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The Clearing
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The Clearing (2004) More at IMDbPro »

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The Clearing -- When a wealthy executive is kidnapped by a disgruntled employee and held captive in a forest, it is up to his wife to deliver the ransom and free her husband.
The Clearing -- Home Video Preview


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Pieter Jan Brugge (story) and
Justin Haythe (story) ...
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Release Date:
16 July 2004 (USA) See more »
You only really know what you have when you're about to lose it.
As an executive is held captive by an employee, it's up to his wife to deliver the ransom. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
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User Reviews:
A great character driven caper See more (142 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Robert Redford ... Wayne Hayes

Helen Mirren ... Eileen Hayes

Willem Dafoe ... Arnold Mack

Alessandro Nivola ... Tim Hayes

Matt Craven ... Agent Ray Fuller

Melissa Sagemiller ... Jill Hayes

Wendy Crewson ... Louise Miller

Larry Pine ... Tom Finch

Diana Scarwid ... Eva Finch
Elizabeth Ruscio ... Cindy Mack

Gwen McGee ... Agent Kathleen Duggan
Sarah Koskoff ... Lane Hayes

Graciela Marin ... Graciela

Mike Pniewski ... Detective Kyle Woodward

Geoff McKnight ... John Dewitt
Tom Arcuragi ... Mr. Schmidt (as Tom E. Arcuragi)

Audrey Wasilewski ... Lisa

Peter Gannon ... Agent Elkins
Jacqi Loewy ... Agent Crew

Matt Miller ... Another Agent

Mark Emery Moore ... Agent Sullivan

Joel Nunley ... Waiter (as Joel S. Nunley)

Ted Manson ... Robert Gidden
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tony Amen ... Customer in Supermarket (uncredited)

Jackie Goldston ... Reporter (uncredited)

Mark Golik ... Convention attendee (uncredited)
CB Hackworth ... Reporter (uncredited)
Alex Houvouras ... Reporter (uncredited)

John W. Iwanonkiw ... FBI Driver (uncredited)

William Kania ... Subway Patron (uncredited)

Phil Nardozzi ... Subway Passenger (uncredited)
Jackson Nunn ... Subway Passanger (uncredited)
Sandy Slicker ... Subway Rider (uncredited)

Sarah E. Spencer ... Reporter (uncredited)
Nathan Wright ... Airport Passenger (uncredited)

John Yost ... FBI Agent (uncredited)

Directed by
Pieter Jan Brugge 
Writing credits
Pieter Jan Brugge (story) and
Justin Haythe (story)

Justin Haythe (screenplay)

Produced by
Pieter Jan Brugge .... producer
Jawal Nga .... associate producer
Jonah Smith .... producer
Dara Weintraub .... line producer
Palmer West .... producer
Original Music by
Craig Armstrong 
Cinematography by
Denis Lenoir 
Film Editing by
Kevin Tent 
Casting by
Victoria Thomas  (as Vicki Thomas)
Production Design by
Lucrezia Casta 
Chris Gorak 
Art Direction by
Paul Huggins 
Set Decoration by
Marthe Pineau 
Costume Design by
Florence-Isabelle Megginson 
Makeup Department
Roxanne Ferguson .... hair stylist
Jane Galli .... makeup department head
Virginia G. Hadfield .... hair department head (as Virginia Hadfield)
Taylor Knight .... makeup assistant: Atlanta
Gary Liddiard .... makeup artist: Mr. Redford
Tena Parker .... hair stylist: Mr. Redford (as Tena Parker-Liddiard)
Judy Ponder-Patton .... key makeup artist
Michael Riley .... hair assistant: Atlanta
Denise Tunnell .... makeup artist
Patty Bell .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Kimberly Rach .... production supervisor
Dara Weintraub .... unit production manager
Patrick Esposito .... post-production manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Alison C. Rosa .... second assistant director
John Rusk .... first assistant director
Art Department
James Brothers .... on-set dresser
Matthew Butler .... key greensman: Atlanta
Christopher Didiot .... set dresser
David Dreyer .... set dresser
Daniel B. Foster .... lead man
Brian Avery Galligan .... assistant property master
Sammy Ray Hill .... greens person
Michelle Ihnot .... set dresser
Gregory Jones .... greensman: Pittsburgh
Kenneth J. Kellers .... leadman: Pittsburgh
Lauri Mancuso .... scenic painter
Swift Moseley .... key greensman
Mark Nave .... carpenter
Gregg Perez .... set dresser
Lance Totten .... set dresser
Sound Department
Christopher Assells .... sound effects editor
Douglas Axtell .... sound
Lon Bender .... supervising sound editor
John Bires .... sound engineer
Bryan Bowen .... sound effects editor
Bob Bowman .... first assistant sound editor
Harry Cohen .... sound effects editor
Gary Coppola .... sound re-recording mixer: temp
Mick Davies .... sound utility
Marc Fishman .... sound re-recording mixer
Randy Kelley .... sound effects editor
David Kudell .... assistant sound editor
Tony Lamberti .... sound re-recording mixer
Paul Longstaffe .... dialogue editor
Anna MacKenzie .... supervising sound editor
Michael McNerney .... foley mixer
Carey Milbradt .... foley mixer
Chris Navarro .... adr recordist
Todd Niesen .... sound effects editor
Drew Ponder .... cable person
George E. Simpson Jr. .... cableperson
Unsun Song .... sound recordist
Paul P. Soucek .... sound editor
Peter Staubli .... sound effects editor
Greg Steele .... adr mixer
Karen Vassar Triest .... foley editor (as Karen Vassar)
John Soukup .... sound transfer (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Lisa Reynolds .... special effects assistant
Bob Shelley .... special effects
Visual Effects by
Cosmas Paul Bolger Jr. .... visual effects producer
Cosmas Paul Bolger Jr. .... visual effects supervisor
Heather Ignarro .... visual effects coordinator
Tommy Tran .... digital effects artist
Toby Wilkins .... Inferno artist
Gavin Buhr .... stunts
Charles Croughwell .... stunt coordinator (as Charlie Croughwell)
Dan Shea .... stunt double
Keith Shindoll .... stunt double: Willem Dafoe
Camera and Electrical Department
Ken Bazal .... second assistant camera: "a" camera
Kyle Boorman .... electrician
Bobby Brown .... first assistant camera: "b" camera
Jarrett Buba .... additional electrician
Daniel Casey .... assistant camera
Jorgen Christenen .... set lighting
Steve Cohagan .... rigging gaffer: Pittsburgh
Stephen Crowley .... best boy electric
Jeff W. Curtis .... dolly grip: "b" camera
Jeff W. Curtis .... grip
Eric Dilucente .... electrician
David Ellis .... rigging electrician
John Evans .... electrician
Donny Fowler .... electrician
Randall Freeman .... grip
Jos'h Hancher .... film loader
Darryl Humber .... dolly grip: Atlanta/Pittsburgh
Scott Salvatore Ippolito .... second assistant camera (as Scott Ippolito)
Chris Lugar .... rigging electrician
Marc Margulies .... first assistant camera: "a" camera
Jack McCollum .... electrician
David McLean .... electrician
Mark Emery Moore .... Steadicam operator
Greg Morse .... 24 frame video
Jean-Pierre Nutini .... best boy
Dick Oakes .... gaffer
Jesse Wayne Parker .... key grip
Tom Pellegrini .... electrician
Bryan Powell .... camera intern
Mike Repeta .... first assistant camera: "b" camera
Bruce Robinson .... second assistant camera: "b" camera
Jacob Ross .... grip
Monty Rowan .... camera operator
Monty Rowan .... director of photography: second unit
Ted Sapp .... best boy grip
Chad Schroeder .... electrician
Art Schultz .... set lighting technician
Lorey Sebastian .... still photographer
Jared Seltzer .... camera production assistant
Nick Tallo .... grip
Ted Wiegand .... electrician
Casting Department
Nicole Abellera .... casting assistant
Janelle Cochrane .... casting associate: Atlanta
Kim Coleman .... casting associate
Shirley Fulton Crumley .... location casting
Patrick Ingram .... extras casting assistant
Lori Maloney .... extras casting: Atlanta
Caitlin McKenna-Wilkinson .... adr voice casting
Nancy Mosser .... extras casting director
Nancy Mosser .... location casting
Karen Faith Rothwell .... casting assistant
Marty Cherrix .... extras casting: Noth Caroline (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Daniel George .... set costumer
Nan McCulloch .... set costumer
Stephen K. Randolph .... costumer: Mr. Redford
Linda N. Robinson .... costume dyer
Stephanie Siemens .... costume supervisor
Sanford Slepak .... costume shopper
Sanford Slepak .... costumer
Editorial Department
David Berman .... apprentice editor
Charles Bunn .... assistant editor
Gary Burritt .... negative cutter
Carlos M. Castillón .... apprentice editor
Michael Hatzer .... color timer
Richard B. Molina .... assistant editor: avid
Jami Philbrick .... post-production assistant
Alexis Seymour .... first assistant editor
Lonnie A. Mathes .... post-production assistant (uncredited)
Music Department
Rupert Coulson .... music engineer
David Donaldson .... music programmer
Matt Dunkley .... conductor
Matt Dunkley .... orchestrator
Geoff Foster .... score recordist
Christine H. Luethje .... music editor
Nick Mera .... music preparation
Roy Prendergast .... music editor
Julia Michels .... executive in charge of music (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Janet Perrotti .... driver
Cindi Randall .... transportation captain
Pamela C. Ray .... driver
Patricia Sammons .... driver
Marc Scott .... transportation coordinator
Windi Robinson .... driver: cast trailer (uncredited)
Other crew
Jessica Abrams .... production coordinator: Pittsburgh
Gerard Averill .... supervising location manager
Gloria Winship Ayon .... head animal coordinator
Frawley Becker .... location manager
Cosmas Paul Bolger Jr. .... title designer: main titles
Rozzanna Bonesso .... production secretary: Pittsburgh
Casey Brown .... stand-in
Chris Burns .... stand-in
Steve Cainas .... production coordinator
Elizabeth Cline .... set production assistant
Bella Cosper .... stand-in
Michele Cusick .... production assistant
Nathan Earley .... set production assistant: Asheville
Joan Eisenberg .... unit publicist
Eric L. Fersten .... assistant: Ms. Weintraub
John Findley .... location scout (as John Findley III)
Jordan Brendan Finnegan .... set production assistant: preparation, Los Angeles
Emma Ford .... personal assistant
Benjamin Fretheim .... production assistant
Larry Geyer .... set production assistant: Pittsburgh
Chris Hinton .... production assistant
Lance Holland .... location manager: Asheville
Stephen Hough .... assistant location manager
Donna Kail .... assistant: Mr. Redford
Alisa Katz .... assistant: Mr. Brugge
Stephanie Lewis .... assistant: Mr. Smith and Mr. West
Shane Meador .... production assistant
Kari Mills .... production assistant
Brian Niemczyk .... set production assistant
Rosemary Orlando .... assistant production coordinator
Mike Riley .... co-location manager
Janna Stern .... script supervisor
Marsha L. Swinton .... production accountant
Birdie Talanca .... first assistant accountant
Susan Van Apeldoorn .... craft service
Trish Vengoechea .... payroll accountant
Teresa M. Yarbrough .... production coordinator
Craig T. Brown .... production assistant (uncredited)
Doug Mackenzie .... location scout (uncredited)
James A. Mahathey .... location manager (uncredited)
Hope Anne Nathan .... production assistant (uncredited)
Jeroen Krabbé .... special thanks
Michael Mann .... special thanks
Alan J. Pakula .... dedicatee
Hannah Pakula .... special thanks
Billy Weber .... special thanks
Bryce Guy Williams .... special thanks
Edward Zwick .... special thanks (as Ed Zwick)

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
95 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

First film featuring Robert Redford to be screened at the Sundance Film Festival.See more »
Continuity: When Wayne is telling the story in the forest about his father dying the sticking plaster (put on from an earlier fall) is not there. A few scenes letter the sticking plaster is back on his eyebrow.See more »
[last lines]
Wayne Hayes:Do you love me?
Eileen Hayes:Yes.
Wayne Hayes:Then I have everything I need.
See more »
Movie Connections:
The TroutSee more »


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47 out of 57 people found the following review useful.
A great character driven caper, 29 June 2004
Author: Greg ( from Oakville, Ontario

Robert Redford is an icon. From the same DNA strand as Paul Newman and Clint Eastwood, younger viewers might not be as versed as to their contributions over the past fifty years of film. In fact, when I asked a just 20-something person at the office about Mr. Redford, I got films like The Last Castle, Spy Games and The Horse Whisperer as their reference to the name. No Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. No The Candidate, and I won't even begin to explain the bewildered expression I received when I mentioned All The President's Men.

Based on this ignorance (the word sounds a lot stronger than it is intended), I don't expect to see the character driven The Clearing burning up the box office figures when it is released amongst a host of summer blockbusters. With it's three main stars being in their 40's, 50's and 60's, I expect that younger audiences might prefer some strange movie about a radioactive spider bitten school boy that opens the same week-end.

The Clearing is a story about a successful businessman, Wayne (Redford), who is kidnapped by down on his luck Arnold Mack (Willem Dafoe) and held for a ransom of $10 million in a secluded forest. Motive being solely money and a second chance at life, Arnold toys with Wayne's wife Eileen (Helen Mirren) and the F.B.I. sending them clues and cryptic instructions in efforts to secure his bounty. Like most kidnapping films, the movie can only end one of two ways really, and don't expect that to be revealed here.

The Clearing is not the first kidnapping movie and will be far from the last. Sometimes it is done well (Man on Fire), sometimes bad (Proof of Life) and most times, Hollywood and test audiences determine the ending or the amount of drama they will allow their leading cast to perform (Ransom).

That is why The Clearing was, well…refreshing. As a small, independent film, The Clearing doesn't have to answer to the harsh brass that sway their approach based on night vision goggles in darkened theaters. It can tell a story the way the filmmaker intended; raw, intense and without all the loose ends tied up like a front of the tree Christmas present.

Instead, director Pieter Jan Brugge can let his actors do what they do best and wow us with the way they work a camera and capture an audience using a look or a sneer. Pieter assembled the perfect cast for his directorial debut. Dafoe is subtle as the kidnapping brainchild, but he is also able to project a vulnerability that could have been awfully laughable in the hands of a lesser actor. Redford, coming off two paycheck roles in Spy Game and The Last Castle, is equally convincing as a man flawed in character and without excuses. When Wayne is confronted about his infidelity, he doesn't try to skirt the issue and there are no attempts to justify the action. Instead, his deep blue eyes are able to relay back to the audience that of a man who wishes things could have been different and who seems genuinely concerned about the hurt he may have caused others.

But maybe the best acting within the films running time is in the performance of Helen Mirren. Having to deal with the uncertainty of her husband, the confrontation with his mistress and an F.B.I. agent that tends to cause more harm than benefit, Mirren projects a woman of strength and stamina that is believable in her actions and in her approach to finding a fitting conclusion to the complex ordeal. Handling the situation with class and grace, yet frequently in panic over the possibilities, Mirren gives what is undoubtedly her strongest on screen performance in the past 10 years.

It was a bit of a surprise in 2004 when The Clearing appeared at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. Not that it isn't the type of film that these festivals build their foundations upon, but the fact that this was the first starring vehicle for Redford to be shown at the festival to which he created. Looking at his last 10 or so role choices, a better selection could not have been made.

So for any of you younger folk that might find themselves to the end of this review, do yourself a favor and start to amass a viewing catalog that will include Redford, Newman and Eastwood while we still have time to enjoy their continued efforts. These great men might never be equaled. Heck, you don't expect one day to see an Adam Sandler Salad Dressing do you?

Was the above review useful to you?
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