Child of God

Synopsis: Set in mountainous Sevier County, Tennessee, Child of God tells the story of Lester Ballard, a dispossessed, violent man whom the narrator describes as "a child of God much like yourself perhaps." Ballard's life is a disastrous attempt to exist outside the social order. Successively deprived of parents and homes and with few other ties, Ballard descends literally and figuratively to the level of a cave dweller as he falls deeper into crime and degradation.
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Director(s): James Franco
Production: Well Go USA
  2 wins & 3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
104 min

He was of German and Irish bloods.

His name was Lester Ballard,

a Child of God, much like yourself perhaps.

All right, folks, come on up

and gather around here now.

Jessie's gonna sign you up for

some silver dollars.

We're gonna have a drawing here in a minute.

Gonna have a little music for you.

We're gonna sell this place here after a while.

Yeah, doc, the way we're gonna sell it,

we're gonna divide it up into three parcels,

and then we're gonna lump it all together.

Now, you know this land goes way

back up on the mountain there,

all the way across the creek

up on the other side.

Some timber over there been cut 10,

15 years ago, but it's done grown.

You know, land,

you can't go wrong buying land.

Back in Denver, you lay down in bed

at night directly on that pillow and...

I'm gonna make you money.

Look at that house.

Look at them chimneys.

Fireplace is in there.

Why, golly, that's a great house.

Nowadays, dollars just don't buy anything...

Look, my brother bought that

place down the road.

They said he's crazy.

Paid 19,500 for it.

Gave it a while, made $38,000 on it.

Now, that's real money.

All right, boys,

it's time to go to sale time here.

What do you say for it?

How many dollars you able to go?

What do you say, for starters,

a couple of thousand clams?

$2,000, give me 2,000.

2,000 we got.

Now 2,000.

Will you go 2,500?


3,000. Now 4,000.

Move! Move! Move! Move! Move!

This is not your property!

Move! Move! Move! Move! Move!

Move! Move!

You're on my property!

You are not welcome here!

What are you...

What's the matter with you?

What do you want?

I done told you, I want you to get

your goddamn ass off of my property!

And take these fools with you.

Hey, Lester, watch your language.

There's ladies present.

I give a f*** who is present, okay?

This ain't your property.

This ain't your property!

This ain't my property?

The hell it ain't.

Yeah, you done been locked up

over this once already.

You wanna go again?

I don't give a good goddamn

if I been locked up or not.

I want you sons of b*tches off

my goddamn property.

They gonna lock you up and

put you in that rubber room.

Now, this is not your land.

F***. All right?

What are you gonna do, Lester, shoot me?

Get off the truck!

I've been commissioned to

sell this piece of property.

It ain't yours no more.

- You know that!

- Get off the truck!

I ain't getting off no truck.

Get down!

Get off the truck.

- I'm gonna sell this land today.

- Okay. Get off...

Go ahead, shoot me.

I'm not going.

Call the sheriff.

Get the sheriff out here and

let's get this man out of here.

Get over there and call the sheriff.

Got poor, old Lester here,

we're gonna get him some help.

We'll get this sale going here in a minute, folks.

You all just stand there and...

This is my father's property!

This is not your property!

Ugh, f***.



Damned if I didn't even know them.



I don't know.

They say he never was right

after his daddy killed hisself.

They was just the one boy.

The mother had run off.

I don't know where to or who with.

Me and Cecil Edwards was the

ones who cut him down.

He come in the store and told it

like he'd tell it was raining out.

we went up there and walked in

the barn, and I seen his feet hanging.

We cut him down, let him fall on the floor,

just like cutting down meat.

He stood there and watched,

never said nothing.

He was about nine or ten years

old at the time.

The old man's eyes was running

out on stems like a crawfish,

and his tongue blacker than a chow dog's.

I wished if a man want to hang

his self, he'd do it with poison

or something so folks wouldn't

have to see such a thing as that.

Come on, girl.

Come on.


That's what I said. That's what I said.

That's right.

Come on.

Hey, yeah, yeah.

You sumbitch.

I don't need a god damn dog.

You go home then.

Drinkers going to Kirby's would

see him on the road by night,

slouched and solitary,

the rifle hanging in his hand

as if it were a thing he

could not get shut of.

My presence ain't even known.

- He'd grown lean and bitter.

- Yeah, what you want?

Don't slow down now.

Some say mad.

Y'all son of a b*tch!


Okay, you gonna be my friend.

You gonna be my friend.

My friend.

Where you at now, you bastard?

I'll tell you another thing he did one time.

He had this old cow to balk on him.

Couldn't get her to do nothing.

He pushed and pulled and beat

on her till she'd wore him out.

Well, he went and borrowed

Squire Helton's tractor and went

back over there and throwed a

rope over the old cow's head and

took off on the tractor as hard as he could go.

When it took up the slack,

it liked to jerked her head plumb off.

Broke her neck and killed her where she stood.

Ask Floyd if he didn't.

What is all this?

Oh, sh*t.

The hell do you want,

you son of a b*tch?

Where your clothes at?

What the hell is it to you?

You son of a b*tch.

Look at me.

You better put down that rock.

You make me.

I said put it down.


Don't move!

Don't move!

You start, I'll break your back!

You get on outta here!

I knowed you'd do me this way.

You stinking drunk bastard!

You get on outta here!

I'll get you back!

You sumbitch!

I'll kill you!

I'll stab your bones, f***er bastard!

Morning, sheriff.

Hey, how are you?

Morning, sheriff.

Let's go get the little f***er.

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James Franco

James Edward Franco (born April 19, 1978) is an American actor, filmmaker, and college instructor. For his role in 127 Hours (2010), he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor. Franco is known for his roles in live-action films such as Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy (2002–2007), Milk (2008), Pineapple Express (2008), Eat, Pray, Love (2010), Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), Spring Breakers (2012), Oz the Great and Powerful (2013), This Is the End (2013), and The Disaster Artist (2017), for which he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor. He is known for his collaborations with fellow actor Seth Rogen, having appeared in eight films and one television series with him. Franco is also known for his work on television; his first prominent acting role was the character Daniel Desario on the short-lived ensemble comedy-drama Freaks and Geeks (1999–2000), which developed a cult following. He also portrayed the title character in the television biographical film James Dean (2001), for which he won a Golden Globe Award. Franco had a recurring role on the soap opera General Hospital (2009–2012) and starred in the limited series 11.22.63 (2016). He also stars in the David Simon created HBO drama The Deuce (2017–present). Franco volunteers for the Art of Elysium charity, and has also taught film classes at New York University, the University of Southern California, UCLA, Studio 4, Palo Alto High School, and Playhouse West. Several of his former students from Studio 4 and Playhouse West have stated that Franco had behaved in inappropriate or sexually exploitative ways while serving as their teacher. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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