1988   USA The Thin Blue Line
The Thin Blue Line Image Cover
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Director:Errol Morris
Studio:American Playhouse
Writer:Errol Morris
IMDb Rating:8.1 (6,108 votes)
Awards:7 wins & 4 nominations
Duration:103 min
Errol Morris  ...  (Director)
Errol Morris  ...  (Writer)
Randall Adams  ...  Himself
David Harris  ...  Himself
Gus Rose  ...  Himself (Homicide Detective in Dallas)
Jackie Johnson  ...  Herself (Homicide Detective in Dallas)
Marshall Touchton  ...  Himself (Homicide Detective in Dallas)
Dale Holt  ...  Himself (Internal Affairs Investigator in Dallas)
Sam Kittrell  ...  Himself (Police Detective in Vidor)
Hootie Nelson  ...  Himself (Friend of David Harris in Vidor)
Dennis Johnson  ...  Himself (Friend of David Harris in Vidor)
Floyd Jackson  ...  Himself (Friend of David Harris in Vidor)
Edith James  ...  Herself (Defense Attorney)
Dennis White  ...  Himself (Defense Attorney)
Don Metcalfe  ...  Himself (The Judge)
Emily Miller  ...  Herself (Surprise Eyewitness)
R.L. Miller  ...  Himself (Surprise Eyewitness)
David Harris (III)  ...  
Robert Chappell  ...  Cinematographer
Stefan Czapsky  ...  Cinematographer
Comments: Repetitive, not very exciting

Not fair to say this hasn't aged well, but it's the first time I've seen it, and while the true story it describes is mind-boggling, the film itself is repetitive and not very exciting. I wish they would have used title cards (or whatever) to identify the interviewees. I was never confident if they were the actual people or not, or who exactly they were.

Scariest thing: In his last interview David Harris (the real killer) says Randall Adams might not have spent 11 years in prison if he had given the boy who helped him get gas for his car that night a place to sleep. Probably true, but geez

Summary: Errol Morris's unique documentary dramatically re-enacts the crime scene and investigation of a police officer's murder in Dallas. Briefly, a drifter (Randall Adams) ran out of gas in Texas and was picked up by a 16-year-old runaway (David Harris). Later that night, they drank some beer, smoked some marijuana, and went to the movies. Then, their stories diverge. Adams claims that he left for his motel, where he was staying with his brother, and went to sleep. Harris, however, says that they were stopped by police late that night and Adams suddenly shot the officer approaching their car. The film shows the audience the evidence gathered by the police, who were under extreme pressure to clear the case. It strongly makes a point that the circumstantial evidence was very flimsy. In fact, it becomes apparent that Harris was a much more likely suspect and was in the middle of a 'crime spree,' eventually ending up on Death Row himself for the later commission of other crimes. Morris implies that the D.A.'s and judge's desire for the death penalty in this case (which Harris would have been ineligible for, due to his youth), made Adams a scapegoat on which to pin this heinous crime.

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