An underestimated film
manuel | Spain | 12/14/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I worked on this film in 1966 as camera operator for Director of photogrphy Manuel Berenguer ASC. Mr. Berenguer got an Oscar nomination for the best B/W foreing film.Been aware of the difficulties we went through in the actual filming, for which the audience is oviously not aware, and seen the final result on the screen, I'm convinced that this version from Marton is far better than the last version.Is very unfortunate that the DVD copies does not by far mach the original release print, picture and sound quality."
Simitar does something half right for once
3rd-man | 11/23/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I will only grant that Simitar did something half right with the release of The Thin Red Line since they didn't bother to letterbox it. That aside, the pan and scan transfer is done rather well, keeping up with the activity onscreen. The disappointment over the lack of widescreen is also mitigated somewhat by the extras on this DVD. They include a trailer, brief bios and abridged filmography of Jack Warden and Keir Dullea, info on Guadalcanal(geography, history. etc.), and documentary footage of Marines fighting on Guam and Tarawa, but I don't recall seeing any on Guadalcanal(contrary to the jacket description). BTW, the audio is Dolby Digital 2.0, not PCM. Given the tendency of sixties war films towards wider and louder spectacles, I think this low-budget film is vastly underrated. It certainly is "serious-minded but flawed" as the Amazon reviewer noted, but I believe it succeeds more than it fails in bringing to life the conflicts in Jones' novel. This is thanks mostly to the capable performances of not only Warden and Dullea, but also Ray Daley and James Philbrook, who played Captain Stone and Colonel Tall. Interestingly enough, James Jones wrote director Andrew Marton and commented on "how marvelous I thought were the combat scenes in the film." Spain may not be Guadalcanal, but the black-and- white photography obscures that. I'll leave debates of accuracy to those who have actually seen Guadalcanal. Followers of spaghetti westerns will recognize the terrain pretty quickly though."
Great film , poor transfer !
jackvaldez | 12/06/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Personally, I like this film better than the more recent remake. Very strong performances especially by key actors Warden and Dullea. I do have a problem, however, with the overall quality of the film as transferred to the DVD format. Sound quality is very poor (there are times when you can barely hear the dialogue over the background hiss) and visuals are likewise spotty. This could have used a little bit of "cleaning up", although I'm really not sure if this is possible given the age and relative obscurity (hence probably not properly taken cared of) of the film. This should just have been released in cheaper formats (e.g. MPEG-1 / VCD or VHS) due to the very minimal (if any at all) "added value" in terms of audio/video quality in DVD format. I hope they eventually come out with a better, cleaner version for DVD though."
A very good war movie depicting the brutality of war.
3rd-man | 03/30/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I recently viewed this film and it is a forgotten masterpiece. Fortunately with Terrence Malik's remake, this film has been resurrected. It conveyed the horrors and brutality of war and the inner conflicts which reside in man; then there is the "thin red line". The book is a masterpiece among war novels and this film depicts only a small section of the book. The combat scenes were realistic, yet without the gore. Andrew Marton's direction was sharp and truly heightened the dramatic intensity especially in the scenes between Warden and Dullea. Although I have yet to see Malik's remake, I am happy I was able to catch this version and will wholeheartedly recommend it."