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The Thin Red Line: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Soundtrack, Import

4.7 out of 5 stars 98 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Soundtrack, Import, January 12, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

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Hans Zimmer, trying to avoid war-movie clichés, accompanies the dramatized carnage at Guadalcanal with a weepy and wistful score. Like the Terrence Malick film, the music, with its sad violins and underscored orchestra, invokes a war that is more introspective, a fitting backdrop to the often purple poeticisms in the voice-over narrations. Zimmer provides occasional adaptations to the American folk hymn "Christian Race," but his overall effect is much more otherworldly. Instead of the earthier martial themes associated with warlords or heroes, this is the soundtrack to a melancholy Valhalla, a story seemingly told by battlefield casualties who are already angels. Less predictable is a brief closing track (written by Francesco Lupica) strangely titled "Sit Back & Relax" that sends out a surreal "cosmic beam." --Joseph Lanza
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 12, 1999)
  • Original Release Date: January 12, 1999
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack, Import
  • Label: Imports
  • Run Time: 170 minutes
  • ASIN: B00000GV6B
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,240 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Lots of other people have written critical things about the score so I'm just going to list all the tracks in detail and tell you exactly what you get and don't get - because this soundtrack does miss out a lot.
This will only make sense to you if you are VERY familiar with the film.
1. "The Coral Atoll"
This starts with the quiet, barely audible synthesized sounds from the opening of the movie. It then builds up into the loud sustained organ chord which accompanies the opening shot of the crocodile. It is not quite as long the one in the movie and the chord opens up a little more suddenly. It then goes into the quiet stirring strings and harp sequence which is used over the shots of the village and the flashback of Witt's mother dying. After that you get the low, choppy, scary string sequence used for the shelling and when the officers are talking on deck. After that, the music calms down into that static music sequence with the low strings and bells - also used on the ship. It ends with a shortened version of the "Christian Race" theme used for the cabin sequence.
2. "The Lagoon"
This opens with a vocal section not used in the film. After some bassy synth and chimes you get a man singing a very peculiar, ghostly, wailing chant. This quickly passes and links into the main Lagoon track. This is the track used at various times in the film such as when the troops are rushing about to get into the transport boats, when Woody Harolson dies after "blowing his [rear] off" and the river scene at the end. You get almost the full thing. There's just a tiny bit cut out from when the Japs start going after Witt. This is replaced by more of the two-tone string theme.
3.
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Format: Audio CD
Terence Mallick seems to do no wrong in the movie world. His latest take on WWII is a film called The Thin Red Line. Hans Zimmer was asked to write another brilliant score in his career, and boy did he come through. Zimmer's ability to create an emotion with music is absolutely breathtaking. In The Thin Red Line score Zimmer carries a very slow moving, almost throbbing, melody that amazingly recreates the emotion you experience during the film. Once again Zimmer has written a native tune that is sung by village folk just off Solomon Island in the movie. This song goes well with the rest of the soundtrack in that it is redundant in melody, but his use of different instruments and dynamics make this song moving emotionally. I can not really compare this score to any other movie score, not even by Zimmer himself. This is the most unique score he has written and you won't be disappointed. Hans Zimmer takes you to the Solomon Islands and throws you on to the battlefield. He makes you experience the long days of heat, the horrible act of war, and the beauty of life that is so often forgotten. After listening to this soundtrack, you will sit there thinking to yourself for hours trying to understand how beautiful this music really is. Prepare to let you mind be swept away in a very dark, poetic score by Hans Zimmer.
Comment 31 of 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
I purchased this score album without ever having seen the film (and as of yet, still haven't) simply on the reputation of its composer alone. A longtime fan of Zimmer's work, I had come to expect rollicking action scores and powerful percussion, none of which were to be found here. Instead, I found a thoughtful and moving score with very little resemblance to any of Zimmer's previous works. Particularly touching were the climactic "Journey to the Line" and "Light" with its glorious harp ostinato. An incredibly well-composed and well-recorded disc (in HDCD, no less!), this is some of the most relaxing and thought-provoking music I have heard in a long time (yes, relaxing music from a war movie!). Fans of traditional Zimmer may be disappointed, but those who have an ear for a more mellow score may want to give this one a listen.
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Format: Audio CD
This past July, while watching one of the many less-than-par movies that Hollywood released this past summer, I was able to view a preview for the upcoming movie "Pearl Harbor." I remember being floored by the music that had been used for the preview. I had never heard any piece of music as beautiful and rousing as the 2 1/2 minutes contained within "Pearl Harbor." Luckily for me, the very next day my brother and I decided to watch "The Thin Red Line" and give it another chance (when I first walked out after seeing "TTRL," I couldn't describe how much I hated the film--boring, pretentious, melodramatic, but of course the visuals were beautiful--although that oppinion has since changed. Malick's film offers an interesting and rather rare look at the other side of the second World War--the Pacific). During one of the battle scenes, I noticed that the same music I had heard the day before was being played for this movie. I immediately came to this site and learned that Hans Zimmer had done the score to Malick's film. I was actually quite shocked because I have been a huge Zimmer fan for years, and yet this score managed to pass below my radar. I guess I simply assumed everything associated with the movie was bad.
However, after listening to some of the selections above, I ordered the score, and it has become one of my top five favorite scores (incidentally "The English Patient," "Braveheart," "The Shawshank Redemption," and "Schindler's List" round out the other four). I didn't think that after "The Lion King" or "The Prince Of Egypt" (his God theme brings tears to my eyes everytime I hear it) Zimmer could possibly top himself.
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