The Thin Red Line 1998

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(156) IMDb 7.6/10
Available in HD
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Director Terrence Malicks adaptation of James Jones autobiographical 1962 novel, focusing on the conflict at Guadalcanal during the second World War.

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

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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

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Nigel Mc 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By amazon customer on 30 Dec. 2014
Format: DVD
The perfect gift for all movie enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

What's it like to be lying in the middle of an unfamiliar jungle with birds singing around you, the sun making it's way through the trees to lightly shine on the guy next to you, dying of a bullet wound to the gut, knowing you will be next if you get up and run towards the gunfire as you were just told to do? In that moment, what are you thinking of? Your wife who is probably making dinner right now? Dying alone in this godforsaken place with nothing but terrible pain and blue skies, and no one to hear your last words? Do you check that you have morphine? Isn't it absurd that this blade of grass in front of you will still be there next week but you will not? Are you so angry at them that you want to just run in their direction and kill every single one of them? How did you get here? What's this all about, this destruction?

The Thin Red Line is every war picture ever made.

It is the universal story of the soldier.
It is the story of the frightened soldier, the courageous one, the one who questions and the one who doesn't.
It is the story of the private who obeys, the captain who leads and the Lt Colonel who commands.
It is the story of the soldier who protects the POW, the one who reaches out to him, the one who ridicules him and the one who kills him.
It is the story of the soldier who re-enlists, the one who defects, the one who goes home and the one who has no home to go to.

It is the universal story of war.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By PeterB on 23 Mar. 2012
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is a truly fantastic film.

More of a search into the human soul than your typical war film- instead master director Terrence Malick uses the setting of war, man's most destructive device, to explore the nature of mankind.

Hugely memorable and moving film, and one of my favourites. The acting is tremendous, the cinematography breathtaking and the score is Hans Zimmer's best to date.

If you want a film to make you reflect, I urge you to give this a chance to wow you.
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By Keith M TOP 500 REVIEWER on 29 Jan. 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
So questions Jim Cavaziel's Private Witt in Terence Malick's epic 1998 film, in the aftermath of his unit's attack on Japanese forces during the battle for the Pacific island of Guadalcanal during WW2. With The Thin Red Line, Malick had returned to film-making after a 20-year break and whilst, for me, his film is not an entirely successful venture, it has many compelling moments of 'sublime' beauty and horror, all overlaid with Malick's trademark poetic (and frequently philosophical) touch. Indeed, Witt's quote, in which he is actually questioning humanity's place (or perhaps, value) in the world - given war's savagery - follows one such sequence of cinematic brilliance, as the private's unit overrun the village, as Hans Zimmer's haunting theme builds in volume and John Toll's camera (which is visceral and dynamic throughout) help to provide a truly mesmerising few minutes.

Of course, Malick's decision to return with a 'war film' (albeit imbued with his unmistakeable sensorial touch) was always going to provide a challenge, given the plethora of great 'anti-war' films already on the books - Kubrick's Paths Of Glory and Full Metal Jacket and Coppola's Apocalypse Now to name but three. And the man certainly gives it a good go - his 165-minute work being essentially one of three sections, topped and tailed by some reflective passages, which sandwich the film's hour-long centre-piece as, under the command of Nick Nolte's outstanding turn as the reckless, glory-seeking Lieutenant Colonel Gordon Tall, C-company attempt to 'take' a fortified Japanese hill-top bunker.
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