Days of Heaven [1978]

Richard Gere works in a Chicago steel mill at the turn of the century, but must flee the city after accidentally killing a man. Heading for the wheat fields of Texas, he packs up his girlfriend (Brooke Adams) and his younger sister (Linda Manz). Instead of a better life, they head straight into tragedy when a wealthy farmer (Sam Shepard) falls for Adams. Believing him to be dying and expecting to inherit a fortune, she agrees to marry him. Their plans change when Shepard fails to die and Gere takes matters into his own hands. Aesthetically flawless, this film about a romantic love triangle is diminished by the small scope of video. Originally shown in 70mm, it is an eye-catching period piece that won its cinematographer, NĂ©stor Almendros, a 1978 Oscar. Texture and color are the unbilled characters in this tragic tale, and are just as important as the players. The story, sadly, fades somewhat when compared to the glory of the visuals. --Rochelle O'Gorman

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