Cincinnati Babyhead

Speaks his mind on music & movies!

Documentary : The Thin Blue Line

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Take a trip into one of my favorite documentary films. Errol Morris’ ‘The Thin Blue Line’. I really like a good doc and this is one of the best I’ve seen. It’s a story that will shake you up on how fragile and how our lives can turn on one simple decision, choice or chance encounter. Randall Adams is a testament to that.

While looking for work in Dallas, Adams has a chance encounter with a young drifter, David Harris. A police officer, Robert Wood, is killed in a routine traffic violation and Randall Adams is thrown into a living hell and ends up on death row.

Morris takes us through the events interviewing all the various people involved. Police detectives, lawyers, sheriffs, friends, some very sketchy witnesses and  Harris and Adams themselves. Between the individual interviews Morris cuts to images and the scene of the crime. He does this with a great story tellers skill doing it with the camera. Philip Glass supplies the music and it is perfect for the story. It really helps set the mood and tone for what we are watching. Adams talking about being interviewed by the court appointed psychiatrist will blow you away. This isn’t made up, it’s real and it’s a nightmare.

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If you have a couple hours to spare do yourself a favor and take this film in. It has so much atmosphere and punch it will effect you. Fascinating, eerie and mesmerizing. You get to see this played out and hear the different people give their takes. Someone is lying and Randall Adams is going to the electric chair because of it.

Like Randal Adams’ mother said “If there were ever a hell on earth it’s Dallas county”

Like Freddy King sang “If I didn’t have bad-luck I wouldn’t have no luck at all”

21 comments on “Documentary : The Thin Blue Line

  1. Yeah, Another Blogger
    December 22, 2019

    You’re right. Life is a crap shoot. Nothing’s guaranteed. I saw this doc years ago and liked it.

    Hi CB. A very happy new year to you and yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      December 22, 2019

      Thanks for stopping by fella. I figured you would have seen this. Talk soon.
      (Finally got around to that doc you recommended ‘I Called Him Morgan’. Really worth the time. I liked that the film didn’t glance over the music. Man was he good. Thanks for that one).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim S.
    December 22, 2019

    Good choice, CB. We rented this back in the day on a recommendation from Siskel and Ebert. I wondered if it was still relevant and I guess it still is. In a similar vein, remember “Onion Field?” Another good flick from the ’70s. First introduction to James Woods who, alas, turns out to be somewhat of a dickhead politically and personally. But good actor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      December 23, 2019

      I think you’d still get lots out of it Doc. ‘Onion Field’ will get the CB treatment soon (unless you do it justice). Don’t know much about Woods outside of some of his work. I do like John Savage’s work.

      Like

      • Jim S.
        December 23, 2019

        Savage. Geez, I forget he was even in it. I’ll let CB do his thing on the films and I’ll stick to the music.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        December 23, 2019

        He has a few real powerful scenes.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. J.
    December 23, 2019

    I’m aware of this, but I’ve never seen it. Just read up on the guy, as I only knew the outline that you described… and, well, heesh! That’s a real kick in the balls, eh?

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      December 23, 2019

      Obviously a fave film. Very eerie with Glass’s music helping the mood. It will stick with you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • J.
        December 23, 2019

        I’m not sure why I haven’t seen it… but I’ve added it to the list. Maybe it’s another I’ll get to before next year is done!

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        December 23, 2019

        I slowly pick away at my music and film get too stuff. And then i re-watch films like this one.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Sarca
    December 24, 2019

    Hey CB. This was on Netflix for a spell, and I remember starting to watch it, but fell asleep. Should try for round two when I am more awake. Crime docs are my thang. Cya!

    Liked by 3 people

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      December 24, 2019

      I could see how that having a snooze would happen. It certainly isn’t action packed and the music kind of lends itself to dreamland. Drink a doz cups of java and give it another whirl. I like them crime docs myself.
      Try ‘My Dark Places’ if you like a good real life crime tale. Based on James Ellroy’s (author) mothers murder.

      Like

    • BuriedOnMars
      January 6, 2020

      I want to watch it too!

      Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        January 6, 2020

        Perfect you two can get together and watch it Hey! U are together.

        Like

  5. Francisco Bravo Cabrera
    December 26, 2019

    Lamentably there are many incidents such as the one narrated in The Thin Blue Line but with other circumstances. The police make many mistakes and when the State Attorney’s Office decides someone is guilty, from that moment on all they care about is winning the case, especially if the prosecutor is looking to advance his political career. I was a police officer in Florida for thirty years and although there may have been some cases where the presumption of innocence was not really considered as being valid, I don’t recall cases like this one. But of course, when one of your brothers is gunned down, emotions run high and everybody is…seemingly…out looking for blood but I think that professionalism wins out and police officers most of the time always do the right thing, not to say that there are no bad apples…great post CB, good reading something from your blog and have a great and happy holiday season! Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      December 26, 2019

      Well said Francisco. This is one of those cases where it got away from the truth. Bad communication, hidden agendas, dishonesty, emotions etc played out in this one to Randall’s bad luck. It eventually got sorted out but not without some ruined lives especially Officer Wood and his family not to mention Adams. I have nothing but respect for former occupation.
      I really like when you pop by and comment. You take care and we’ll talk soon. CB

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Chris
    December 30, 2019

    I agree has “punch”. Interesting how pioneered the style of modern crime-scene reenactments. As the viewer, I felt I was the jury, deciding who the guilty are. Could be necessary to delve into other sources to make up my mind about the case.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      December 30, 2019

      I wont give away what eventually happened. I liked Morris’s style and his use of Glass’s music to really set the tone of this one. Plus some of the characters were pretty out there like the psychiatrist Greegson. Scary shit.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. 1537
    January 4, 2020

    Wow CB, never heard of this one at all – it sounds brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      January 4, 2020

      It’s kind of a creep show, David Lynch style but real. Morris does a great job of putting you into this nightmare. The Glass soundtrack helps. I think you would probably get caught up in it. Not your usual retelling of a crime story.

      Liked by 1 person

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