Thin Red Line

Thin Red Line

4.0 27
Director: Terrence Malick

Cast: Sean Penn, Adrien Brody, James Caviezel

     
 

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The return of director Terrence Malick to feature filmmaking after a twenty year sabbatical, this World War II drama is an elegiac rumination on man's destruction of nature and himself, based on James Jones' semi-autobiographical novel, his follow-up to From Here to Eternity. James Caviezel stars as Private Witt, a deserter living in peace and harmony with theSee more details below

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Overview

The return of director Terrence Malick to feature filmmaking after a twenty year sabbatical, this World War II drama is an elegiac rumination on man's destruction of nature and himself, based on James Jones' semi-autobiographical novel, his follow-up to From Here to Eternity. James Caviezel stars as Private Witt, a deserter living in peace and harmony with the natives of a Pacific island paradise. Captured by the Navy, Witt is debriefed by a senior officer (Sean Penn) and returned to an active duty unit preparing for what will be the Battle of Guadalcanal. As Witt goes ashore in the company of his fellow soldiers, they meet diverse fates. Sergeant Keck (Woody Harrelson) is killed by an exploding grenade. Captain John Gaff (John Cusack) is an intelligent, sober leader facing the destruction of his command because his commanding officer Colonel Tall (Nick Nolte) is bucking for a general's star. Sergeant McCron (John Savage) loses his mind. Private Bell (Ben Chaplin) gets a "Dear John" letter from his beloved wife. However, as the U.S. troops advance up grassy slopes toward entrenched Japanese positions, it is Witt's voiced-over ruminations on life, death, and nature that are the real heart and soul of The Thin Red Line (1998). Adrien Brody appears as Private Fife, the major character of Jones' novel and the author's alter-ego, although Fife has been relegated to a minor supporting role by Malick's filmed adaptation.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Reclusive director Terrence Malick's long-awaited return to filmmaking, The Thin Red Line is a beautifully rendered treatise on man and nature, revisiting World War II as few films have. Malick isn't interested in the traditional, linear rhythms of the James Jones novel on which the film is based; instead, he fashions an atypically unfocussed and philosophical war story, using the material as a blueprint. In the process, the director reveals the complex hopes and fears of men who are often portrayed as mere patriots in a fight they understand and accept. Some of the star cameos -- from John Travolta and George Clooney, among others -- may feel like just that: characters are intended to make transient but memorable appearances. Also uncharacteristic of war pictures is John Toll's lush cinematography, which offers the limitless beauty of the South Pacific as a startling backdrop to the folly of humanity. With The Thin Red Line, Malick creates an anti-war movie that is as intelligent and visually beautiful as it is unique.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/28/2010
UPC:
0715515062411
Original Release:
1998
Rating:
R
Source:
Criterion
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound]
Time:
2:51:00
Sales rank:
128

Special Features

New Audio Commentary by Toll, Production Designer Jack Fisk, and Producer Grant Hill; Interviews with several of the film's actors, including Kirk Acevedo, Jim Caviezel, Thomas Jane, Elias Koteas, Dash Mihok, and Sean Penn: Composer Hans Zimmer; Editors Billy Weber, Leslie Jones, and Saar Kelin; and Writer James Jones' Daughter Kaylie Jones; New Interview with Casting Director Dianne Crittenden, featuring archival audition footage; Fourteen Minutes of Outtakes from the Film; World War II newsreels from Guadalcanal and the Solomon Islands; Melansian Chants; Original Theatrical Trailer; ; Plus: A booklet featuring an Essay by Film Critic David Sterritt and a 1963 reprint by James Jones

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Sean Penn First Sgt. Edward Welsh
Adrien Brody Cpl. Fife
James Caviezel Pvt. Witt
Ben Chaplin Pvt. Bell
George Clooney Capt. Charles Bosche
John Cusack Capt. John Gaff
Woody Harrelson Sgt. Keck
Elias Koteas Capt. James "Bugger" Staros
Jared Leto Second Lt. Whyte
Dash Mihok Pfc. Doll
Tim Blake Nelson Pvt. Tills
Nick Nolte Lt. Col. Gordon Tall
John C. Reilly Sgt. Storm
Larry Romano Pvt. Mazzi
John Savage Sgt. McCron
John Travolta Brig. Gen. Quintard
Arie Verveen Pfc. Dale
David Harrod Cpl. Queen
Thomas Jane Pvt. Ash
Polyn Leona Melanesian Woman with child
Miranda Otto Marty Bell
Matt Doran Private Coombs

Technical Credits
Terrence Malick Director,Screenwriter
Paul "Salty" Brincat Sound/Sound Designer
Skip Cosper Asst. Director
Dianne Crittenden Casting
Jack Fisk Production Designer
Robert Michael Geisler Producer
Ian Gracie Art Director
Grant Hill Producer
Richard Hobbs Set Decoration/Design
Leslie Jones Editor
Saar Klein Editor
Sheila Davis Lawrence Associate Producer
Susan Maybury Set Decoration/Design
John Roberdeau Producer
George Stevens Executive Producer
Michael Stevens Associate Producer
John Toll Cinematographer
Billy Weber Editor
Margot Wilson Costumes/Costume Designer
Hans Zimmer Score Composer

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