The Thin Red Line

The story of a group of men, an Army Rifle company called C-for-Charlie, who change, suffer, and ultimately make essential discoveries about themselves during the fierce World War II battle of Guadalcanal. It follows their journey, from the surprise of an unopposed landing, through the bloody and exhausting battles that follow, to the ultimate departure of those who survived.
<%%item_is_not_adult%%

Credits: TheMovieDb.

Film Cast:

  • 1st Sgt. Edward Welsh: Sean Penn
  • Pvt. Robert Witt: Jim Caviezel
  • Cpl. Geoffrey Fife: Adrien Brody
  • Pvt. Jack Bell: Ben Chaplin
  • Capt. James Staros: Elias Koteas
  • Capt. John Gaff: John Cusack
  • Sgt. William Keck: Woody Harrelson
  • Lt. Col. Gordon Tall: Nick Nolte
  • Sgt. Maynard Storm: John C. Reilly
  • Capt. Charles Bosche: George Clooney
  • Brig. Gen. David Quintard: John Travolta
  • Pvt. Train: John Dee Smith
  • Pfc. Don Doll: Dash Mihok
  • Pvt. Alfredo Tella: Kirk Acevedo
  • 2nd Lt. William Whyte: Jared Leto
  • Pvt. Christopher Peale: Mark Boone Junior
  • Pvt. Howard Coombs: Matt Doran
  • 1st Lt. George “Brass” Band: Paul Gleeson
  • Sgt. Becker: Don Harvey
  • Pfc. Charlie Dale: Arie Verveen
  • Pvt. Ash: Thomas Jane
  • Marl (uncredited): Donal Logue
  • Sgt. Jack McCron: John Savage
  • Pfc. Edward Bead: Nick Stahl
  • Marty Bell: Miranda Otto
  • Pvt. Brian Tills: Tim Blake Nelson
  • Pvt. Frank Mazzi: Larry Romano
  • Witt’s Mother: Penelope Allen
  • Pvt. Leonardo Carni: Danny Hoch
  • Melanesian Villager: Benjamin Green
  • Lt. Col. Billig: Simon Billig
  • Cpl. Thorne: Jarrod Dean
  • Pvt. Weld: Travis Fine
  • Cpl. Queen: David Harrod
  • Pvt. Floyd: Michael McGrady
  • Cpl. Jenks: Stephen Spacek
  • 2nd Lt. Gore: Steven Vidler
  • Pvt. Hoke: Will Wallace
  • Pilot: Todd Wallace
  • First Scout: Simon Westaway
  • Medic #1: Dan Wyllie
  • Navy Gunner (uncredited): Randall Craig
  • (uncredited): Kick Gurry
  • Nisei Interpreter (uncredited): Randall Duk Kim
  • (uncredited): Darrin Klimek
  • Pvt. Alexander (uncredited): Dane Moreton
  • Navy Soldier (uncredited): Ray Samuelson
  • Navy Soldier (uncredited): Justin Ward
  • Private Drake (uncredited): Felix Williamson

Film Crew:

  • Original Music Composer: Hans Zimmer
  • Editor: Billy Weber
  • Casting: Dianne Crittenden
  • Director of Photography: John Toll
  • Dialogue Editor: Virginia Cook-McGowan
  • Production Design: Jack Fisk
  • Producer: Grant Hill
  • Editor: Saar Klein
  • Art Direction: Ian Gracie
  • Camera Operator: Reuben Aaronson
  • Executive Producer: George Stevens Jr.
  • Director: Terrence Malick
  • Property Master: Richie Dehne
  • Editor: Leslie Jones
  • Novel: James Jones
  • Producer: Robert Michael Geisler
  • Producer: John Roberdeau
  • Producer: Sheila Davis Lawrence
  • Second Unit Director of Photography: Gary Capo
  • Set Decoration: Richard Hobbs
  • Set Decoration: Suza Maybury
  • Gaffer: James F. Boyle
  • Sound Effects Editor: Mark L. Mangino
  • Costume Design: Margot Wilson
  • Visual Effects Designer: Simon Whiteley
  • Foley: John Roesch
  • Stunts: Gary Fry
  • Art Department Coordinator: Jenny O’Connell
  • Costume Supervisor: Kerry Thompson
  • Sound Re-Recording Mixer: Andy Nelson
  • Property Master: William A. Petrotta
  • Foley: Hilda Hodges
  • Script Supervisor: Pamela Willis
  • Camera Operator: Stephen S. Campanelli
  • Still Photographer: Merie Weismiller Wallace
  • Sound Recordist: Robert Renga
  • Supervising Sound Editor: J. Paul Huntsman
  • Dialogue Editor: Patrick J. Foley
  • Dialogue Editor: John F. Reynolds
  • Sound Effects Editor: Andrew Somers
  • Sound Effects Editor: Christopher S. Aud
  • Sound Effects Editor: John Voss Bonds Jr.
  • Sound Effects Editor: Jayme S. Parker
  • ADR Editor: Karyn Foster
  • Visual Effects Producer: Fiona Chilton
  • ADR Supervisor: Hugh Waddell
  • Sound Re-Recording Mixer: Anna Behlmer
  • Visual Effects Supervisor: Chris Godfrey
  • Electrician: Miles Jones
  • Camera Operator: Leigh Mackenzie
  • Camera Operator: Mike Thomas
  • Sound Recordist: Craig Heath
  • Script Supervisor: Chris O’Connell
  • Hairstylist: Chiara Tripodi
  • Stunts: Mike Smith
  • Hairstylist: Angela Conte
  • ADR Editor: Lee Lemont
  • Makeup Designer: Vivien Mepham
  • Armorer: John Bowring
  • Armorer: Peter Cogar
  • Gaffer: Randy Woodside
  • Armorer: Scott Warwick
  • Key Grip: David Nichols
  • Key Grip: Herb Ault
  • Marine Coordinator: Lance Julian
  • Construction Manager: Greg Hajdu
  • Key Grip: Toby Copping
  • Hairstylist: Toni Ffrench
  • Gaffer: Mick Morris
  • Armorer: Amanda Kirby
  • Foley Editor: David L. Horton Jr.
  • Dolly Grip: Michael Vivian
  • Hairstylist: Joan Petch
  • 3D Animator: Ian Brown
  • Gaffer: Brett Jarman
  • Key Grip: Paul E. Borchardt
  • Casting Associate: Barbara Collins
  • Aerial Coordinator: Bruce Simpson
  • Script Coordinator: Emily Saunders
  • Sound Recordist: Greg Burgmann
  • Electrician: Paul Cumming
  • Electrician: Stephen Gray
  • Electrician: Marcus Watson
  • Costumer: Harold Crawford
  • Costumer: James P. Cullen

Movie Reviews:

  • CRCulver: The circumstances around Terence Malick’s The Thin Red Line are sometimes more talked about than the film itself. The reclusive director had made a big splash in the Seventies, but there followed two decades of silence. When he finally reappeared in 1998 to direct this adaptation of James Jones’s novel about the Battle of Guadalcanal in World War II, many actors were desperate to work with him and he was able to gather a large ensemble cast. He shot over five hours of footage but had to cut it down to three, leaving out many actors entirely from the finished version.

    The Thin Red Line tells of the American battle against Japanese forces on the island from the landing on its beach to the time the initial troops are relieved and sail off for some new, unknown deployment. But it actually begins shortly before this when Private Witt (Jim Caviezel), who has been AWOL and living with the local Melanesian people on a nearby island, is discovered by a patrol and brought in before his sargeant. The battle itself involves the men of C Company, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division: besides Caviezel as Witt, major roles are played by Sean Penn, Woody Harrelson, Adrien Brody and Ben Chaplin. Elias Koteas is Capt. Staros, who tries to look out for his men, while a hyperbolic Nick Nolte plays their commander who sees the infantry as nothing but cannon fodder to wrecklessly throw at the Japanese.

    For most of its 3-hour length, the men are torn apart by Japanese machine gun fire as they try to take a hill, but the enemy is never directly seen. Between scenes of great violence, there are portentous voiceovers by various characters as they meditate on what war says about the larger human drama. Eventually US forces are able to overcome Japanese positions, and the Japanese side of the offensive is depicted with more fairness and equanimity than in most American films on the Pacific Theatre of the war.

    While the realistic depiction of battle might touch viewers — and its hard to knock any World War II film since they spur one to read more about this crucial event in history, this is not a great film. It has obviously been cut heavily from its original length. John C. Reilly appears several times at the centre of shots, clearly meant to be a major character, but most of his scenes and all of his back story were cut. The philosophic voiceovers come across as pretentious instead of insightful. Furthermore, I find this a very “Hollywood” film, with the acting often exaggerated. Woody Harrelson doesn’t play a WWII grunt, he plays Woody Harrelson. George Clooney appears at the end and all realism goes out the window: there’s no way this suave, handsome leading man has been fighting a war for some time now. Hans Zimmer’s musical score too obviously pulls the audience towards prescribed emotions.

%d bloggers like this: