Thursday, November 25, 2010

154. Sling Blade (1996)


I don't reckon you have to go with women to be a good daddy to a boy. You been real square-dealin' with me. The Bible says two men ought not lay together. But I don't reckon the Good Lord would send anybody like you to Hades. That Frank, he lives inside of his own heart. That's an awful big place to live in. You take good care of that boy.

True story: Billy Bob Thornton had been a starving (sometimes literally) actor in Los Angeles for almost fifteen years when he wrote the screenplay for this movie. Famed director Billy Wilder told Thornton that he would never make it on his acting ability alone because of his awkward looks. Wilder advised him to write his own screenplay that would display his acting ability and use his unique talents. From this, "Sling Blade" was born. Although "Forrest Gump" did make the 365, this movie is so much better. The both choose to use mental illness as allegories for innocence, but "Sling Blade" tells a story of a much smaller scale that is able to hit home with the viewer. Most of us don't know a Bubba or Leuitenant Dan, but we all know a dead-beat boyfriend like Doyle and a tough little rascal like Frank. These characters were also perfectly portrayed by Thornton's unlikely costars: country singer Dwight Yoakam and (then-unknown) Lucas Black. John Ritter also fills out the cast as the well-meaning shop-keeper and the subject of the quote above.

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