I didn’t find The Thin Blue Line to be my favorite documentary, which is probably why I had been watching a series of feel-good/inspiring films throughout the course of this class. When I first started watching The Thin Blue Line, I couldn’t stay awake. Perhaps I was falling asleep because I was in rehearsals for one show and running another that weekend. But, upon revisiting the doc, I came to realize I just wasn’t a fan of it.
This doc had a real 1980’s feel to it (and I’m not even referring to the hairstyles), which I think added to my dislike. As a 21st century viewer, I’m used to quick cuts and fast paced editing. The Thin Blue Line featured longer shots with little cuts. During reenactments, the pace of the editing picked up, but I really wasn’t that intrigued by it. I was never really drawn in to the film.
The plot of the film and the effect it had after its release is really significant. Errol Morris, the director, is a well-known doc filmmaker and he created a documentary around a case that appealed to him.
According to Wikipedia, he was a private investigator prior to the making of this film, which helped sparked his interest in the story of Randall Dale Adams in The Thin Blue Line. Morris was able to find the truth, where convicted murderer Adams was actually wrongfully convicted. Documentaries allow for their creators to be emerged in a story that is personal and that they have strong feelings for. This is what is significant about The Thin Blue Line— Morris’ dedication to the film and Adams’ story was the central force behind Adams’ eventual release from prison.
It’s crazy what movies can do. Films can change your life. And The Thin Blue Line saved Adams’.