Terrence Malick

Terrence Malick books and biography

Terrence Malick

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Born: 30 November 1943
Waco, Texas
Occupation: film director and producer

Terrence "Terry" Malick (born November 30, 1943 in Waco, Texas) is an American film director.



In a career spanning decades, Malick has only directed one short film and four feature-length films. He is also slated to direct a new film due out in 2008 called The Tree of Life.[1]

  • Lanton Mills (short film, 1969)
  • Badlands (1973)
  • Days of Heaven (1978)
  • The Thin Red Line (1998)
  • The New World (2005)
  • The Tree of Life (2008)

Badlands and Days of Heaven are often considered masterpieces. [2] [3] Malick was nominated for an Academy Award for both Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Director for The Thin Red Line. His work is often characterized by naturalist cinematography and a meditative directorial and editing style; his films are full of rich, lingering, repetitive images of natural beauty. He makes extensive use of off-screen narration by his characters, as well as music, to illuminate, heighten and counterpoint the action on screen.

Although notoriously withdrawn from public life, friends such as actor Martin Sheen have always remarked that he is a very warm and humble man who prefers to work without media intrusion.[4] His contracts stipulate that no current photographs of him are to be published and that he is not obligated to do any personal promotion for his films.


The son of an oil company executive, Malick grew up in Oklahoma and Texas and worked on oil fields as a young man. He was the oldest of three boys. Chris, the middle brother, was involved in a horrible automobile accident that burned him badly and killed his wife. Larry, the youngest, went to Spain to study with guitarist Segovia. In 1968, he committed suicide. Their father, Emil, was an oil geologist of Assyrian descent who worked for Phillips Petroleum while his mother, Irene, was of Irish heritage and came from Chicago. Malick graduated from St. Stephen's Episcopal School, Austin, Texas, where he played football as a linebacker. Malick broke the school record for most defensive sacks on the quarterback his senior year and was nominated for Texas football player of the year. He graciously declined the nomination and forfeited his chance at the award.

Malick studied philosophy under Stanley Cavell at Harvard University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1965, and went on to Magdalen College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. He had a disagreement with his advisor, Gilbert Ryle, over his thesis on the concept of the world in Kierkegaard, Heidegger, and Wittgenstein, and ultimately left Oxford without taking a doctorate. In 1969, Northwestern University Press published Malick's translation of Heidegger's Vom Wesen des Grundes as The Essence of Reasons. Moving back to the United States, he taught philosophy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology while freelancing as a journalist, writing articles for Newsweek, The New Yorker, and Life.

Malick married Michele Morette in 1985; they divorced in 1998. He has been married to Alexandra "Ecky" Wallace since 1998, and currently resides in Austin, Texas.

Film career

Malick got his start in film after earning an MFA from the AFI Conservatory in 1969, directing Lanton Mills. It was at the AFI that he established contacts with people such as Jack Nicholson and agent Mike Medavoy, who found freelance script-doctoring work for him.

After working as a screenwriter and script doctor, Malick directed Badlands and Days of Heaven. Following the release of Days of Heaven, Malick moved to France and he disappeared from public view for 20 years. He returned to film in 1998 with The Thin Red Line.

Malick considered making his fourth project a film about Che Guevara, and wrote a screenplay for it, but later relinquished the project to director Steven Soderbergh. He chose to make The New World instead, the script of which he finished in the late 1970s but lay dormant until 2004. The film features a romantic interpretation of the story of John Smith and Pocahontas, filmed in the usual transcendental Malickian style. The film was scheduled for limited release on December 25, 2005, and for general release in mid-January 2006; it was nominated for an Academy Award and received largely positive reviews during its theatrical run. Over 1 million feet of film was shot during the isolated filming schedule, resulting in a final film which ran for 150 minutes before Malick decided to temporarily withdraw the film from release and re-edit it into a 135-minute version. According to The New World producer Sarah Green, Malick is re-editing the film for a director's cut for the Sony Blu-ray DVD format, tentatively set for release in late 2006.[5]

Malick's next project is reported to be The Tree of Life, and there is talk of a second, as yet unidentified project.

In addition to the films he has directed, Malick also is credited with the screenplay of contemporary western Pocket Money (1972), and it's claimed wrote early drafts of Great Balls of Fire (1989) and Dirty Harry (1971). According to reports in The Guardian newspaper in May 2006, there are rumours that Malick has been linked to a possible screen adaptation of Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.[6]


  • Peter Biskind, 19981. Easy Riders / Raging Bulls, London: Bloomsbury.
  • Peter Biskind, 1998b. ‘The Runaway Genius’, Vanity Fair, 460, Dec, 116-125.
  • Stanley Cavell, 1979. The World Viewed: Reflections on the Ontology of Film, Enlarged Edition, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  • Michel Chion, 1999. The Voice in Cinema, translated by Claudia Gorbman, New York & Chichester: Columbia University Press.
  • Michel Ciment, 1975. ‘Entretien avec Terrence Malick’, Positif, 170, Jun, 30-34.
  • G. Richardson Cook, 1974. ‘The Filming of Badlands: An Interview with Terry Malick’, Filmmakers Newsletter, 7:8, Jun, 30-32).
  • Charlotte Crofts, 2001, ‘From the “Hegemony of the Eye” to the “Hierarchy of Perception”: The Reconfiguration of Sound and Image in Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven’, Journal of Media Practice, 2:1, 19-29.
  • Terry Curtis Fox, 1978. ‘The Last Ray of Light’, Film Comment, 14:5, Sept/Oct, 27- 28.
  • Cameron Docherty, 1998. ‘Maverick Back from the Badlands’, The Sunday Times, Culture, 7 Jun, 4.
  • Martin Donougho, 1985. ‘West of Eden: Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven’, Postscript: Essays in Film and the Humanities, 5:1, Fall, 17-30.
  • Roger Ebert, Review of Days of Heaven, Chicago Sun-Times Inc (
  • Graham Fuller, 1998. ‘Exile on Main Street’, The Observer, 13 Dec, 5.
  • John Hartl, 1998. ‘Badlands Director Ending his Long Absence’, Seattle Times, 8 Mar.
  • Brian Henderson, 1983. ‘Exploring Badlands’. Wide Angle: A Quarterly Journal of Film Theory, Criticism and Practice, 5:4, 38-51.
  • Les Keyser, 1981. Hollywood in the Seventies, London: Tantivy Press.
  • Terrence Malick, 1973. Interview the morning after Badlands premiered at the New York Film Festival, American Film Institute Report, 4:4, Winter, 48.
  • Terrence Malick, 1976. Days of Heaven, Registered with the Writers Guild of America, 14 Apr; revised 2 Jun.
  • James Monaco, 1972. ‘Badlands’, Take One, 4:1, Sept/Oct, 32.
  • Kim Newman, 1994. ‘Whatever Happened to Whatsisname?’, Empire, Feb, 88-89.
  • Brooks Riley, 1978. ‘Interview with Nestor Almendros’, Film Comment, 14:5, Sept/Oct, 28-31.
  • J. P. Telotte, 1986. ‘Badlands and the Souvenir Drive’, Western Humanities Review, 40:2, Summer, 101-14.
  • Liv Torgerson, 1999.‘Conversations with Billy Weber and Leslie Jones’, Motion Picture Editors Guild Newsletter (
  • Beverly Walker, 1975. ‘Malick on Badlands’, Sight and Sound, 44:2, Spring, 82-3.
  • Janet Wondra, 1994. ‘A Gaze Unbecoming: Schooling the Child for Femininity in Days of Heaven’, Wide Angle, 16:4, Oct, 5-22.

This article might use material from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Sponsored Links


By Terrence Malick
Movies , Tv Scripts

Details Report
Share this Book!
message of the week Message of The Week

Bookyards Youtube channel is now active. The link to our Youtube page is here.

If you have a website or blog and you want to link to Bookyards. You can use/get our embed code at the following link.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Bookyards Facebook, Tumblr, Blog, and Twitter sites are now active. For updates, free ebooks, and for commentary on current news and events on all things books, please go to the following:

Bookyards at Facebook

Bookyards at Twitter

Bookyards at Pinterest

Bookyards atTumblr

Bookyards blog

message of the daySponsored Links