The Thin Blue Line

Documentary | English | 103 minutes


When documentarian Errol Morris heard about Dr. James Grigson, a psychiatrist who testified in hundreds of murder cases, always recommending the death penalty,  Morris decided to investigate the case of Randall Adams,  accused of murdering police officer Robert Wood. If convicted, Adams would surely be executed. Morris begins the documentary meticulously re-enacting Wood’s murder and conducting thorough interviews with witnesses.The more Morris digs, the more certain he is that Adams is innocent. However, Grigson  insists  Adams is  a sociopath deserving the death penalty.

Major Participants
Errol Morris / David Harris / Randall Adams
Why Stream This Film?
 Despite the groundbreaking and harsh re-enactments of the testimonies in the film, the Academy would not give the film a well-deserved nomination. Film critic Roger Ebert “attributed its rejection to the inability of the Academy members to appreciate innovative filmmaking.”
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 100%
  • Metacritic Score: 79
  • Edgar Allan Poe Awards: Winner, Best Motion Picture
  • International Documentary Association: Winner, IDA Award
  • New York Film Critics Circle Award: Winner, Best Documentary
  • The film received a perfect 100% Rotten Tomatoes score.
  • The film was selected for preservation in the National film Registry by the Library of Congress as being culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.
Morris’s visual style in THE THIN BLUE LINE is unlike any conventional documentary. Although his interviews are shot straight on, head and shoulders, there is a way his camera has of framing his subjects so that we look at them very carefully, learning  as much by what we see as by what we hear.
Roger Ebert

A mesmerizing reconstruction and investigation of a senseless murder. THE THIN BLUE LINE employs strikingly unique   devices to pull together diverse interviews.


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