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The Thin Red Line (1998)

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

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(novel), (screenplay)
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1,715 ( 131)
Nominated for 7 Oscars. Another 20 wins & 40 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Pvt. Tella
... Witt's Mother (as Penny Allen)
Benjamin Green ... Melanesian Villager (as Benjamin)
... Lt. Col. Billig
... Pvt. Peale
... Cpl. Fife
Norman Patrick Brown ... Pvt. Henry
... Pvt. Witt
... Pvt. Bell
... Capt. Bosche
... Capt. John Gaff
Jarrod Dean ... Cpl. Thorne
... Pvt. Coombs
... Pvt. Weld
... 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:

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Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

15 January 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La delgada línea roja  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$52,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$223,548, 27 December 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$36,400,491

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$98,126,565
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (rough cut)

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hans Zimmer, the composer on the film along with John Powell (who provided additional music) composed over four hours of music on this film, presumably for the original director's cut of the film. However, when director Terrence Malick re-cut the film down to its current running time of 170 minutes, he chose only a few select pieces of music from Zimmer's and Powell's musical contributions, along with original source music, which ended up in the theatrical edition of the film. See more »

Goofs

There is a modern, fiberglass and foam surfboard on the beach. 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?
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Crazy Credits

Composer Wrangler. . . Moanike'ala Nakamoto See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #18.80 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Sit Back and Relax
Written & Performed by Francesco Lupica
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Two camps or Where's the Hollywood exec when you need him?
31 January 1999 | by See all my reviews

Sometimes directors get so great everyone is afraid to edit their "masterpieces".

Reading the other commentators, I see two camps: I didn't get/how could you not get it.

I think I got it. I saw the movie basically as a commentary on the paradox of nature as both beautiful and cruel. Take the Eden-like first scene and the symbolic nature of that one soldier's perfect beautiful "good" wife. Later in the movie, both idealizations of nature turn out to be false. The "good" wife turned bad reminded me of Conrad's one symbolic female character in Heart of Darkness turned on its head.

Basically, nature vs. man is a false dichtomy

Nature as paradise via Theocritus versus nature as wilderness via the Bible, another false dichotomy.

In Hegalian terms, what is the synthesis? What is the true view of nature? Can it be expressed with words, or only imagery and poetry? Sorry for the intellectual allusions, but I think this is where the movie was going.

What is nature and what is man's place in it? Tough questions, Malick has no answers. Unfortunately he spent three hours on it. Meaningless dialogue and pseudo-intellectual babble use up at least an hour of screen as the movie never ends.

Within this quagmire of crap is an astounding battle scene, a brilliant performance by Nick Nolte, amazing cinematography, some half-developed fascinating themes.

Like the last 45 minutes of Apocalapse Now, this movie was too ambitious. If the director would have just saved face, cut the hour of crap, the movie would have been just as profound, more entertaining, just as ambigious in a good way, and well, just plain awesome.

What a waste of potential. There really was a masterpiece hidden in there. To think, the irony is -- if the film had the discipline of commercialism it would have made better art.


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