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The Thin Red Line (1998)

 -  Drama | War  -  15 January 1999 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 117,894 users   Metascore: 78/100
Reviews: 1,432 user | 151 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

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

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 7 Oscars. Another 20 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Marty Bell
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Pfc - Beade
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Storyline

In World War II, the outcome of the battle of Guadalcanal will strongly influence the Japanese advance into the Pacific theater. A group of young soldiers is brought in as a relief for the battle-weary Marines. The exhausting fight for a strategically-positioned airfield that allows control over a 1000-mile radius puts the men of the Army rifle company C-for-Charlie through hell. The horrors of war form the soldiers into a tight-knit group; their emotions develop into bonds of love and even family. The reasons for this war get further away as the world for the men gets smaller and smaller until their fighting is for mere survival and the life of the other men with them. Written by Julian Reischl <julianreischl@mac.com>

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:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

15 January 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La delgada línea roja  »

Box Office

Budget:

$52,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£83,657 (UK) (26 February 1999)

Gross:

$36,385,763 (USA) (7 May 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the final narration by Train (John Dee Smith), he says, "Darkness and Light. Strife and Love. Are they the workings of one mind, the features of the same face?" This is a slight misquote of William Wordsworth's Prelude: Book Six, lines 636-8: "Tumult and peace, the darkness and the light / Were all like workings of one mind, the features / Of the same face". See more »

Goofs

During his argument on the phone, Capt. Staros states, "The time, Sir, is 13:21 hours, 25 seconds" when his wrist watch clearly shows a time of 14:32. The watch also shows other times during the conversation. 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

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Best of the '90s (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Superb, emotive filmmaking

I'm very sorry I didn't get to see this film in the theatre. It is a beautifully filmed masterpiece with a superb story, excellent acting (esp. Nick Nolte), and a great script. It takes things way deeper than Saving Private Ryan or most other modern war movies dare to go. Very introspective and dreamy at times, with the camera constantly dwelling on faces, animals, and the landscape. Merrick is never in a hurry, and this pace suits the film well.

The Thin Red Line asks a lot of good questions about death, war, and the ultimate meaning of life. Now that I have seen it, I'm very surprised that this film did not win picture of the year. Spielberg's film was a gritty, realistic portrayal of war. But it was also highly commercial and had a very contrived plot. In comparison, this film sort of wanders through itself and in the process helps to put you in the boots of the soldiers it portrays.

My only criticism is perhaps the film was a bit long, but I never noticed that the second time through. I can't praise this film enough. Excellent work.


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Everyone left the theater... mrpink18
Captain Staros was a weak leader forwrdlif
Thin Red Line vs. Saving Private Ryan -- The Better Movie? aeternalis
US media revisionism Captain-Haggis
Is it wrong that I felt kind of sad during the Japanese camp raid scene? bradleyjim84
One of the most boring movies ever made. matthewcs25
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