Lanton Mills

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Lanton Mills
Directed byTerrence Malick
Produced byJohn Roper
Written byTerrence Malick
StarringHarry Dean Stanton
Terrence Malick
Warren Oates
Music byTerrence Malick
CinematographyCaleb Deschanel
Edited byJohn Palmer
Release date
Running time
17 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States

Lanton Mills is an American comedy short film written and directed by Terrence Malick [2] and starring Malick, Warren Oates, Harry Dean Stanton, and Paula Mandel.[1] The film was Malick's thesis project for the American Film Institute, and was completed in 1969.[1]


The story concerns two apparently 19th-century cowboys (Stanton and Malick) plotting to rob a bank in Texas, which they do in the 20th century.[1]

A film writer who viewed a VHS copy at the American Film Institute described it:

Visually, it is rich in elements that would become Malick's trademarks. Daylight assumes a tactile presence — though here it is not the diffuse "magic hour" light (i.e., malick-light) of later films, but a bold late afternoon sun that streams through leaves, creating shadow and dappled highlight on the characters' faces. The camera angles tend to be either wide or wider, even in dialogue scenes. Also familiar from Malick's later films is the attention to landscape and nature. ... But what makes "Lanton Mills" feel completely different from Malick's later work is its unrestrained, anarchic comedy. ... Though the jokes play out in an absurdist, disconcerting key, they still make us laugh (or at least shake our heads with a puzzled smile).[1]

The producer was John Roper, the cinematographer Caleb Deschanel, and the editor John Palmer, with Malick composing the music.[1]

The film was influenced by Don Quixote and classic westerns. [3]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Schwartzman, Theresa. Dietmar Schwärzler; Sylvia SzelIt (eds.). "Can Terry Malick Tell a Joke?". Rohstoff Filmmagazin. Vienna (2): 21–23. Archived from the original on February 7, 2012. Retrieved May 12, 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  2. ^ FilmAffinity
  3. ^ BFI

External links[edit]