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In The Line of Fire
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A sight you thought you'd never see: Clint Eastwood in tears. Not many, but they're there. And that's just one of the novelties in this hugely enjoyable thriller in which Eastwood plays a Secret Service agent who is not only visibly ageing - a fact that he admits to his younger lover, Rene Russo - but is also shamed by his past inability to save President Kennedy from assassination. That's why he's so obsessed with John Malkovich, would-be killer of the current First Executive. Director Wolfgang Petersen and Eastwood clearly have a thing about presidents, with the former trapping Harrison Ford in the hold of
Air Force One
and the latter seeking to expose murderous Gene Hackman in
. This is better than either of those blockbusters, as Petersen piles on the suspense with ruthless skill, while Eastwood reveals the same vulnerability that made his performance in
so compelling and convincing. The Oscar-nominated Malkovich makes an admirable adversary, taunting Eastwood in much the same manner that Scorpio did in
. Editor Anne Coates and screenwriter Jeff Maguire also received Oscar nods, although Maguire was not the first to attempt a script, with Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford and Sean Connery linked to previous versions, while Robert Duvall and Jack Nicholson were in the frame for the bad guy. In the end Eastwood and Malkovich proved the perfect men for the job.
An ageing secret service agent, tormented by his failure to save the life of John F Kennedy in 1963, is drawn into a battle of wits with a sinister CIA-trained assassin out to kill the current president. As the day of reckoning draws closer, the agent's nerves are tested to the limit - and nothing seems to be going his way. Wolfgang Petersen's thriller, starring Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich, Rene Russo and Dylan McDermott.
Cast & Crew
Fred Dalton Thompson
CIA Agent David Coppinger
Columbia Tri-Star Films (UK)
Violence, edited for some of its language.
video, DVD and Blu-ray
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