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The Thin Red Line (1999)

Jim Caviezel , Sean Penn , Terrence Malick  |  NR |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,085 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jim Caviezel, Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, Elias Koteas, Ben Chaplin
  • Directors: Terrence Malick
  • Writers: Terrence Malick, James Jones
  • Producers: George Stevens Jr., Grant Hill, John Roberdeau, Michael Stevens, Robert Michael Geisler
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Fox Searchlight
  • DVD Release Date: May 21, 2002
  • Run Time: 170 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,085 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005PJ8T
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,409 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Thin Red Line" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

A powerful frontline cast - including Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, Woody Harrelson and George Clooney - explodes into action in this hauntingly realistic view of military and moral chaos in the Pacific during World War II.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
235 of 261 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Video Poetry June 19, 2001
By A Customer
Format:DVD
The same week I saw 'Saving Private Ryan', I saw 'The Thin Red Line'. I left the theater both times with the same reflective shock; silent for the drive home despite the questioning of my friends. In hindsight, I could have told you who would say what about these two films. 'Ryan' would attain wide commercial success, and 'Line' would be missed. Most, including anyone who reviews this film poorly, did not get it. This film is Video Poetry. In the same way that e.e. cummings would capitalize the letters R O U N and D through that wonderful poem about the round moon, the director laces the obvious bits of typical film (dialogue, acting) with constant thematic visual reinforcement. Man and nature are compared and contrasted. Just watch as the sun catches the blowing grasses in spectacular fashion before the field becomes a massacre. Our aims as a socitey are impeached. See the change in attitude between the native people and the formerly AWOL soldiers. There is an ugliness about it that you cannot help but feel. Something is intuitively wrong with everything going on, and the subtle suggestion of this fact is presented with difinitive dilligence. The sleeper of this film is the masterfully placed musical score- seamlessly woven through the fabric of tension and release- sometimes a backdrop, sometimes running thick over the dramatic action for reinforcement. Go buy the CDs- both are fantastic! I cannot believe that every soldier hazards the thoughts expressed in this film. Nor would I suppose it impossible that some in fact did. The war, however, is simply a device for the expression of some very valid points. If it makes you reconsider your preconceptions of what goes on in GI Joe's mind, all the better. If you are after an easily accessable night in front of the boob tube, go for Private Ryan. If you'd like something to think about for months to come, spend a few hours with The Thin Red Line.
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125 of 141 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Criterion hits it out of the park with this Blu-Ray September 30, 2010
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I already loved the film, so waited so patiently for Criterion to come out, as it simply HAD to come out, with a definitive edition. I read and posted on the various fora, sent the emails, re-tweeted the enigmatic and happy Twitpic that Criterion posted, jumped all over the Criterion newsletter when they came out with their gnomic icon confirmation. I got the Blu-Ray the day it dropped, and have spent the subsequent couple days in a kind of reverie. I just watched the film -- which is, full stop for effect, absolutely STUNNING in Blu-Ray. Every technical aspect, from the color to the surround-sound (I so love the use of Charles Ives' "The Unanswered Question" in the middle of a battlefield atrocity), is reference-quality AWESOME. I've yet to experience the commentary, but I've watched the insightful feature on James Jones and the novel from his daughter and listened to the chants; there's still the 15 deleted scenes and the wartime newsreels on Guadalcanal to go through, plus some other extras I'm sure. The essay is wonderful. If you think you experienced a religious ecstasy the first time you saw The Thin Red Line, just experience it again on this Criterion Blu-Ray and undergo true cinematic rapture.

** UPDATE ** I've watched all of the extra features, which are uniformly insightful and superb.

Commentary: This is by cinematographer John Toll, production designer Jack Fisk, and producer Grant Hill. Criterion commentaries are usually of three breeds, I find: hit-or-miss commentaries by film scholars (Peter Cowie's Bergman commentaries would be hits, the dull "you see the door in that shot?
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124 of 142 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very moving war film! June 7, 2001
Format:DVD
"The Thin Red Line" had the severe bad luck of being released in the shadow of one of the most favored modern war films of all time, "Saving Private Ryan." Oscar buzz was all the rage for that film, which focused on the war in Europe as well as patriotism and courage. "The Thin Red Line" chooses to focus more on the human beings at war than the country or mission for which they are fighting. It dives deep into the subconscious of its characters, exposing their feelings in the face of battle and carnage. Though heavily stylized, director Terrence Malick knows where the movie is going, and takes it there in stride.
Spanning a running time of just short of three hours, we're taken on a journey to Guadalcanal, where American troops are landing on the sandy beaches only to encounter a foe that, for a while, seems unbeatable. Their mission: to take over an airstrip and give America an advantage in the Pacific War. It is here that the characters are established: First Sergeant Welsh (Sean Penn), whose only wish is to lose all feeling for the events he experiences; Lt. Colonel Tall (Nick Nolte), obsessed more with his image than with actual victory; Private Witt (Jim Caviezel), a quiet, almost spiritual soldier with a soft yet firm heart; and Private Bell (Ben Chaplin), whose memories of his wife are what fuel his drive to fulfill his mission so he may return home.
Like "Ryan," this film has intense images of graphic violence associated with war and battle. While Malick does not use the same technique as Speilberg, whose film is gritty and never without unsteady camera shots, his slow-motion captures, cut to the powerful score of Hans Zimmer, are just as moving and powerful.
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Topic From this Discussion
Your top 25 all time movies
ok... off of the top of my head (after 2 glasses of wine) probably not what you're looking for....

1) The City of Lost Children (NOT DUBBED! - original language-dub sucks)
2) Howl's Moving Castle
3) Vertigo
4) Waiting for Guffman
5) To Kill a Mockingbird
6) The Haunting (original Robert... Read More
May 26, 2010 by nightshade |  See all 12 posts
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