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The Thin Red Line (1998)

R | | Drama, War | 15 January 1999 (USA)
2:47 | Trailer

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



(novel), (screenplay)
1,540 ( 1)
Nominated for 7 Oscars. Another 20 wins & 41 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Pfc - Beade


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


Every man fights his own war.


Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





| | |

Release Date:

15 January 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La delgada línea roja  »

Box Office


$52,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$223,548 (USA) (25 December 1998)


$36,385,763 (USA) (7 May 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (rough cut)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The majority of soldiers' names are only one syllable long: Tall (Nick Nolte), Fife (Adrien Brody), Witt (Jim Caviezel), Gaff (John Cusack), Welsh (Sean Penn). See more »


When Private Bell's wife is standing alone outside their house, a man, apparently in modern clothing, can be seen in the background of the scene. In fact, if we look closer, the "modern clothing" is an Air Force Captain uniform... Probably the same captain that Bell's wife met in the letter received by Bell. See more »


[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 »


Featured in La guerra en el cine (2003) See more »


In Paradisum
from "Requiem"
Composed by Gabriel Fauré
Performed by Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Conducted by Armin Jordan
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Beautiful Film
11 January 2000 | by (Toronto) – See all my reviews

By far the best film I have ever seen. It baffles me that people could criticize this intricate metaphysical look at war, nature and humanity. The cinematography is so superb that each frame of the film stands on its own. The voice overs offer majestic reflections on the nature of war and humanity. The intensity of this film is unsurpassed.

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