The Thin Red Line depicts the American offense in Japan’s farthest point of advance, the island of Guadalcanal, focusing on a group of soldiers from the Army Rifle C-Company. Sent in as relief for the weary Marine units, the group includes a tough, cynical top Sergeant; an ambitious, older Lieutenant Colonel, and a thrice-AWOL Private. Despite their diverse backgrounds, the soldiers form a tight-knit group as they face the war horrors on the island.
The movie is a fictional depiction of the Battle of Mount Austen, part of a string of battles fought on the South Pacific island of Guadalcanal. Starting from the first landing, there are several inaccuracies. In the film, the brigade land on a beach and immediately trek into the jungle; in real life, they were sent to the Henderson Field, a formerly Japanese airbase that had been under construction when American Marines seized the base. Additionally, while the worn-out marines are briefly mentioned, the period of relief is drastically reduced. In the actual campaign, Allied forces primarily from the American 1st Marine Division landed on August 7th, 1942, with reinforcement landing in December, whereas in the movie the army the company is shown landing in August. Unlike in the movie, where the Americans are attempting to take-over the island and defeat the Japanese offense, the Guadalcanal battles were defensive for the Allies, where they attempted to defend the captured airfield from banzai-like Axis attacks.
While the movie includes some personal flashbacks of life at home, the story is mainly told via the American soldiers. Said flashbacks are speechless, with fleeting film techniques, leaving the viewer to question what exactly is happening during the short scenes. In terms of the different ranks of the soldiers, it shows how a mere private may view the war differently than his sergeant, and how not all of them have a desire to fight.
The movie, while relatively believable, doesn’t go into the truly...
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McDonald, Jason. "The Thin Red Line (1998): Page 10 | The World War II Multimedia Database." The World War II Multimedia Database | For The 72 Million. N.p., 8 Aug. 2011. Web. 14 May 2012. <http://www.worldwar2database.com/html/trl.htm/page/0/9>.
"The Thin Red Line (1998 film) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 May 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Thin_Red_Line_(1998_film)#Reaction>.
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