Sissy Spacek’s Groundbreaking Performance in Badlands

A graduate of the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, Dr. Susan Turner has been a practicing psychiatrist in New York City for years. Outside of the professional environment, she is a huge fan of the 1975 Terrence Malick film Badlands. Dr. Susan Turner is particularly fond of the work of Sissy Spacek in the film.

Relatively unknown at the time, Sissy Spacek delivered a career-launching performance as Badlands’ Holly Sargis. As the romantic foil to Martin Sheen’s murderous Kit Carruthers, she played Holly Sargis as earnest and wholesome but often emotionally disconnected from the horrible acts that she witnesses.

Ms. Spacek provided the voice-over narration for the film that movie critic Geoff Pevere recently described as “strangely poetic.” Mr. Pevere also praised Terrence Malick’s decision to cast the 24-year-old Sissy Spacek as “a stroke of inspiration.” Singled out by numerous critics as a key element in an incredible film, Ms. Spacek earned a 1975 “Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles” nomination at the British Academy Film Awards for her performance in Badlands.