Between his directorial duties on A Perfect World and The Bridges of Madison County, Clint Eastwood starred in this pulse-racing 1993 thriller. In the Line of Fire was directed by Wolfgang Petersen, the brilliant director ... more »of the World War II U-boat masterpiece Das Boot. Eastwood gives one of his best performances as Secret Service agent Frank Horrigan, who still feels responsible for the death of JFK 30 years earlier. Horrigan gets a shot at redemption when challenged by a psychotic but highly intelligent assassin (John Malkovich) who intends to kill the current U.S. president. Tension builds as this intellectual cat-and-mouse game reaches its climactic confrontation, but not before we've seen the killer at work, covering his trail with ruthless precision. Tightly scripted by Jeff Maguire, the film cuts Malkovich loose as one of the most memorable screen villains of the 1990s, and costars Rene Russo as Eastwood's sharp Secret Service colleague and romantic partner. --Jeff Shannon« less
Eastwood Vs. Malkovich, with the President in the Middle...
Benjamin J Burgraff | Las Vegas | 09/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Clint Eastwood, in his first film after completing his masterpiece, UNFORGIVEN, chose a winner with Wolfgang Petersen's suspenseful IN THE LINE OF FIRE. As 30-year veteran Secret Service agent Frank Horrigan, Eastwood had the misfortune of protecting President Kennedy, November 22, 1963, and the specter of not reacting quickly enough has never fully left him, through the subsequent years. At the other end of the spectrum is ex-CIA assassin Mitch Leary (brilliantly portrayed by John Malkovich), who had become 'excess baggage' for the intelligence community, due to budget cuts. After surviving a bungled attempt to kill him, Leary decides to vent his rage at his 'betrayal' by assassinating the President. In his research, he discovers that the only agent still active from the 1963 team is Horrigan, and, deciding they shared a kinship, he begins to tease Horrigan with clues about himself, and how he'll kill the President.The film builds up a 'head of steam' from the very first scene, as Horrigan and his partner, Al D'Andrea (Dylan McDermott, long before television stardom in THE PRACTICE) take down a band of counterfeiters, and the edginess never lets up, as Leary, introducing himself as 'Booth', begins his series of fateful calls to Horrigan. Facing mounting opposition from the head of the Presidential Secret Service team (Gary Cole), as well as the White House Chief of Staff (future Senator Fred Dalton Thompson), Horrigan badgers, insults, and belittles everyone's work, knowing the potential assassin will find any crack in the security, and take advantage of it. Only his boss, Sam Campagna (FRAZIER star John Mahoney), his partner, D'Andrea, and fellow agent Lilly Raines (Rene Russo, in another star-making performance), take him seriously, with Raines soon falling in love with the cantankerous agent.The plot is full of twists and turns, as Horrigan barely misses capturing Leary, twice, and Leary, at one point, actually saves Horrigan's life (while ending D'Andrea's). Strung so tightly that he starts making bad 'calls', Horrigan is finally removed from Presidential security...just as Leary is about to make his move...IN THE LINE OF FIRE does for the Secret Service what BACKDRAFT did for firefighters, and television's NYPD BLUE did for policemen; it shows the organization not as a group of faceless supermen, but as dedicated people performing an essential service, protecting the lives of others. As Leary sneers to Horrigan, "I'm the offense, you're the defense," and that analogue truly describes the difficulty of their job; they must find the means to protect the President against whatever misdeed a perpetrator can concoct. While Clint Eastwood's Horrigan may be far more of a 'lone wolf' than the Agency would, in real life, tolerate, his dedication to his job reflects well on those unique individuals who would 'take a bullet' for the President. It is an excellent suspense film, and a worthy addition to any Clint Eastwood collection!"
A great movie, if you like movies about chases.
Benjamin J Burgraff | 07/13/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie was a hit, but an underrated hit. You can ask a lot of people what they think of this movie and they reply never heard of it, or they forgot about it. But John Malkovick gives the most respectable bad guy performance up their with Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter. Clint Eastwood gives a great role as a secret service agent.Great music also.I like the part where Makovich asks Clint, "late at night when the demons come, what do you see". Other nice parts."
Clint Eastwood's best performance yet!
Nicholas Williams | Memphis, TN United States | 03/05/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
""In The Line of Fire" is a thinking person's movie with lots of action, suspense, and brains as well! It gets better and better every time that I watch it! Clint Eastwood gave a superb performance as Secret Service Agent Frank Horrigan, a man who is haunted by a loss. In 1963, he was guarding President John F. Kennedy when the commander-in-chief was assassinated in Dallas, TX. Horrigan's inability to divert the tragedy has wreaked havoc on his personal life, making the aging agent socially reclusive and chagrined at his own failures. "A living legend; the only active agent who ever lost a President", says Horrigan of his soiled reputation. His chance to redeem himself comes soon enough, though.A meticulous psychopath named Mitch Leary (John Malkovich in a outstanding and frightening performance) is threatening the current president, and Horrigan is back on the case. Leary identifies himself as John Booth, an eerie reference to President Abraham Lincoln's assassination. Leary taunts Horrigan for his failings, and his pranks become more dangerous as he gets closer to his endgame.Wolfgang Petersen ("Das Boot", "Air Force One") directs this super-slick thriller with sheer intensity and explosive action as well. Two powerhouse actors, plus a great supporting cast (Rene Russo, Dylan McDermott, John Mahoney, Gary Cole, Fred Dalton Thompson) make "In The Line of Fire" one of the absolute best suspense films of 1993!"
Secret Service Gets Boost from Eastwood
L. Shirley | fountain valley, ca United States | 10/26/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This review refers to the Special Edition DVD(Columbia)......
He was there when Kennedy was assassinated. It still haunts him 30 years later. If he had moved a fraction of a second sooner he may have saved his beloved president, But a what cost to him? He is Frank Horrigan(Eastwood), an aging Secret Service Agent, trained to do whatever it takes to protect the President of the United States. Now he has a chance to redeem himself in his own eyes. A psychotic, but very clever, would be presidental assassin is on the loose. He calls himself Booth(Malkovich), (Because Booth had so much more "panache" then Oswald). He taunts Horrigan about the day Kennedy is shot, through phone calls. Lets him know that he intends to assassinate the president,even if it means dying himself, and taking Frank with him. Frank does everything he can to track down this killer and save the president. Most of the other agents feel Frank is too old to keep up the pace of the Presidental Campaign trail,but he feels he must persue this case. A deadly cat and mouse game ensues, and we are kept on the edge of our seats throughout the movie,waiting to see what Booth's next move will be, and if Horrigan will be a part of it. It's thrilling and chilling. Eastwood as always gives a brilliant performance as the aging agent,(He always seems to be an aging something lately,cop,thief, astrounaut,reporter, but he's sooooo good at it)and Malkovich is outstanding as the mysterious, chilling assassin. Also contributing greatly to the film are Rene Russo, as the field agent Horrigan takes a shine to and Dylan McDermott as his young partner, and we all know by now that it is not healthy to be Clint's partner in any film! Directed by the great Wolfgang Petersen( Das Boot, Air Force One), and scored by Ennio Morricone, you wont want to miss this thrill ride. The DVD is top quality. It is in widescreen(Anamorphic),with the sound choices of 5.1 dolby or 2 channel surround. Either way you will be happy with the sound.For me sound is one of the more important features in an action film. Great picture and colors, lots and lots of special features, I checked out a couple of the featurettes, very entertaining and informative. I'm saving some for the next time I watch it. There are subtitiles in English and several other languages for those needing it. If you are a fan of Eastwood, Malkovitch, Petersen or are just in the mood for an action thriller this is a great one! Would you take the bullet???? Laurie
more Clint stuff: The Gauntlet/True Crime Clint Eastwood Selection: Dirty Harry/The Outlaw Josey Wales/Unforgiven Music for the Movies of Clint Eastwood"
Malkovich at his best!
Jeremy Hanson | California USA | 09/23/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Though the first billing of this show was Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich was the real star deservedly earning himself the Best Supporting Actor nomination. No offence to Mr Landau's impeccable performance in Ed Wood but I bet the Oscars are going to do the same to Malkovich some time when he's a senior too. It's your usual run-after-the-bad-guy thriller but Malkovich's evil portrayal of the screwed up assassin maniac will keep you watching, even if you know he's going to die in the end (typically Hollywood!). He's a bad guy you love to hate and though he's supposed to be the evil one, you can't help but like him simply coz he's just so evil, you know like Alan Rickman in Robin Hood or Gary Oldman in Dracula. Brilliant movie for both guys and gals to watch together."