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The Thin Blue Line Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

Not many filmmakers can claim to have freed a convicted murderer from jail, but Errol Morris accomplished that feat with his stunning documentary about Randall Dale Adams. Morris, whose brilliant previous features Vernon, Florida and Gates of Heaven had focused on less substantial subjects, learned of Adams' plight when the director was in Texas in preparation for a film about a psychiatrist who testified in murder trials. In November 1976, after his car broke down on a road outside Dallas, Adams had accepted a ride from a stranger, David Harris. Harris was driving a stolen car, and when Dallas police officer Robert Wood pulled the two men over to check on the vehicle, Harris shot and killed Wood. A jury believed that Adams was the killer, thanks to the perjured testimony of Harris and the misleading accounts of two witnesses. A story about Adams on 60 Minutes helped to bring public attention to the case, but it was Morris' film, which contained extensive interview material with both Adams and Harris as well as stylized reenactments of the crime, that clinched the case for Adams' innocence. He was set free on March 15, 1988. Although Morris' film made many critics' top ten lists, it was unaccountably not nominated for an Academy award, raising doubts about the credibility of the Motion Picture Academy's nominating process in this category. ~ Tom Wiener, Rovi

  • Release date:August 25, 1988

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Edgar Allan Poe Awards Errol Morris Best Screenplay 1988 Winner
Independent Spirit Awards Errol Morris Best Director 1988 Nominee

Crew

Errol Morris
Director
Mark Lipson
Producer
Errol Morris
Screenwriter
Peter Sova
Cinematographer
Robert Chappell
Cinematographer
Ned Burgess
Cinematographer
Stefan Czapsky
Cinematographer
Philip Glass
Composer (Music Score)
Ted Bafaloukos
Production Designer
Lester Cohen
Art Director
Brad Fuller
Associate Producer
Brad Fuller
Sound/Sound Designer
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