The Thin Blue Line (1988)
October 20, 2022 11:32 AM - Subscribe

One night in November 1976, after his car breaks down on a road outside Dallas, Randall Dale Adams accepts a ride from teenager David Harris. Harris is driving a stolen vehicle and, later that night, when Dallas police officer Robert Wood pulls the car over to check its headlights, he is shot and killed. A jury believes Adams is the killer, but Errol Morris' classic documentary explores the role of Harris' perjured testimony, misleading witness accounts and police misconduct in the verdict.

100% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Currently streaming in the US on AMC+ and Criterion. JustWatch listing.
posted by DirtyOldTown (3 comments total)
I recall watching this with my mom when I was a white kid growing up in a seedy part of Florida. It was the first time I had the realization - "wait, the cops aren't always the good guys?"
posted by drewbage1847 at 11:49 AM on October 20, 2022

It's actually shocking to go back and watch and see that a) the last 34 years of true crime docs are heavily, heavily indebted to this film, and b) none of these techniques have been done better than Errol morris did them, all those years ago.

It's also darkly comic that police have seized upon the title as a catchphrase, given that the phrase "the thin blue line" entered the public consciousness via this film about police corruption and malfesance.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:59 AM on October 20, 2022 [4 favorites]

After watching The Thin Blue Line, I recommend seeing The Last Broadcast, which sort of takes Errol Morris's documentary to the next logical step.
posted by SPrintF at 2:40 PM on October 20, 2022

« Older Movie: The Lost Weekend...   |  Movie: Monsters University... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments