The Thin Red Line The Thin Red Line

The Thin Red Line

Terrence Malick

The Thin Red Line (Criterion Blu-Ray)


1 Disc

SRP: $39.95

Criterion Store price:$31.96

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  • United States
  • 1998
  • 171 minutes
  • Color
  • 2.35:1
  • English
  • Spine #536

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, Jim Caviezel, Nick Nolte, Elias Koteas, and Woody Harrelson among them—The Thin Red Line is a kaleidoscopic evocation of the experience of combat that ranks as one of the greatest war films ever produced.


1st Sgt. Edward WelshSean Penn
Cpl. FifeAdrien Brody
Pvt. WittJim Caviezel
Pvt. BellBen Chaplin
Capt. Charles BoscheGeorge Clooney
Capt. John GaffJohn Cusack
Sgt. KeckWoody Harrelson
Capt. James “Bugger” StarosElias Koteas
2nd Lt. WhyteJared Leto
Pfc. DollDash Mihok
Pvt. TillisTim Blake Nelson
Lt. Col. Gordon TallNick Nolte
Sgt. StormJohn C. Reilly
Pvt. MazziLarry Romano
Sgt. McCronJohn Savage
Brig. Gen. QuintardJohn Travolta
Pvt. Charlie DaleArie Verveen


DirectorTerrence Malick
ScreenplayTerrence Malick
Based on the novel byJames Jones
ProducerRobert Michael Geisler, John Roberdeau and Grant Hill
Executive producerGeorge Stevens and Jr.
Director of photographyJohn Toll
Production designerJack Fisk
EditingBilly Weber, Leslie Jones and Saar Klein
CastingDianne Crittenden
MusicHans Zimmer
Costume designerMargot Wilson
Associate producerMichael Stevens
First assistant directorSkip Cosper
Art directionIan Gracie
Production managerVicki Popplewell

Disc Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Terrence Malick and cinematographer John Toll, with DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • New audio commentary by Toll, production designer Jack Fisk, and producer Grant Hill
  • Interviews with several of the film’s actors, including Kirk Acevedo, Jim Caviezel, Thomas Jane, Elias Koteas, Dash Mihok, and Sean Penn; composer Hans Zimmer; editors Billy Weber, Leslie Jones, and Saar Klein; and writer James Jones’s daughter Kaylie Jones
  • New interview with casting director Dianne Crittenden, featuring archival audition footage
  • Fourteen minutes of outtakes from the film
  • World War II newsreels from Guadalcanal and the Solomon Islands
  • Melanesian chants
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film critic David Sterritt and a 1963 reprint by James Jones

    New cover by Neil Kellerhouse

Film Essays

The Thin Red Line: This Side of Paradise

By David SterrittSeptember 27, 2010

The Thin Red Line, arguably the greatest war film ever made, ended two decades of silence . . . Read more »

Photo Galleries

12 Great Opening Shots

May 09, 2013

Photo Galleries

12 Great Parting Shots

July 16, 2012

Photo Galleries

Press Notes

Press Notes: 2010—One Last Look

January 03, 2011

Before we put 2010 to bed, we thought we’d catch up with all the year-end lists that have . . . Read more »

Press Notes

Press Notes: Looking Back at 2010

December 22, 2010

Sight & Sound’s annual poll of the year’s best DVD (and Blu-ray) releases is out, and this . . . Read more »

Press Notes

Press Notes: The Thin Red Line

October 04, 2010

Once upon a time, followers of Terrence Malick’s infrequent, visionary films constituted . . . Read more »

Film Essays

The Thin Red Line: This Side of Paradise

By David SterrittSeptember 27, 2010

The Thin Red Line, arguably the greatest war film ever made, ended two decades of silence . . . Read more »


Life Goes On

May 28, 2010

As enormous fans of Terrence Malick’s films (Days of Heaven, The Thin Red Line), we’re . . . Read more »



Updated 11/03/2013



Updated 10/29/2014



Updated 11/16/2014



Updated 11/05/2012


Victor Hsu

Updated 03/26/2014



Updated 07/02/2012



Updated 11/14/2014



Updated 11/08/2014



Updated 10/20/2014



Updated 11/22/2014