THE THIN RED LINE
Based on the novel by James Jones, THE THIN RED LINE tells 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 Guad
Based on the novel by James Jones, THE THIN RED LINE tells 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.
The story takes place as Army troops are moved in to relieve baffle-weary
Marine units. 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.
The story is more than a tale of men fighting a key battle, one
which would ultimately stem the Japanese advance through the Pacific
Islands. It explores the intense bonds that develop between men
under terrible stress, even evil; to Jones, who served with an
Army unit in Guadalcanal, the soldiers' feelings and emotions
developed into nothing less than a sense of love. . . of family.
The horrors of war helped them lose their idea of self and of
the world around them. They were no longer fighting solely for
patriotic reasons or the larger world and its issues which had
brought them there; they were fighting for survival and for the
men next to them.
The motion picture THE THIN RED LINE marks the return to the director's
chair by Terrence Malick, who also wrote the screenplay. Malick
made two previous pictures, "Badlands" and "Days
of Heaven." For the latter, he received Best Director nods
from the New York Film Critics, the National Film Critics and
the Cannes Film Festival. Malick attended the Center for Advanced
Film Studies at the American Film Institute, where he first met
AFI founder and THE THIN RED LINE executive producer George Stevens,
Malick's adaptation of Jones' work adds a new thematic strand,
as it creates a strong awareness of the physical and anthropological
environment in which this clash was fought. The film presents
a juxtaposition of a vicious mechanized battle taking place in
a pristine wilderness, where the forces of destruction collide
with a people living in quiet harmony with their natural surroundings;
these were the Melanesians of the Solomon Islands, whose way of
life centers on family and tranquillity.
In 1988 Malick suggested his idea of adapting James Jones' novel
to producers Robert Michael Geisler and John Roberdeau, whereupon
they approached the author's widow, Gloria Jones, and acquired
the rights. Geisler and Roberdeau then went to Malick's friend
and former agent, Phoenix Pictures chairman Mike Medavoy, to help
develop, produce and bring the financing to the picture.
Malick had originally intended only to write the screenplay. Comments
George Stevens, Jr. and Mike Medavoy: "Terry was not initially
planning to direct, but as time passed, he decided that THE THIN
RED LINE would be his next directing project."
In September, 1996, Malick and Phoenix approached producer Grant
Hill, who was working on "Titanic" in Rosarita, Mexico.
"Terrence and I developed a strong telephone relationship,"
comments Hill, "and I was delighted when he invited me to
Fox 2000 Pictures, under the stewardship of president Laura Ziskin,
came aboard, and the film was given a "green light."
"Before we knew it," add Medavoy and Stevens, "we
were in Australia, shooting the movie.
One of the first priorities for Malick at this st
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