Thin Red Line, The (1964)

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The Thin Red Line (1964)

The Thin Red Line is a 1964 WWII film which was the first feature film adaptation of the James Jones novel of the same name. The film focuses on the men of Charlie Company during the Battle of Guadalcanal in the Pacific. Many characters and situations from this film were also included in director Terrence Malick's 1998 adaptation of the novel. The film was shot in Spain, which explains why not a single Japanese weapon was featured despite taking place in the Pacific Theater. The film's title derives a quote from Jones's book which reads, "they discover the thin red line that divides the sane from the mad... and the living from the dead..."

The following weapons were used in the 1964 film The Thin Red Line:

Contents


Handguns

M1911A1

Pvt. Doll (Keir Dullea) is seen with a stolen M1911A1 at the film's beginning. Capt. Stone (Ray Daley) is also seen with the handgun.

M1911A1 - .45 ACP.
Pvt. Doll (Keir Dullea) is seen with a stolen M1911A1 at the film's beginning.
Capt. Stone (Ray Daley) is also seen with the handgun.

Rifles

M1 Garand

M1 Garand is the primary battle rifle used by the men of Charlie Company in the film including Pvt. Doll (Keir Dullea) and 1st Sgt. Welsh (Jack Warden).

M1 Garand - .30-06.
1st Sgt. Welsh (Jack Warden) holds an M1 Garand.
M1 Garand is used by the men of Charlie Company in the film including Pvt. Doll (Keir Dullea) on the left.

Gewehr 98

Japanese soldiers are seen using German Gewehr 98s as stand-ins for Arisaka Type 38 rifles. The film was produced in Spain, so it is likely that Japanese weapons were scarce, but German ones were not.

Arisaka Type 38 - 6.5x50mm.
Mauser Gewehr 1898 - 7.92x57mm Mauser
Note the Lange-Visier rear sight, upper barrel band and "butcher's blade" bayonet, which are all hallmarks of the Gew 98.

Submachine Guns

MP40

The MP40 is seen used by both American and Japanese forces in the film. The MP40 was primarily seen used by German forces in the European theater of the war and likely was utilized in this film due to its resemblance to the American M3 "Grease Gun". In reality, the Japanese didn't use much of any submachine guns, let alone German ones.

MP40 Sub Machine Gun
The MP40 is held by Sgt. Welsh (Jack Warden). The MP40 was not a primary weapon used by either US forces or the Japanese during the War in the Pacific.
The MP40 is held by Pvt. Doll. The weapon was likely used due to its availability and that it bears a small resemblance to the American M3 "Grease Gun".

Machine Guns

Browning Automatic Rifle M1918A2

The Browning Automatic Rifle is also used by American forces during the battle.

Browning Automatic Rifle
TRL64 15.jpg

M1919A4 Machine Gun

The Browning M1919A4 .30 caliber machine gun is used by both American and Japanese forces.

M1919A4 Machine Gun - .30-06
TRL64 02.jpg

Madsen Machine Gun

Japanese soldiers are also seen using a Madsen machine gun. The use of this anachronistic machine gun was likely due to its resemblance to the Japanese Type 99 Light Machine Gun.

Madsen machine gun - .303 British
Japanese soldiers are also seen using a Madsen machine gun which is substituting for the Japanese Type 99 in the film.

Explosives

MK II Hand Grenade

Several US soldiers including Welsh and Doll are seen using MK II Hand Grenades when the Japanese stage a surprise attack on the American position.

MK II hand grenade.
Kieron Moore with grenade



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