All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
The Thin Blue Line
A softcore movie, Dr. Death, a chocolate milkshake, a nosey blonde and "The Carol Burnett Show." Solving this mystery is going to be murder.
Errol Morris's unique documentary dramatically re-enacts the crime scene and investigation of a police officer's murder in Dallas.
Not a documentary about pregnancy tests
I knew what Thin Blue Line was about and I had some idea of its real-world implications, as that seems to be the central discussion surrounding the film the majority of the time but holy shit - what an absolutely transcendent piece of documentary filmmaking.
Morris’ haunting, repetitious use of re-enactments. The way the aesthetic at one moment bleeds into sensationalism and then highlights truth in the next. The way it's constructed to slowly reveal details, letting the audience participate, constantly evaluating then re-evaluating the information we’re receiving and our perceptions of those feeding it to us. The way it masterfully builds to a joke the same way it does to its most shocking revelations. And of course, the way it exposed a corrupt system and literally saved a life. Thin Blue Line is a film truly like no other.
If there was ever a hell on earth, it's Dallas County.
Proof that films can actually change lives with verifiable results. Originally Errol Morris was doing research for a planned documentary on psychiatrist Dr. James Grigson (aka Dr. Death), but in doing so met Randall Adams, a man convicted of murder and sentenced to death. The chance meeting not only changed the subject matter of Morris' documentary, but changed lives and created the template for practically every investigative crime documentary film and television show made in the last 25 years.
The film is deeply disturbing by simply asking questions to people in power and letting them run their mouths in front of a camera. It becomes painfully evident…
The Thin Blue Line is famous documentary-maker Errol Morris’ most acclaimed work - a law case study on the prosecution of Randall Dale Adams who allegedly shot and killed a police officer in Dallas 1976, which was so successful that it eventually led to a reopening of the case and the freedom of the innocent Adams. For this fact alone, the film deserves recognition and applause, which I grant it, but to be completely honest I think that the execution of this documentary could’ve been much better if it showed more concern to work as a film as well as it works as an argument. I say this because through many unnecessary repetitions and a certain monotonousness it wasn’t exactly…
The original Making a Murderer.
The Rashomon of documentaries.
One of the finest of its kind.
The Thin Blue Line is essential viewing.
Review In A Nutshell:
A fascinating crime/legal story, intelligently told through excellent editing and engaging re-enactments. It is films like this that makes me want to dip my toes into the world documentary filmmaking.
Errol Morris's stab at the true crime drama. Knowing Morris, though, it is not surprising that he avoids the standard procedural and instead employs a variety of techniques to tell his story. The Thin Blue Line is one of the more stylized documentaries, creating a certain emotion around it that creates a sense of uneasiness. A necessary evil of a film such as this is that it has to be focused on the fine details, and sometimes the film can be a bit bogged down in them, making it a bit difficult to follow.
Un document qui a changé la vision et la façon de mettre en scène un documentaire qui, vu son enquête approfondie, a réussi à changer le cours du verdict sur ses participants après sa sortie (comme le fera la série des PARADISE LOST). Par contre, malgré un sujet intéressant et décidément triste pour l'accusé concerné, le film demeure quand même lassant et plus une tâche à passer à travers si on ne prend pas en ligne de compte ce qui a suivi après la diffusion de ce projet. Je suis content de l'avoir vu, mais on en reste là quant à sa viabilité cinématographique.
The archetypal true-crime documentary, all documentary films which follow this movie seek to imitate it in some way. It also achieved, what I consider, one of the highest aspirations of documentary filmmakers everywhere: it caused a real, tangible change in the world. Namely, Randall Adams being released from prison a year after this film was released.
Rewatching this after seeing Fred Armisen and Bill Hader parody it on "Documentary now!" was a really funny experience. They really nailed some of the odd mannerisms of the people interviewed. Like the local police officer who knew David Harris constantly excusing harris' extremely violent tendencies by saying hes just a good kid who needs to straighten up.
“The Thin Blue Line” directed by Errol Morris, is a crime documentary that recounts the cold-blooded murder of a police officer in Texas. The man taken into custody is an outsider, and the justice system will do anything to convict him- even if the evidence of his guilt is more than lacking.
From here, let’s start with the positives of this film. Morris uses some really cool motifs in his storytelling. I’m thinking particularly of the use of the same two colors throughout the film; blue and red. Cool, and creative, I found this simple element to be extremely effective as a way of carrying the theme of police representation throughout the film. Also, the film was filled with facts…
Phenomenal. Morris does such an excellent job at framing his material and drawing character out of his interviewees. A foundation in the documentary genre.
Siguiendo con mi ruta de documentales basados en casos reales de errores judiciales he llegado al que se considera hito fundacional.
El ritmo es lentísimo, no hay ni interrogatorios reales, ni tomas del juicio, ni imágenes de la escena del crimen. Solo entrevistas y una recreación recurrente, que va cambiando según los testigos se van contradiciendo. Es, en cierto modo, un prototipo de lo que vendría después.
El caso, por su parte, no podría ser mas sencillo. Una patrulla ordena detenerse a un coche rutinariamente. Ellos aun no lo saben pero es un vehículo robado. Cuando le piden la documentación, el conductor dispara al agente (que muere en el acto) y se da a la fuga. Semanas después un menor…
It will go down in history as "the film that changed a legal ruling", which is a fine legacy for a film to have - not many films in the history of the medium can claim that kind of lasting impact for themselves. However, I don't wonder if that's missing the forest for the trees in this case.
All while the film (incredibly persuasively, yet without hectoring) argues for the innocence of its subject, the bigger picture it paints is that this is just one case study of a phenomenon that occurs all the time, that this particular miscarriage of justice was just a symptom of a system that allows it to happen in the first place. Randall Dale Adams…
I probably would've enjoyed this documentary more if I hadn't seen Making A Murderer first.
Yes, this film is highly suspect in its creation and tactics, and could be said to be to blame for all that is bad about modern documentary filmmaking. At the same time, if you leave aside the belief that documentaries need to be court-worthy, this is fantastically enthralling and completely unnerving, despite the majority of its content being talking heads. I credit much of this to the persuasive technique of using footage—whether taken from documents or from reenactments—as a sort of running fact-checker for the statements made during the film. And at the end of the day, The Thin Blue Line did precisely what it intended, and it deserves a lot of credit for that.
This is what happens when your car breaks down on a Sunday morning and you have nothing else to do…
Not on Letterboxd: Peter Amstrong's "Global Report" and Phil Agland's China: Beyond the Clouds