Screen time in 'The Thin Red Line'
Screen time in 'The Thin Red Line' -- We investigate the untimely deaths of big names in the Terrence Malick's masterpiece, including Sean Penn, John Cusack, and George Clooney
They say every man fights his own war, and in Terrence Malick’s WWII opus, The Thin Red Line, well, they’re right. For a few actors, this war is three hours of grisly combat and hypnotic voice-overs. But for most of the big names who fill out Malick’s muddy ranks, it’s over all too quickly, not to mention quietly: Some bite the dust without uttering a word. EW ventured into the multiplex to clock this unconscionable waste of human life.
NICK NOLTE Scenes: 12 Sample dialogue: ”We’re going to take that hill!” Est. screen time: 25 min. 6 sec. The horror: Nolte rants, roars, and generally behaves like a man obsessed — with winning an Oscar.
SEAN PENN Scenes: 17 Sample dialogue: ”What difference do you think you can make, one man in the middle of all this madness?” Est. screen time: 24 min. 39 sec. The horror: Penn’s famed temper goes underutilized. If only the Japanese were shooting photos.
JOHN CUSACK Scenes: 5 Sample dialogue: ”Sir, these men need water.” Est. screen time: 14 min. 24 sec. The horror: Watching Cusack in combat, it’s hard not to recall images of Lloyd Dobler kickboxing in Say Anything.
JOHN TRAVOLTA Scenes: 1 Sample dialogue: ”There’s always someone watching you like a hawk.” Est. screen time: 3 min. 55 sec. The horror: He thinks this is going to overshadow his role in A Civil Action?
GEORGE CLOONEY Scenes: 1 Sample dialogue: ”We are like a family, and a family can have only one head: the father.” Est. screen time: 1 min. 23 sec. The horror: He doesn’t even play a medic! Refund!
JARED LETO Scenes: 1 Sample dialogue: (Chews gum) Pause. (Shakes head) Pause. Est. screen time: 1 min. 46 sec. The horror: The film is robbed of its only teen idol. The younger set goes AWOL and heads for Varsity Blues.
The Thin Red Line