Sling Blade

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Sling Blade is a 1996 drama film set in rural Arkansas. It tells the story of a mentally impaired man who is released from a psychiatric hospital where he has lived since killing his mother and her lover when he was 12 years old. He befriends a young boy, begins a friendship with the boy's mother and eventually confronts the mother's abusive boyfriend, as well as his own dark past.

Written and directed by Billy Bob Thornton.
A simple man. A difficult choice.taglines
Some folks call it a sling blade, I call it a kaiser blade.

Karl Childers[edit]

  • Some folks call it a sling blade, I call it a kaiser blade. It's kindly a long wood handle, kinda like an axe handle, with a long blade on it shaped kindly like a bananer. Mmm hmm. Sharp on one edge, and dull on the other 'un. Mmm hmm. It's what the highway boys use to cut down weeds and what not, y'know.
  • I guess I am going to have to get used to lookin at perty people, and perty people going to have to get used to lookin at me.
  • [to Vaughn] I don't reckon you have to go with women to be a good daddy to a boy. You been real square-dealin' with me. The Bible says two men ought not lay together. But I don't reckon the Good Lord would send anybody like you to Hades. That Frank, he lives inside of his own heart. That's an awful big place to live in. You take good care of that boy.
  • I like them French fried potaters.
  • There were these two fellars standin' on a bridge, a-goin' to the bathroom. One fellar said, "The water's cold" and the other fellar said, "The water's deep". I believe one fella come from Arkansas. Get it?
  • I don't think anything bad ought to happen to children. I think the bad stuff should be saved up for the people who's grown up. That's the way I see it.
  • [on the phone] Yes, ma'am. I've killed Doyle Hargraves with a lawnmower blade. Yes, ma'am, I'm right sure of it. I hit him two good whacks in the head with it. That second one just plum near cut his head in two... It's a lil' ol' white house on the corner of Vine Street and some other street. There's a pick-up truck out front that says "Doyle Hargraves Construction" on it. Doyle said besides sending the police, you might wanna send an ambulance or a "hearst". I'll be sitting here, waiting on ye.

Doyle Hargraves[edit]

  • Not that you two afflicted sumbitches know anything about this, but you're sitting in a crew cab dualie pickup. In some circles, this is considered a piece of automotive art.
  • You believe in the bible do ya Karl?
  • Well I can't understand none of it, this one begat this one, this one begat that one, begat, begat, lo and behold someone says some shit or another just how retarded are you?
  • If you all don't shut up I'm about to go out of my mind, ol' Karl over here is about to bust a spring, he's already off balance.


Marsha Dwiggins: Will you ever kill anyone again, Karl?
Karl Childers: I don't reckon I got no reason to kill nobody. Mmm.

Doyle Hargraves: Hey is this the kind of retard that drools and rubs shit in his hair and all that, 'cause I'm gonna have a hard time eatin' 'round that kind of thing now. Just like I am with antique furniture and midgets. You know that, I can't so much as drink a damn glass of water around a midget or a piece of antique furniture.
Linda Wheatley: Doyle, you're awful. You shouldn't be that way.
Doyle: I ain't saying it's right, I'm just telling the damn truth. He'll make me sick. I know it.

Doyle Hargraves: Was you in the nut house for hackin' somebody up with a hatchet?
Karl Childers: I never used no hatchet that I remember. Mmm hmm.
Doyle: So you're just crazy in a retard kind of way, huh? Wouldn't matter to me if you did do violence on someone. I ain't scared of shit. You're just a humped-over retard, seems to me. I'm just kiddin'. Welcome to our humble home, Buddy.

Frosty Cream Boy: Can I help you, sir? Can I help you, sir?
Karl Childers: I was kinda wantin' somethin' 'nother to eat, mmm-hmm.
Frosty Cream Boy: Well, uh, what would you like?
Karl: You got any biscuits for sale in there?
Frosty Cream Boy: Well no. This here is a Frosty Cream. We don't serve biscuits. We got a lot of other stuff, though.
Karl: What you got in there that's good to eat?
Frosty Cream Boy: Well, we got Big Chief burgers, Bongo burgers, foot longs, corny dogs, Frosty shakes, creamy bars. Uh, did you want me to go through the whole list?
Karl: Reckon what you like to eat in there?
Frosty Cream Boy: Well, the french fries are pretty good.
Karl: French fried potaters?
Frosty Cream Boy: Yup, the french fries.
Karl: How much you want for 'em?
Frosty Cream Boy: Well, they're 60 for the medium and 75 for large.
Karl: I reckon I'll have me some of the big uns.
Frosty Cream Boy: Alright then, one large french fries?

Vaughan Cunningham: You seem like a thinker, you know. You seem to always be deep in thought. Okay, tell me something. What are you thinking right now?
Karl Childers: I was thinking um, I'm gonna take some of these potaters home with me.
Vaughan: Oh. How about before that?
Karl: Let me think, mmm. Before that I was thinking I could use me another six or eight cans of that potted meat if you got any extra, mmm.

Frank Wheatley: You ever have any brothers or sisters growing up?
Karl Childers: I had one there for a little while. But, uh, it didn't get old enough for me to play with it.
Frank: Why not? It die?
Karl: Yes, Sir.
Frank: Why?
Karl: It got born too early. My mother and father made it come out too early some how or other.
Frank: So it died when it came out?
Karl: My daddy came out to the shed and got me. He said, "Here, take this and throw it away", and he handed me a towel with something or another in it. Well I started for that barrel and I opened up the towel 'cause there was a noise. Something a-moving around in there. The towel was all bloody-like all around it there. It was a lil' ol' baby not no bigger than a squirrel.
Frank: A girl or a boy?
Karl: It was a little ol' boy.
Frank: You threw it in the trash barrel?
Karl: Well that didn't seem right to me, so I went in the shed and got me a shoe box and emptied out all the washers and nuts and screws and whatnot that were in it and I takened the little fellar and put him inside the box and buried him right there in a corner of the yard. That seemed more proper to me, I reckon.
Frank: Was it still alive when you buried it?
Karl: I heared it a-cryin' through that box.
Frank: That don't seem right. Seems like you would have kept him and taken care of him if he was your brother.
Karl: I wasn't but 6 or 8. I don't reckon I knew what to do. I didn't know how to care for no baby. My mother and father didn't want him and they learned me to do what they told me. These days I reckon it's better to give him back to the Good Lord anyhow.

Frank Wheatley: Ever think of killing yourself on purpose like my daddy done?
Karl Childers: I studied about it. The Bible says you ought not to. It says if you do that, you go off to Hades. Some folks call it Hell, I call it Hades.

Frank Childers: I told you I ain't got no boy. Now why don't you go on out of here and let me be? You ain't no kin to me.
Karl Childers: [after a pause] I learned to read some. I read the Bible quite a bit. I can't understand all of it, but I reckon I understand a good deal of it. Them stories you and Mama told me, they ain't in there. You ought not done that to your boy. I've studied on killing you. I studied about it quite a bit. But I don't reckon there ain't no need for it if all you're gonna do is sit there in that chair. You'll be dead soon enough and the world'll be shot of ya. You ought not killed my little brother. He ought to had a chance to growed up. He woulda had fun some time.

Karl Childers: Everything's gonna be all right, boy. I kind of want to put my arm around you for a minute. Then I'm gonna get up and leave out of here.
Frank Wheatley: Okay.
Karl: I love you, boy!

Doyle Hargraves: What the hell you doing with that lawn mower blade?
Karl Childers: I aim to kill you with it.


  • A simple man. A difficult choice.
  • Sometimes a hero comes from the most unlikely place.


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