The Thin Red Line 1998

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Director Terrence Malickís adaptation of James Jonesí autobiographical 1962 novel, focusing on the conflict at Guadalcanal during the second World War.

Starring:
Sean Penn, Adrien Brody
Runtime:
2 hours 50 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices

The Thin Red Line

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Terrence Malick
Starring Sean Penn, Adrien Brody
Studio Twentieth Century Fox
BBFC rating Suitable for 15 years and over
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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66 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Nigel Mc TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 19 May 2011
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is by no means a conventional war film but it is, nonetheless, one of the finest portrayals of war that you are ever likely to see. The film was not on my radar and I discovered it more by accident than design. It was first released in 1998 and was somewhat eclipsed by `Saving Private Ryan' which was released slightly earlier. Nominated for 7 Academy Awards this film failed to get a single Oscar. The more that I learn about the way these award systems operate and the complexities of the whole film distribution system, the less confidence I have of their value. In many ways `the Thin Red Line' is superior to Spielberg's war epic.

Directed by the reclusive Terrence Malick, the film is an adaptation of a World War II novel by James Jones (From Here to Eternity) about the battle for Guadalcanal. American soldiers land on the island hoping to secure it from the Japanese. This film does not follow the usual path taken by other war stories and unlike `Ryan' - which begins explosively, this film takes about 40 minutes before a single shot is fired! This long prologue is used to good effect as an introduction to the main characters and some carefully selected flashbacks to their lives pre-war. The tension to the film is slowly uncoiled as the troopships approach Guadalcanal Island. This is done quietly and thoughtfully and gives the viewer a good idea of the stresses and anxieties of the soldiers as they approach this life-changing situation.

The story is told through the eyes of 5 men of C Company and the visual images are simply amazing. This is where Malick excels. He has produced a film that is a cinematographer's dream where almost every shot is carefully composed as if it was to be entered in a photographic exhibition.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mark Barry HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 Mar 2014
Format: Blu-ray
Terrence Malick’s beautifully filmed and emotionally engaging World War II epic “The Thin Red Line” is available on ‘BLU RAY’ in several regions – and has been for some time now. But which issue do you buy if you live in Blighty?

Unfortunately the sought-after American Criterion release is REGION-A LOCKED - although it doesn't say so on Amazon. So it WILL NOT PLAY on most UK BLU RAY players unless they're chipped to play 'all' regions (which the vast majority aren't). Don’t confuse BLU RAY players that have multi-region capability on the 'DVD' front – that won’t help.

Luckily the UK version is REGION B - so the movie will play on all UK machines.

So check your player’s region coding acceptability if you want the pricier Criterion release…or opt for the local release that weighs in at a far cheaper price…
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32 of 38 people found the following review helpful By C. J. Statham on 1 Sep 2005
Format: DVD
This film shatters the standard convetions for a war film and gently replaces them with an intrinsic, poetic and beautifully rendered piece of film making. From start to finish the quality of the photography is fantastic and the director's faultless talent to depict vivid environments is wonderfully illustrated with seamless editing.
A scene depicting two soldiers getting shot while approaching a bunker is superbly complimented by the sun peaking out from the clouds just after they have fallen and disappeared into the tall grass. The absolute tension and thick air of the pre-dawn build-up to the attack with Nick Nolte and John Travolta is one of the greatest scenes of tension I have witnessed.
Personal narratives and agendas throughout the film flood the viewer with emotions and feelings that you wouldn't normally associate with a war film. The soundtrack here is also one of the film's strong points and effortlessly entwines itself into the path of the edits. Engrossing, beautiful and an absolute pleasure to immerse yourself into.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Billy Ray Cyrus on 5 Jun 2011
Format: Blu-ray
This Terreence Malick epic looks stunning on blue-ray. It is worth the extra cash for the purchase. I own the VHS, the dvd, both soundtracks and now this blue-Ray.

Malick is the last true Poet of maverick American Cinema. His movies follow no conventions or rules; his career follows no rules or conventions. Thin Red Line (nominated for seven Oscars) opens with a question:
"Why does nature contend with itself?"
It shows a crocodile- a killing machine. Moments later, we see men (soldiers) who prove more deadly than crocodiles; we see a dying bird- its wing shattered by gunfire, pulling itself along the ground. In a way the film is not about war at all, but simply about the way in which all living beings are founded on the necessity of killing one another.

After 20 years away from film-making, elusive director Terence Malick returned with this freeform WW2 movie based on the James Jones books ('Thin Red Line' and extracts from the classic 'From here to Eternity'), which floats around the WW2 battle for Guadalcanal, pondering the place of conflict and pondering our place on this planet and the eternal scheme of things. The films essence lies not with the famous actors, but in Malick's fusion of abstract voice-overs and stunning images over beautiful music (Hans Zimmer and Melanesian chanting). It's a richly textured, slowly paced, visually stunning epic of the effects of war that hypnotises the viewer with its tapestry of sights, sounds and colours.

"This great evil. Where does it come from? How'd it steal into the world? What seed, what root did it grow from? Who's doin' this? Who's killin' us? Robbing us of life and light. Mockin' us with the sight of what we might've known. Does our ruin benefit the earth? Does it help the grass to grow, the sun to shine?
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