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The Thin Red Line (1964)

| Drama, War | 2 May 1964 (USA)
In Guadalcanal during World War II, a private and his sergeant clash during the heat of battle with the Japanese.


Andrew Marton


James Jones (from the novel by), Bernard Gordon (screenplay)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Keir Dullea ... Pvt. Doll
Jack Warden ... First Sgt. Welsh
James Philbrook ... Col. Tall
Bob Kanter ... Fife (as Robert Kanter)
Ray Daley Ray Daley ... Capt. Stone
Merlyn Yordan Merlyn Yordan ... Judy
Kieron Moore ... Lt. Band
Jim Gillen Jim Gillen ... Capt. Gaff (as James Gillen)
Charles Stalmaker Charles Stalmaker ... (as Charles Stalnaker)
Steve Rowland ... Mazzi
Gary Lasdun Gary Lasdun
Eddy King Eddy King ... (as Edward King)
Jeffrey O'Kelly Jeffrey O'Kelly
Jack Gaskins Jack Gaskins
Joe Collins 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

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"From Here To Eternity" Was James Jones' Greatest... Until This One, With All The Guts And Greatness That Sold Over One Million Copies! See more »


Drama | War


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Parents Guide:

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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.' "

The original 'Thin Red Line' refers to the routing of a Russian cavalry charge by the Sutherland Highlanders 93rd (Highland) Regiment during the Battle of Balaklava on 25 October 1854, during the Crimean War. See more »


For some reason the Japanese soldiers are at times are armed with German Schmeisser SMG's. See more »


Version of The Thin Red Line (1998) See more »

User Reviews

...and they ran cheering and fearful to their deaths
25 June 1999 | by helpless_dancerSee all my reviews

A battle hardened top kick tries to instill toughness in his men, preparing them for war. His softhearted c.o. tells him to go easier on the troops. Which was right? Had they not been brainwashed into fighting this unnecessary war, neither decision would have had to have been made. This film was a slow starter, but a big bombs and guns finale gave a fine portrayal of war at it's worst.

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English | Japanese

Release Date:

2 May 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

7 Tage ohne Gnade See more »

Filming Locations:

Madrid, Spain

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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