The Thin Blue Line ()

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A film that successfully argued that a man was wrongly convicted for murder by a corrupt justice system in Dallas County, Texas.


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Complete, Cast awaiting verification

Randall Adams ...
David Harris ...
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)
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:
Himself - Interviewer (uncredited) (voice)

Directed by

Errol Morris

Written by

Errol Morris ... ()

Produced by

Brad Fuller ... associate producer
David Hohmann ... assistant producer
Lindsay Law ... executive producer
Mark Lipson ... producer
Gary McDonald ... producer: prison interview
Gary T. McDonald ... producer (as Gary McDonald)

Music by

Philip Glass

Cinematography by

Robert Chappell ... director of photography
Stefan Czapsky ... director of photography

Film Editing by

Paul Barnes

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)

Production Design by

Ted Bafaloukos

Art Direction by

Lester Cohen

Makeup Department

Theo Mayes ... key hair stylist: Bruno Le Salon (as Theodore 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 ... re-recording mixer
Samuel Lehmer ... re-recording mixer / sound effects editor
Sheila McFarland ... sound assistant
Marnie Moore ... sound assistant
Larry Oppenheimer ... sound assistant
Leslie Shatz ... additional sound effects
Randy Thom ... re-recording consultant: Russian Hill Recoridng
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 (as Michel Deprez)
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
Allen Stillman ... lighting technician
David Waterston ... assistant camera

Animation Department

Randall Balsmeyer ... animation designer

Costume and Wardrobe Department

Elizabeth Hickox ... wardrober

Location Management

Félix Olivier ... location scout

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
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)


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

Production Companies




Special Effects


Other Companies



Plot Summary

Errol Morris's unique documentary dramatically re-enacts the crime scene and investigation of a police officer's murder in Dallas, Texas. Briefly, a drifter (Randall Adams) ran out of gas and was picked up by a 16-year-old runaway (David Harris). Later that night, they drank some beer, smoked some marijuana, and went to the movies. Then, their stories diverged. Adams claimed that he left for his motel, where he was staying with his brother, and went to sleep. Harris, however, said that they were stopped by police late that night, and Adams suddenly shot the officer approaching their car. The film shows the audience the evidence gathered by the police, who were under extreme pressure to clear the case. It strongly makes a point that the circumstantial evidence was very flimsy. In fact, it becomes apparent that Harris was a much more likely suspect and was in the middle of a crime spree, eventually ending up on Death Row himself for the later commission of other crimes. Morris implies that the DA's and the judge's desire for the death penalty in this case (for which Harris would have been ineligible because of his youth) made Adams a scapegoat on whom to pin this heinous crime. Written by Tad Dibbern

Plot Keywords
Taglines A softcore movie, Dr. Death, a chocolate milkshake, a nosey blonde and "The Carol Burnett Show." Solving this mystery is going to be murder. See more »
Parents Guide View content advisory »

Additional Details

Also Known As
  • Le dossier Adams (France)
  • Der Fall Randall Adams (Germany)
  • La sottile linea blu (Italy)
  • Cienka niebieska linia (Poland)
  • Тонкая голубая линия (Soviet Union, Russian title)
  • See more »
  • 101 min
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

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 »
Movie Connections Featured in Moon Over Parador/Eight Men Out/Running on Empty/The Thin Blue Line/Crossing Delancey (1988). See more »
Soundtracks Metamorphosis See more »
Crazy Credits Drawings from the Bender Visual Motor Gestalt Test © 1946, American Orthopsychiatric Association Inc. and Lauretta Bender, M.D. See more »
Quotes Melvyn Carson Bruder: Prosecutors in Dallas have said for years - any prosecutor can convict a guilty man. It takes a great prosecutor to convict an innocent man.
See more »

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