In the Line of Fire

In the Line of Fire

Wolfgang Petersen (1993)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Clint Eastwood in tears is just one of the novelties of this hugely enjoyable movie, in which he plays a Secret Service agent who is shamed by his past inability to save President Kennedy from assassination. That's why he becomes so obsessed with John Malkovich's 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 Absolute Power. 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 Unforgiven so compelling and convincing. The Oscar-nominated Malkovich makes an admirable adversary, taunting Eastwood in much the same manner that Scorpio did in Dirty Harry. 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

Frank Horrigan Clint Eastwood
Mitch Leary John Malkovich
Lilly Raines Rene Russo
Al D'Andrea Dylan McDermott
Bill Watts Gary Cole
Harry Sargent Fred Dalton Thompson
Sam Campagna John Mahoney
Matt Wilder Gregory Alan-Williams
President Jim Curley
First Lady Sally Hughes
Jack Okura Clyde Kusatsu
CIA Agent David Coppinger Steve Railsback
Professor Riger John Heard
Mendoza Tobin Bell
Director Wolfgang Petersen
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Columbia Tri-Star Films (UK)Guidance: Violence, edited for some of its language. Available on: video, DVD and Blu-ray