Days of Heaven

Loading the player ...

USA | 1978 | 94 minutes | Terrence Malick

January 9, 2020

Terrence Malick's 1978 masterpiece relays the story of Bill (Richard Gere) and Abby (Brooke Adams), two secret lovers hired on as harvest season laborers on a wealthy farmer's (Sam Shepard) land. When the farmer falls for Abby, the couple conspire to exploit the attraction for all it's worth.


SIFF and Seattle Rep are partnering around Seattle Rep's production of "True West" for this special screening event of Days of Heaven, featuring Sam Shepard ("True West" playwright) in his first on-screen role. There will be a post-show panel discussion following the screening featuring Braden Abraham (Seattle Rep Artistic Director and director of "True West"), Mary Ewald (actor), and John Kazanjian (New City Artistic Director). "True West" starts at Seattle Rep January 17.

Easily one of the most beautiful looking films of the 1970s with a large portion of it shot during the "magic hour," Days of Heaven won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography for Nestor Almendros' (Kramer vs. Kramer, Sophie's Choice) transcendentally visual work on the film, which bolsters the highly expressionistic story that Malick and his actors brought to the production. Presenting a vision of the New American Cinema more akin to additive sculpture than the Hollywood films that came before it, Malick builds a world for his characters and audience to live in for 94 minutes, one where the love triangle at the center of the narrative reacts and informs the natural beauty and actions that frame it. By the time biblical tropes like locusts, fire, and murderous rage descends upon Bill, Abby, and Shepard's previously docile farmer, one knows they're witnessing a film like no other, one that could only come from the philosophically driven concerns of Terrence Malick.

  • Director: Terrence Malick
  • Principal Cast: Richard Gere, Brooke Adams, Sam Shepard
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 1978
  • Running Time: 94 minutes
  • Screenplay: Terrence Malick
  • Language: English, Italian