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The Thin Red Line (1998)

R | | Drama, War | 15 January 1999 (USA)
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2:47 | Trailer
Adaptation of James Jones' autobiographical 1962 novel, focusing on the conflict at Guadalcanal during the second World War.

Director:

Terrence Malick

Writers:

James Jones (novel), Terrence Malick (screenplay)
Popularity
1,673 ( 143)
Nominated for 7 Oscars. Another 20 wins & 40 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kirk Acevedo ... Pvt. Tella
Penelope Allen ... Witt's Mother (as Penny Allen)
Benjamin Green Benjamin Green ... Melanesian Villager (as Benjamin)
Simon Billig ... Lt. Col. Billig
Mark Boone Junior ... Pvt. Peale
Adrien Brody ... Cpl. Fife
Norman Patrick Brown Norman Patrick Brown ... Pvt. Henry
Jim Caviezel ... Pvt. Witt
Ben Chaplin ... Pvt. Bell
George Clooney ... Capt. Bosche
John Cusack ... Capt. John Gaff
Jarrod Dean Jarrod Dean ... Cpl. Thorne
Matt Doran ... Pvt. Coombs
Travis Fine ... Pvt. Weld
Paul Gleeson ... 1st Lt. Band
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Storyline

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

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Tok Pisin | Japanese | Greek

Release Date:

15 January 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Thin Red Line See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$52,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$282,534, 27 December 1998

Gross USA:

$36,400,491

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$98,126,565
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (rough cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Music Editor Lee Scott and Francesco Lupica, the creator and performer of the Cosmic Beam, provided the haunting "metalic" sound to the films score. What sounds like a large distant bell is actually the Cosmic Beam. Malick would later use variations of the Cosmic Beam in his films, The New World (2005), The Tree of Life (2011), To the Wonder (2013), and Knight of Cups (2015). See more »

Goofs

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 »

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

Referenced in According to Jim: The Thin Green Line (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Theater of Ideology
30 June 2006 | by JFHuntSee all my reviews

When I was about 7, I first saw Rocky on TV and I didn't really understand it. It wasn't until I was 18 that I came to the conclusion, that it was the greatest movie ever made. At 22, that all changed when I first saw On The Waterfront. Fully aware now that Brando was a god. The ultimate male. Never not shocking, bruiting desire. At 24 it was a toss up between Eyes Wide Shut and Casablanca. Cruise controls a certain air and Bogart was the coolest guy to ever live. Now I am at the crossroads of life and The Thin Red Line.

This movie just does it for me. The fact that the whole story is told through poetry is quite a unique thing to do. To tell a story through words. And nowadays, by doing so they take a lot of risks. In all fairness this movie sacrifices capturing the general audience, for words that go together so beautifully. I wish more people could understand how great this movie really is and not try to compare it to other classics like Full Metal Jacket or Apocalypse Now. It's a different kind of war movie. This one's on humility's side.

Though it took me some time, The Thin Red Line has become my favorite war movie. I've always been a fan of Penn, this movie introduced me to Caviezel. He seems to capture his part with a justful beauty.

It's hard for me to pick a favorite scene. The dialog between Penn and Caviezel is powerful. I have to admit that the conversations between him and Penn made the movie for me. They seem to be trying to out act each other. For example, when Caviezel says that he is twice the man that Penn is in one of the opening scenes. Penn gives him this look. I can only describe as a peaceful calm. One of intelligence that comes with age. Instead of overreacting to the comment, he sits back and understands it. I guess that's more of the writer's doing, but it is a beautiful thing.


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