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The Thin Blue Line
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The Thin Blue Line (1988) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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View company contact information for The Thin Blue Line on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 August 1988 (USA) See more »
Tagline:
A softcore movie, Dr. Death, a chocolate milkshake, a nosey blonde and "The Carol Burnett Show." Solving this mystery is going to be murder.
Plot:
A film that successfully argued that a man was wrongly convicted for murder by a corrupt justice system in Dallas County, Texas. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
9 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A simple and matter-of-fact condemnation of a miscarriage of justice See more (53 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Randall Adams ... Himself
David Harris ... Himself
Gus Rose ... Himself (Homicide Detective in Dallas)
Jackie Johnson ... Herself (Homicide Detective in Dallas)
Marshall Touchton ... Himself (Homicide Detective in Dallas)
Dale Holt ... Himself (Internal Affairs Investigator in Dallas)
Sam Kittrell ... Himself (Police Detective in Vidor)
Hootie Nelson ... Himself (Friend of David Harris in Vidor)
Dennis Johnson ... Himself (Friend of David Harris in Vidor)
Floyd Jackson ... Himself (Friend of David Harris in Vidor)
Edith James ... Herself (Defense Attorney)
Dennis White ... Himself (Defense Attorney)
Don Metcalfe ... Himself (The Judge)
Emily Miller ... Herself (Surprise Eyewitness)
R.L. Miller ... Himself (Surprise Eyewitness)
Elba Carr ... Herself (Employee at Fas-Gas)
Michael Randell ... Himself (Third Surprise Eyewitness)
Melvyn Carson Bruder ... Himself (Appellate Attorney)
Adam Goldfine ... Randall Adams (Re-Enactments)
Derek Horton ... David Harris (Re-Enactments)
Ron Thornhill ... Robert Wood (Re-Enactments)

Marianne Leone ... Teresa Turko (Re-Enactments)
Amanda Caprio ... Popcorn Lady (Re-Enactments)
Michael Nicoll ... Interrogation Officer (Re-Enactments)
Michael Cirilla ... 2nd Interrogation Officer (Re-Enactments)
Phyllis Rodgers ... Stenographer (Re-Enactments)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Errol Morris ... Himself (Interviewer) (voice) (uncredited)
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Directed by
Errol Morris 
 
Writing credits
Errol Morris 

Produced by
Brad Fuller .... associate producer
David Hohmann .... assistant producer
Lindsay Law .... executive producer
Mark Lipson .... producer
Gary McDonald .... producer: prison interview
 
Original Music by
Philip Glass 
 
Cinematography by
Robert Chappell (director of photography)
Stefan Czapsky (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Paul Barnes 
 
Production Design by
Ted Bafaloukos 
 
Art Direction by
Lester Cohen 
 
Makeup Department
Theo Mayes .... key hair stylist: Bruno Le Salon (as Theodore Mayes)
Theo Mayes .... key makeup artist: Bruno Le Salon (as Theodore Mayes)
 
Production Management
Shelley Houis .... production manager
Steven Stoke .... unit manager
 
Art Department
Christine Cornell .... courtroom drawings
Daniel Talpers .... assistant art director
Pamela Woodbridge .... property master
 
Sound Department
Steve C. Aaron .... additional production sound (as Steven Aaron)
James Allen .... dialogue editor
Blaise Dupuy .... assistant sound engineer
Brad Fuller .... sound
Miles Green .... sound recording engineer
Jaime Kibben .... dialogue editor (as Jamie Kibban)
Jeff Kliment .... sound effects editor
Jack Leahy .... sound re-recording mixer
Samuel Lehmer .... sound effects editor
Samuel Lehmer .... sound re-recording mixer
Sheila McFarland .... sound assistant
Marnie Moore .... sound assistant
Larry Oppenheimer .... sound assistant
Leslie Shatz .... additional sound effects
Randy Thom .... sound re-recording consultant
Mel Zelniker .... additional re-recordist
 
Special Effects by
Matt Vogel .... special effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Michael C. Blundell .... best boy (as Mike Blundell)
Ned Burgess .... additional photographer
Mel Cannon .... second electric
Philippe Carr-Forster .... additional photographer (as Philip Carr-Forster)
Tim Chin .... grip
Mary Cybulski .... second assistant camera
Kenny Davis .... key grip
Mike DePrez .... second electric
Joseph Dianda .... grip (as Joe Dianda)
John Geisler .... gaffer
Richard Kamper .... assistant camera
Michael J. Latino .... first assistant camera (as Mike Latino)
Sally Roy .... assistant camera
Newton Thomas Sigel .... additional photographer (as Tom Sigel)
Peter Sova .... additional photographer
David Waterston .... assistant camera
 
Animation Department
Randall Balsmeyer .... animation designer
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Elizabeth Hickox .... wardrober
 
Editorial Department
Vida Fitzgerald .... editorial intern
Joseph Horowitz .... editorial consultant
Brian Katkin .... assistant editor
Elizabeth Kling .... contributing editor
Michael Kolvek .... color timer
Robert Mowen .... editorial intern
Teresa O'Brien .... post-production coordinator
Bruce Shaw .... associate editor
Lesley Topping .... assistant editor (as Leslie Topping)
Aaron D. Weisblatt .... assistant editor (as Aaron Weisblatt)
 
Music Department
Dan Dryden .... music contractor (music administrator)
Rory Johnston .... associate music producer
Kurt Munkacsi .... music producer: Euphorbia Productions Ltd.
Michael Riesman .... conductor
 
Other crew
Ted Bafaloukos .... title designer
Ellen Barrie Aaronson .... production office coordinator (as Ellen Aaronson)
Jay Boggis .... additional interlocutor
Veronica Brady .... production office coordinator
Fred Cassidy .... production assistant
Paul Conklin .... production assistant
Sean Coughlin .... opticals: IP/IN
Anne-Marie Fendrick .... production assistant (as Ann Marie Fendrick)
Richard Guay .... production auditor
Sarah Horowitz .... research assistant
Dmitry Kibrik .... production assistant
Nancy Kriegel .... assistant auditor
Felix Olivier .... location scout
Marshall Persinger .... craft service
Dale Pierce-Johnson .... production assistant
Joe Ponzi .... technical consultant
Lisa Schechter .... production office coordinator
Craig Schlichter .... production assistant
Susan Sheehan .... production assistant
Charles Silver .... production consultant
Mark Singer .... additional interlocutor
Chris Strand .... production assistant
Carah von Funk .... production assistant
John Pierson .... producer's representative (uncredited)
 
Thanks
George Beto .... special thanks: The Criminal Justice Center, Sam Houston State University (as Dr. George Beto)
Jay Byrd .... special thanks: The Texas Department of Corrections
Phil Guthrie .... special thanks: The Texas Department of Corrections
Robert Hobbs .... special thanks: The Jefferson County District Attorney's Office
Paul McWilliams .... special thanks: The Jefferson County District Attorney's Office
Noel Ian Morris .... dedicatee
Peter Phillips .... special thanks: The Criminal Justice Center, Sam Houston State University (as Dr. Peter Phillips)
Dennis Powell .... special thanks
Randy Schaffer .... special thanks
Jeff Scheftel .... special thanks
Volker Schlöndorff .... special thanks: Bioskop Film (as Volker Schlondorff)
Julia Sheehan .... special thanks
Robert Smith .... special thanks
Fred Strype .... special thanks: The Irving Film Commission
Henry M. Wade .... special thanks: The Dallas County District Attorney's Office (as Henry Wade)
Suzanne Weil .... special thanks
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
103 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Errol Morris spent 2-1/2 years tracking down the various players in the Randall Adams case and convincing them to appear in the film.See more »
Quotes:
Sam Kittrell:In talking to David you don't ever feel hostile feelings coming from him. I have never seen David any way other than cordial, friendly to me as he could be, "Yes, sir," "No, sir," never disrespectful. So I've never seen the bad side. I've seen the results of it, and I've talked to him about it, and he's aware of the results of it - he remembers the bad side. But I've never seen him committing a crime or in a violent or volatile state.See more »
Movie Connections:
References "Alice" (1976)See more »

FAQ

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11 out of 11 people found the following review useful.
A simple and matter-of-fact condemnation of a miscarriage of justice, 15 October 2008
Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom

Randall Adams was a drifter who was picked up by runaway teenager David Harris when he ran out of petrol. The two men hang out for a while, drank some beer, went to the movies, smoked some weed. At this point Adams says he went his own way to his motel with his brother, watched TV and went to sleep. Alternatively, Harris says the two men stayed together were stopped by the police when Adams took out a gun and opened fire on a police officer before driving off. This film follows the court case which charged Adams for the murder of a police officer, with the underage Harris (who was ineligible for the death penalty) as one of the main witnesses against him.

I do enjoy a Perry Mason film because, after a solid hour of red herrings and question-marks, it always come down to the big reveal with Mason demanding "isn't it true? ISN'T IT?" as everyone gasps, the guilty confesses on the stand and justice is done. Sadly this is not a documentary but a basic TVM series and what the Thin Blue Line does so effectively is to get passed all our ideas of how justice works from films and presents a near-unquestionable miscarriage of justice. At no point does the "guilty" person get totally exposed (although the suggestion is very clearly there as to who it was) but instead Morris goes after the idea of reasonable doubt (which, if there is any, then the charged should not have been convicted). Starting at the very start of the fateful evening, Morris uses interviews and some reconstructions to tell the story of what happened from various points of view – initially with a focus very much on the events as the courts saw it.

From here he then uses these same contributions to inject a huge amount of doubt into the vast majority of the case for the prosecution. If you want to find it, there are things in here that could be taken as anti-death penalty but for me the film is pro-justice as opposed to anti-anything as it is essentially reinforcing the importance of reasonable doubt. By virtue of doing this, everyone involved looks bad and Morris wisely doesn't need to pick on anybody in particular directly. It is fascinating as a film but I can understand the occasional claim of it being "dull" – I cannot agree with it but I can understand because, in a world where excess is the norm (style, action, violence, opinion) anything that is actually restrained and even handed could be taken as "dull".

This modern moaning aside though, The Thin Blue Line is a well made film that simply and matter-of-factly condemns the justice system as it applied to Randall Adams. One of Morris' best films and worth seeking out.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Thin Blue Line (1988)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
I am livid and scared as hell anxs
Another documentary about racist cops whose case falls apart in court phantom_tollbooth
What became of the female officer? firemanbob
Crucial factor that I feel is missing... (Can someone explain?) tdsada001
Did Adams sue Morris? donwithnoname
A thought or two on the director Axaroth
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