The Thin Blue Line
The Thin Blue Line is a 1988 documentary by director Errol Morris which explores the fascinating and controversial true story of the arrest and conviction of a drifter, Randall Adams, for the murder of a policeman in 1976. Referred to as "the first movie mystery to actually solve a murder," this film is credited with overturning the conviction of Randall Dale Adams for the murder of Dallas police officer Robert Wood, a crime for which Adams was sentenced to death. This documentary was considered to be radically different from a conventional documentary format and it made something artful out of a real life horrific event.
Errol Mark Morris is an American film director famous for making captivating and eccentric documentaries usually on macabre material. In 1985, Morris became interested in Dr. James Grigson, a psychiatrist in Dallas. Under Texas law, the death penalty can only be issued if the jury is convinced that the defendant is not only guilty, but will commit further violent crimes in the future if he is not put to death. Grigson had spent 15 years testifying for such cases, and he almost invariably gave the same damning testimony, often saying that it is "one hundred per cent certain" that the defendant would kill again. This led to Grigson being nicknamed "Dr. Death". Through Grigson, Morris met the subject of this documentary, 36-year-old Randall Dale Adams. While Morris was initially interested in creating a documentary about Grigson, Morris became much more eager to investigate claims made by Adams, who told Morris that he was innocent and needed help.
The film is an investigation into the 1976 murder of Dallas police officer Robert Wood and the wrongful conviction of Randall Adams for the crime. David Harris, a 16 year old boy who had run away from his house with a stolen car and had picked up Adams along the way, testified that Adams had shot and killed Wood after their car had been pulled over on their way home from a...