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The Thin Red Line (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (1998)

James Caviezel , Sean Penn , Terrence Malick  |  R |  Blu-ray
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,055 customer reviews)

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The Thin Red Line (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] + Days of Heaven (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] + The Tree of Life (Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)
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Product Details

  • Actors: James Caviezel, Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, Kirk Acevedo, Penelope Allen
  • Directors: Terrence Malick
  • Format: Blu-ray, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Special Edition, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: September 28, 2010
  • Run Time: 170 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,055 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,432 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Thin Red Line (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • New audio commentary featuring John Toll, Jack Fisk, and Grant Hill
  • Outtakes from the film
  • Video interviews with several of the film's actors and crew
  • New video interview with casting director Dianne Crittenden
  • World War II newsreels featuring footage from Guadalcanal
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic David Sterritt

  • Editorial Reviews

    After directing two of the most extraordinary movies of the 1970s, Badlands and Days of Heaven, American artist Terrence Malick disappeared from the film world for twenty years, only to resurface in 1998 with this visionary adaptation of James Jones’s 1962 novel about the World War II battle for Guadalcanal. A big-budget, spectacularly mounted epic, The Thin Red Line is also one of the most deeply philosophical films ever released by a major Hollywood studio, a thought-provoking meditation on man, nature, and violence. Featuring a cast of contemporary cinema’s finest actors—Sean Penn (Dead Man Walking, Milk), Nick Nolte (The Prince of Tides, Affliction), Elias Koteas (Zodiac, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), and Woody Harrelson (Natural Born Killers, The People vs. Larry Flynt) among them—The Thin Red Line is a kaleidoscopic evocation of the experience of combat that ranks as one of cinema’s greatest war films.

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    221 of 245 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Video Poetry June 19, 2001
    By A Customer
    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.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    122 of 137 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?
    Read more ›
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    118 of 135 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars A very moving war film! June 7, 2001
    "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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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
    The theme and message of this movie are incredible. This is one of the best, or the best pacific based movies of ww2. Read more
    Published 4 days ago by Michael
    5.0 out of 5 stars The best WWII movie from the Pacific
    "The Thin Red Line" is one of my all time favorite movies. Even though it is emblematic of what fighting was like in the Pacific, its themes say a lot about life and mortality. Read more
    Published 7 days ago by Luke Killion
    5.0 out of 5 stars Film as music
    The Thin Red Line disappointed me on first viewing. I was expecting a war epic like Saving Private Ryan; instead, I found a meditation on many dimensions of war: war as a metaphor... Read more
    Published 11 days ago by John D. Lawson, Jr.
    1.0 out of 5 stars Really Slooooooow
    With such a great line up of actors I may have been expecting too much. It was super slow & really boring.
    Published 25 days ago by Kawehi DeLacy
    5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie
    I enjoyed this movie so much that I wanted to own it, I only wish I had purchased it on DVD instead of VHS.
    Published 25 days ago by Brian D. Barrett
    3.0 out of 5 stars More Action needed
    Good story line, slows down in some areas, needed more combat scenes, was disappointed. Would not purchase just rent to watch.
    Published 1 month ago by george m. garcia
    1.0 out of 5 stars Lots of stars, but hard to understand
    CI must admit, I didn't get the point. It was well acted, but I have no idea what message the film was trying to send.
    Published 1 month ago by L. Smith
    5.0 out of 5 stars Ties for Best War Film of All Time
    Ties with Saving Private Ryan. Two magnificent war films. Is one better than the other? I won't even try to work that out here. But this one...oh. Read more
    Published 2 months ago by John
    3.0 out of 5 stars Good Blu-ray by Criterion but not perfect...
    Firstly, The Thin Red Line is a stunning war movie and one of my favorites.

    Although the packaging and supplements are as ever with Criterion beautifully presented, I... Read more
    Published 2 months ago by mr_madiba
    2.0 out of 5 stars Bad acting.
    This is probably the worse WW2 movie I've ever seen. Over and lousy acting. Considering the cast in the movie I was disappointed.
    Published 2 months ago by Tom W.
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