation with Thornton, but was glad that he heeded his advice. As a gift, Wilder gave Thornton a paperback copy of this movie’s script with his autograph, and a personal message inscribed on it. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)

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One thought on “Sling Blade (1996)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1996 | MovieRob

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