The Thin Blue Line
Sometimes movies have the amazing power to do a whole lot more than make you laugh or cry or just keep you entertained. Sometimes a movie can save a man’s life.
In 1985, documentary filmmakers Errol Morris started working on a movie about Dr. James Grigson (“Dr. Death”), a Texas psychiatrist who was often called on to give expert testimony during criminal trials. During his research, Morris heard about the case of Randall Dale Adams, a drifter who had been convicted and sentenced to death for shooting a Dallas police office in 1976. Adams vehemently maintained his innocence, and just like that, Morris was hooked. He switched his subject from Dr. Death to the Adams case.
When The Thin Blue Line hit theaters in August 1988, the entire story was laid out in vivid color, and all of a sudden, people were second-guessing Adams’ guilt, petitioning for his release from jail, and wondering what kind of shenanigans were going on in Dallas–– that a man who was so obviously innocent could be convicted.
The movie is completely captivating; you may well be picking your jaw up from off the floor after hearing many of the interviewees. But beyond the subject matter, The Thin Blue Line is one of the top documentaries ever made. Morris’ stylistic approach, combined with the haunting score by Philip Glass, will make you think, give you nightmares, and thrill you… all at once.
We love that it saved a man’s life. We love that Morris got the real killer to confess on tape. We love that the 80s spawned one of the most amazing movies of all time.
We ♥ The Thin Blue Line.