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
This movie takes place at the Battle of Guadacanal. Guadalcanal is situated in the Solomon Islands in the Pacific Ocean, north-east of Australia. Its local name is Isatabu and contains the country's capital, Honiara. The island is humid and mostly made up of jungle with a surface area of 2,510 square miles or 6,500-km². Guadacanal was named after Pedro de Ortega's home town Guadacanal in Andalusia, Spain. de Ortega worked under Álvaro de Mendaña who charted the island in 1568. See more »
This version of James Jones' book follows the plot of the novel closely and actually received very high praise from the author himself. Jones wrote a letter to the director saying "Very rarely does an author get to write a letter to a filmmaker to say that he has captured the author's intention to the highest level possible." Jones was very pleased with the outcome of this movie, while the 1998 version heavily strays from his book. For example, Witt and Walsh in the 1998 version both quote a lot from another Jones novel, called "From Here To Eternity", and not from "A Thin Red Line". The main storyline, namely the clash between the Private and his Captain, is almost completely left out of the Malick film. In making the book into a movie, the 1964 film succeeds. Which is not to say Malick didn't create a riveting film in 1998, he just didn't really turn the book into a movie.
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