The Thin Blue Line

1988

Action / Crime / Documentary / Drama / Mystery

60
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 91%
IMDb Rating 8.1 10 18238

Synopsis


Uploaded By: OTTO
Downloaded 54,048 times
March 27, 2015 at 03:09 PM

Director

Cast

Errol Morris as Himself
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
808.69 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 41 min
P/S 6 / 22
1.64 GB
1920*1080
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 41 min
P/S 4 / 46

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Mr-Fusion 8 / 10

A stunning investigation

An excellent documentary, "The Thin Blue Line" presents the murder of a Dallas police officer, and the resulting conviction of his supposed killer - "supposed" being a *nice* way of putting it. There was no evidence, and the eyewitnesses that Dallas PD relied on were farcical. Randall Adams was subjected to police intimidation, a laughable trial and twelve years in prison. The details of the case are enough to wish shame on the system, yet this is one of the most fascinating documentaries I've seen in forever.

There's a hypnotic quality to this film, from Philip Glass' melancholy score to Errol Morris' expert use of imagery - an overturned Burger King cup, the Ben-Day dots of a zoomed-in newspaper photograph - simple and mundane visuals, perfectly stages for maximum impact. I found myself getting lost in the film's aesthetic, even as one talking head after another offers realistic testimony.

If I didn't know that this film had an effect on the case, then it'd remain a monumental tragedy of injustice. It's horrible that an officer had to lose his life in a senseless act, but at least the wrong guy isn't being punished.

8/10

Reviewed by roblesar99 8 / 10

Riveting. Haunting. Necessary.

There's no understating the importance of documentarian Errol Morris' The Thin Blue Line. The documentary focuses on the November 1976 shooting death of Dallas police officer Robert Wood and his accused murderer Randall Dale Adams, who maintained his innocence throughout the duration of his trial and jail sentence. The trial itself was plagued with inconsistent statements from witnesses, but ultimately Adams was sentenced to death. Were it not for the Supreme Court case Adams v. Texas, which resulted in Texas Governor Bill Clements commuting Adams' sentence to life in prison, Adams would have been executed on May 8, 1979. Morris' documentary, however, single-handedly resulted in a review of Adams' case and he was subsequently exonerated for the crime a year after the film's release.

Morris first came up with the idea for The Thin Blue Line while conducting research on Dr. James Grigson, known as Doctor Death, a psychologist whose testimony resulted in over 100 trials ending with a death sentence. But when Morris interviewed Adams in regards to Adams' experience with Grigson during his trial, Adams stated that he had been framed for Wood's murder. He told Morris that the murderer was actually David Harris, a sixteen-year-old drifter with whom Adams had spent the day with before heading back to his hotel a few hours before the shooting. Morris' dedication to bringing Adams' plight to the screen shows throughout the entirety of the feature. As the film presents the facts of the case, we listen to various interviewees, from detectives to lawyers to witnesses to Adams and Harris themselves, who all speak directly into the camera. The decision to have them face directly into the camera creates a disquieting feeling, forcing the audience to listen to their perspective and preventing them from becoming passive viewers.

Indeed, Morris further forces his audience to be an active participant through his repetitive use of re-enactments that depict the shooting. Each time a piece of information is introduced that happens to contradict previously stated information, we once again watch the re- enactment of the shooting, which has now been tweaked to fit the most recent info. Morris forces the audience into deciphering the increasingly blurred line between fact and fiction as he presents the changing evidence from different angles. The depiction of the shooting using differing information from an array of conflicting witnesses reminded me of Rashomon. And just like Kurosawa, Morris finds himself exploring the idea of justice and how a crime can warp the perception of the truth.

Morris' film also functions as an indictment of America's criminal justice system. It becomes painfully clear that the reason why Adams was ultimately convicted of the crime despite his innocence had to do with the fact that Harris could not be given the death penalty because he was underage. To hear that Doctor Death purposefully testified in over one hundred cases, including Adams', solely to recommend the death penalty serves as a stark, haunting reminder of the willingness of those in charge to favor death over rehabilitation. While I'm sure that some of the criminals that Adams deemed incurable sociopaths, who he was "one hundred percent certain" would kill again, would do so were they free, it's disturbing to think about how many of them fully deserved the death penalty rather than a lighter punishment.

As a hometown Dallas resident, I couldn't help but smile when the film began, showcasing the Dallas skyline shining in all its glory. But over the next hour and a half, I was utterly transfixed by the cases of Randall Adams and David Harris, and the murder of Robert Wood. To think about how many other innocent men and women might be wrongfully imprisoned definitely makes for an unnerving thought. Morris' The Thin Blue Line makes for haunting yet necessary viewing, challenging seemingly established facts in the murder of Wood on that fateful November night. Mixing Philip Glass' incredible score, re-enactments of the murder, and a captivating array of interviews, the film not only makes for a riveting deconstruction of a heinous crime, but an exploration of justice in an unjust system that resulted in the exoneration of an innocent man.

Rating: 8/10 (Great)

Reviewed by higherall7 9 / 10

Escape from Doctor Death...

When a film you make saves a man's life, that puts it into an altogether different category. This is a picture about what everybody thinks and says happened neglecting to keep in mind a proper assessment of all the facts. People have compared this film to RASHOMON and an half hour television teleplay called THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER definitely comes to mind, as each one of these pieces deals with the subjectivity of personal perception.

But these previous attempts that I mentioned seem heavy handed compared to the simplicity and subtlety of Errol Morris' THE THIN BLUE LINE. The whole project is wrapped in a kind of serendipity and might never of happened as Morris was working on another somewhat related project about a psychiatrist who assisting the prosecutor was credited with getting an alarming number of convicts onto Death Row. He even had the opportunity to interview Randall Adams before adjudicating that he was an incurable murderer and that the death penalty would be best for him.

James Grigson was his name and originally Morris meant to do a piece on him; but then he got wind of what was happening to Randall Adams and the rest as they would say is the history of THE THIN BLUE LINE. The reenactments of the murder scene from different angles is artfully done involving documents and common everyday objects. It has independent filmmaker all over it. At its core, there is still a mystery about what actually happened. What Errol Morris does is bring reasonable doubt to center stage. But between Randall Adams, the late night hitchhiker and David Harris the teenage runaway who gives him a ride a night earlier, there swings the pendulum pointing to guilt or innocence for one or the other.

The chilling consideration that one cannot ignore is what would have happened to Randall Adams if Errol Morris had not come along. As David Harris idly comments near the end of the story, if it wasn't for bad luck, Adams wouldn't have no luck at all. There is a strange synchronicity to many of the events that are related throughout this story. The sense that 'if this hadn't happened, this would not have happened'. The interviews with various witnesses, some who were there briefly at the scene of the crime and some who knew Adams and Harris before and after, add color and texture to this strange confluence of events.

This all transpires to the haunting musical score of Phillip Glass. The ultimate redeeming quality of this film is, of course, that Randall Adams is fully exonerated and goes free. What he does with his newfound freedom is a story for another day. David Harris' activities finally catch up with him and each go their separate ways after their encounters with THE THIN BLUE LINE.

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