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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.

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Cast

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

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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Great Books Make Great Motion Pictures! See more »

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Drama | War

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Release Date:

2 May 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A última batalha  »

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(Westrex Recording System)

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Connections

Referenced in The Mentalist: The Thin Red Line (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A solid effort
26 July 1999 | by See all my reviews

A solid effort hampered by the the filmmaking conventions of that time. Some of the acting is amateurish, and the dialogue stilted. But it does confront the serious moral issues of war, unlike most war movies of that era. The theme is essentially the same as the current version -- that is, how does man endure in war? It presents several models for survival. Many of the scenes are exactly the same as in the 1998 version, though it includes others that are not found in Malick. This attempt focuses more on the relationship between Welsh (Jack Warden) and Doll (Keir Dullea). The music is awful, like something out of a cheesy 50s horror flick. Also, it's amazing how much Guadalcanal resembles the high desert of Southern California. But this is well worth a rent if one has the proper expectations...


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