7.6/10
158,750
1,474 user 166 critic

The Thin Red Line (1998)

R | | Drama, War | 15 January 1999 (USA)
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2:47 | Trailer

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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
1,873 ( 90)
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:

La delgada línea roja See more »

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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

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

Filming also took place on Dancer Mountain, which had such rough terrain that trailers and production trucks could not make it up the hill. A base camp was set up and roads carved out of the mountain. Transporting two hundred fifty actors and two hundred crew members up the hill took two hours. See more »

Goofs

When the men are preparing to climb down into the assault craft, there is a shot of Captain Staros thinking to himself. Over his shoulder he carries an M1 carbine which has a mounted bayonet lug (post war feature). When he arrives on the island, suddenly his weapon doesn't have a bayonet lug anymore. 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

Featured in The 100 Greatest War Films (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

In Paradisum
from "Requiem"
Composed by Gabriel Fauré
Performed by Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Conducted by Armin Jordan
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

"What is this great evil? How did it steal into the world?"
27 June 2001 | by ed-28See all my reviews

I haven't commented on this film before, simply due to the fact that I had walked out of the theater when I first saw it. It turned out that there were only four minutes left, but I didn't want to comment having not seen the end.. who knows, there actually could have been something interesting in those four minutes. I've just watched it again, on video, and I'd like to give my two cents:

This is a film that pretentious people will say they loved, for the simple fact that it makes them feel smarter than the average viewer You will notice that the majority of the positive reviews given here state that to fully understand this film, you need "patience, open mindedness, (and) intelligence", and to be "intelligent and sensitive". Apparently, if you don't enjoy this film, it is because you are not intelligent enough, and not because this is simply a poorly made film trying to pass itself off as intellectual.

Watching this movie, it is as if someone decided to take the intensity and raw emotion of "Saving Private Ryan", which this film is often compared to, and the creativity and beauty of poetry, and smash them together. There are ways that this could have worked, but they don't here. Rather, "The Thin Red Line" comes off as alienating, frustrating, and weak, albeit beautifully filmed.

There is some vague concept of a plot, hung around a handful of tentpole characters who are either established actors confusing stupidity for humanity, or young men, straight from the latest issue of "Details", who all look alike and spend an inordinate amount of time bathing under waterfalls.

You would think that the amount of time spent on characterization would make the viewer feel something, anything for these characters, but despite what feels like hours of voice-over, nothing is ever really said about them, their lives, or their feelings. In my opinion, I would have had much more empathy with the characters if they had voiced their thoughts in coherent, normal ways. I don't know a single person who expresses themselves in the fashion depicted here... like a Calvin Klein advertisement, only less interesting. Don't take my word for it, look at the 'memorable quotes' section to the left... and remember that these lines were written for a major motion-picture, and not poetry night at the local coffeeshop.

I'm not familiar with Mr. Mallick's work, but I would hope that, due to his reputation, this is an abberation caused by the sudden rush for 'war' films after the success of "Private Ryan". I prefer to think that he is an intelligent director who respects his audience, but was carried away by studio's urging, along with the dozen actors all pulling for their own oscar-winning speech. If this is not correct, and "The Thin Red Line" is indeed the film Mr. Mallick wanted, I find it sad that a respected director would make a film so vapid, egotistical, and, despite it's pretentions, ultimately meaningless.


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