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The Thin Red Line (1998)

R | | Drama, War | 15 January 1999 (USA)
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Adaptation of James Jones' autobiographical 1962 novel, focusing on the conflict at Guadalcanal during the second World War.

Director:

Terrence Malick

Writers:

James Jones (novel), Terrence Malick (screenplay)
Popularity
1,478 ( 558)
Nominated for 7 Oscars. Another 20 wins & 40 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kirk Acevedo ... Pvt. Tella
Penelope Allen ... Witt's Mother (as Penny Allen)
Benjamin Green Benjamin Green ... Melanesian Villager (as Benjamin)
Simon Billig ... Lt. Col. Billig
Mark Boone Junior ... Pvt. Peale
Adrien Brody ... Cpl. Fife
Norman Patrick Brown Norman Patrick Brown ... Pvt. Henry
Jim Caviezel ... Pvt. Witt
Ben Chaplin ... Pvt. Bell
George Clooney ... Capt. Bosche
John Cusack ... Capt. John Gaff
Jarrod Dean Jarrod Dean ... Cpl. Thorne
Matt Doran ... Pvt. Coombs
Travis Fine ... Pvt. Weld
Paul Gleeson ... 1st Lt. Band
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Storyline

U.S. Army Private Witt (AWOL) is found and imprisoned on a troop carrier by his company First Sergeant, Welsh.The men of C Company,1st Battalion,27th Infantry Regiment,25th Infantry Division have been brought to Guadalcanal as reinforcements in the campaign to secure Henderson Field and seize the island from the Japanese. They arrive near Hill 210, a key Japanese position. Their task is to capture the hill at all cost. What happens next is a story developing about redemption and the meaningless of war. Regardless the outcome. Written by Frank Liesenborgs

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Every man fights his own war.

Genres:

Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for realistic war violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Tok Pisin | Japanese | Greek

Release Date:

15 January 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La delgada línea roja See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$52,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$282,534, 27 December 1998

Gross USA:

$36,400,491

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$98,126,565
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (rough cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie was almost not made. Sony Pictures dropped plans to produce it because of fears that it couldn't be made for its then forty-five million dollar budget. Fortunately, Twentieth Century Fox came to the rescue by providing most of the cash. See more »

Goofs

The wake from the camera boat can be seen cutting across the path of the first wave of landing craft as it makes a sweeping turn in front of them. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Private Edward P. Train: What's this war in the heart of nature? Why does nature vie with itself? The land contend with the sea? Is there an avenging power in nature? Not one power, but two?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Composer Wrangler. . . Moanike'ala Nakamoto See more »

Connections

References Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

The Unanswered Question
Composed by Charles Ives
Performed by Orchestra of St. Luke's (as The Orchestra of St. Luke's)
Conducted by John Adams
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

not everyone is smart enough..
26 August 2018 | by Arth_JoshiSee all my reviews

The Thin Red Line

The Thin Red Line is a character driven war drama that is depicted through Malick's sweat drop precision lens. The scrutiny in here may not be as convoluted but the methodology that it adapts is fascinating to the core.

The narrative is strong, layered and thought provoking if not gripping, where its elaborative journey that is of around three hours, is advantageous. The battle sequences are shot with jaw dropping camera work and nail biting choreography that aptly portrays the battlefield of war.

The cinematography is metaphorical with neat and clean visuals, live locations and bright colors that lights up the screen like never before. Zimmer's sensational background score and sharp sound effects of all the bullets, explosions, soldiers panting, rivers flowing and birds chirping, every bit of it factors in effectively to the bigger picture.

The script might be divided into various sequences whose structure is transparent for the audience, something that may not be feasible for the makers. The performances are mostly scattered in bits and pieces but the show stealers would definitely be Penn, Nolte, Brody and Caviezel.

Malick's adaptation is mature since he blends it in with his own ingredients that may not be crispy but is tender and husky to respect the genre and premise. His eerie execution always goes through the roof, since each anticipated emotions does carry out of the screen and rains all over the audience.

Cut throating politics, morality conflicts and exceptional one liners that digs in deep are the high points of the feature. Malick's world is not bold and waiting to show off, it is sensible and calculative and as a character quotes in the beginning, "not everyone is smart enough".

The Thin Red Line might have a weak line but it undeniably is three dimensional and it is inexplicably glorifying to see it come alive.


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