The Thin Red Line (1964)

 |  War, Drama  |  2 May 1964 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.7/10 from 529 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 8 critic

In Guadalcanal during World War II, a private and his sergeant clash during the heat of battle with the Japanese.



(from the novel by), (screenplay)
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Terrence Malick's adaptation of James Jones' autobiographical 1962 novel, focusing on the conflict at Guadalcanal during the second World War.

Director: Terrence Malick
Stars: Jim Caviezel, Sean Penn, Nick Nolte
The Trench (1999)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A story about a group of soldiers' last days before the battle of the Somme in 1916, showing the conditions in the trenches during World War 1 and taking you into the minds of the soldiers.

Director: William Boyd
Stars: Paul Nicholls, Daniel Craig, Julian Rhind-Tutt
Action | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A true WW2 story: the British must attack a German ship but it's safe in neutral Goa. So they send civilians, ex-soldiers about 60 years old.

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Stars: Gregory Peck, Roger Moore, David Niven
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The story of Captain Richard Francis Burton's and Lt. John Hanning Speke's expedition to find the source of the Nile river in the name of Queen Victoria's British Empire. The film tells the... See full summary »

Director: Bob Rafelson
Stars: Patrick Bergin, Iain Glen, Richard E. Grant
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Two brothers struggle as wildcat truck drivers; one comes to harm, the other is accused of his friend's murder.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: George Raft, Humphrey Bogart, Ann Sheridan
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Highly fictionalized account (see 'goofs' for examples) of the life of George Armstrong Custer from his arrival at West Point in 1857 to his death at the battle of the Little Big Horn in ... See full summary »

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Arthur Kennedy
Zulu Dawn (1979)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A dramatization of the Battle of Isandlwana, where the British Army met its match against the Zulu nation.

Director: Douglas Hickox
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Simon Ward, Denholm Elliott
Suddenly (1954)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In the city of Suddenly, three gangsters trap the Benson family in their own house, on the top of a hill nearby the railroad station, with the intention of killing the president of the USA.

Director: Lewis Allen
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Sterling Hayden, James Gleason
Sahara I (1943)
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Sergeant Joe Gunn and his tank crew pick up five British soldiers, a Frenchman and a Sudanese man with an Italian prisoner crossing the Libyan Desert to rejoin their command after the fall ... See full summary »

Director: Zoltan Korda
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Bruce Bennett, J. Carrol Naish
The Hill (1965)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In a North African military prison during World War II, five new prisoners struggle to survive in the face of brutal punishment and sadistic guards.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Sean Connery, Harry Andrews, Ian Bannen
De Sade (1969)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.4/10 X  

Hounded by the police on charges of inflammatory writing, the once handsome Marquis De Sade seeks refuge in an abandoned family mansion. This colorful movie depicts DeSade's life from ... See full summary »

Directors: Cy Endfield, Roger Corman, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Keir Dullea, Senta Berger, Lilli Palmer
The Cooler (2003)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In an old school Las Vegas casino, its top gambling jinx breaks his curse when he falls in love, much to his boss' consternation.

Director: Wayne Kramer
Stars: William H. Macy, Maria Bello, Alec Baldwin


Cast overview, first billed only:
Bob Kanter ...
Fife (as Robert Kanter)
Ray Daley ...
Merlyn Yordan ...
Kieron Moore ...
Jim Gillen ...
Capt. Gaff (as James Gillen)
Charles Stalmaker ...
(as Charles Stalnaker)
Steve Rowland ...
Gary Lasdun
Eddy King ...
(as Edward King)
Jeffrey O'Kelly
Jack Gaskins
Joe Collins


Dark tale of one man's determination to survive his tour of duty. Separated from his new wife after only eight days of marriage, private Doll suddenly decides that he will no longer blindly follow the orders of his superiors, following his own mind instead. What follows are a series of poorly planned attacks, in which Doll saves the day, time after time; eventually leading to the taking of the Elephant in the battle of Guadalcanal during World War II. Sgt. Welsh, Doll's immediate line officer grows an affinity for Doll, helping him through his first Kill, but never quite allowing himself to admit his admiration for the young soldier. The final scene of the movie brings home the true horror of war and the meaninglessness of it all. Written by Tophee

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


...It Separates the Coward From the Brave, The Tough And the Tender, Sex And Love! See more »


War | Drama


See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

2 May 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A última batalha  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film's title comes from James Jones's novel and, in turn, from an old saying. In the movie, Captain Stone, played by Ray Daley, says, "I remember an old Midwest saying, 'There's only a thin red line between the sane and the mad.' " See more »


Referenced in The Mentalist: The Thin Red Line (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A gripping film only limited by its budget
18 June 2001 | by (Philadelphia, PA) – See all my reviews

Those who don't see the realism in this film are probably either from Generation X, or they never were in the military. Today's audiences are inured to violence captured in contemporary films, and aren't willing to watch films made on a small budget from independent filmmakers, such as those responsible for this 1964 foray into the futility of war. There are certainly a number of points to this version that stand out, never mind the one or two actions sequences that aren't technically up to the flashiness of today's films. The relationships among ranks, from officers to enlisted men, captures the flavor of the military hierarchy existing since time immemorial. Soldiers are asked to face the withering machine gun fire, artillery, and booby traps, not to mention climatic privations, without wincing. It goes without saying that the acting of the principals in such circumstances is expert, with paranoia balancing precariously between heroism and the will to live. Men who have been in the military will no doubt identify with the characters, from the C.O. played with hardened determination by James Philbrook, to Jack Warden's combat wise sergeant, and down to Keir Dullea's survivalist mentality in the face of an enemy that takes no prisoners. The viewer is given a look at the motivations behind Dullea's seeming obsession to be "prepared" for combat with as much in his bag of combat tricks as possible. When Dullea steals a .45 automatic, his prophetic line of dialogue to his buddy, "It just might give me the edge I need", rings ironically true several times over the course of the picture. In fact, irony is the film's strongest point, evidenced in several scenes in which Dullea is saved from death by his purloined sidearm, and which ultimately is responsible for his survival by film's end. Opposing Dullea's character, Warden is a career NCO who plays by the rules of war, but who in the end loses his life after shielding Dullea from a Japanese soldier unleashing lead. The viewer realizes that Warden's death results from heroism, while Dullea's survival from the madness of a trapped rat. Screenwriter Philip Yordan's dialogue is at once sensitive and insightful, lending credence to his reputation in Hollywood as a no-nonsense, rough-hewn, but literate genius.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Are there any stores that sell this DVD? GabeShadow
Discuss The Thin Red Line (1964) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: