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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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Up 54% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Pieter Jan Brugge (story) and
Justin Haythe (story) ...
View company contact information for The Clearing on IMDbPro.
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:
Do you love me? See more (141 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)
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?

Based on a true story of a kidnapping that occurred in The Netherlands.See more »
Audio/visual unsynchronized: When both men are climbing through the woods, Wayne pauses to rest, and Arnold cocks his handgun and discharges it, aiming for, and hitting the trunk of a nearby tree, to show that he means business. The sound overdubbed is the distinctive sound of a hammer being locked into position, consistent with a revolver, but the handgun Arnold is holding is actually small automatic. The sound effect should be that of a 'rack and slide'.See more »
Eileen Hayes:You know, I never talked to him about it. I never ask him why. I just told him to get rid of her, and we got on with our life. I didn't want to know. I love him, and she admires him.See more »
The TroutSee more »


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27 out of 38 people found the following review useful.
Do you love me?, 31 March 2005
Author: Andy (film-critic) from Bookseller of the Blue Ridge

This was, hands down, the biggest surprise of a film that I have encountered in a very long time. I had to watch this film twice to fully understand and appreciate the value placed behind it. The Clearing was one of those films that didn't do well at the box-office, so people didn't bother seeing it when it was released on video. I must admit, I was one of them. I thought Redford and Dafoe doing another classic kidnapping film would be just another canister in the Hollywood recycling bin, but I was wrong … actually, I was dead wrong. This film brought more than just a kidnapping caper to the table, it brought some family drama, the unbreakable bond between husband and wife, and the idea of the American Dream as told by two ends of the spectrum. I can see why this film didn't do well with the brainwashed by action/adventure crowd, because there actually needed to be some thinking involved to truly appreciate this captivating film.

To begin, this is not a linear story. I loved this. It kept me guessing throughout the entire film as to what was happening to Redford's character while the drama at home continued to build. Here we have the events happening to Redford going on in real time and how the pressures of the immediate threat are being handled, but then you have the family struggle, which is taking place over several days to show how easily something like this can devastate and ravish a family. This also allowed us to become more emotionally attached to Redford's family as well as to Redford himself. Strangely, I found myself equally attached to Willem Dafoe's character due to my experience living in the middle of the income line. There seemed to be some honesty and truth in the banter between Redford and Dafoe that I honestly never saw coming. Here we had two humans out in nature discussing life and death as if this was their final moments on the planet. We had front row seats with the ability to hear how these two grown men handled the stress of their day to day activities, and how we could somehow relate.

This was a film about relating, about understanding the pressures that these individual people were experiencing. Redford was perfect, as this tired father who lusts for life, but just doesn't quite show it until the final moments are settling in. Dafoe should have won an Oscar for his role in this film as a very humble kidnapper who takes pride in what he is doing as well as does it with the highest amount of kindness in his heart. He does it for his wife. This brings a smile on my face to say, but this is a film about wives. Each of these men are going through life to ensure that their wife stays happy and in love with them. Dafoe thinks it can happen by having enough money so his wife will not work, Redford sees it too late and reminds his wife of a happy time in their marriage. It is sad, from one married man to another it is a very personal and touching story about the woman that is your soul mate. Then, as if director Pieter Jan Brugge, didn't stab our hearts enough, he gives us this expanded look at Redford's family and the inner struggles they are facing with not knowing if their father is alive.

What is so interesting about this is that before this event took place, there was not much of a family dynamic going on in Redford's house. They were stale, and strangely this horrific event brought them closer together than imagined. We get to see the unparalleled emotion behind Helen Mirren that I have not seen in a very long time. If she would not have done this film than Charlotte Rampling would have equally been as good … in fact, I kept thinking of her in this role and how skilled she would have been. Don't get me wrong, Mirren was perfect, but Rampling would have been perfection.

Add to this mix some beautiful cinematography that adds to both the tension and beauty of the story. Some of the scenes with Dafoe and Redford in the woods were so crisp and bold that I thought I was right there in the woods with them. The way that Pieter Jan Brugge doesn't keep the camera directly on our actors just builds more tension and more excitement along the way. I thought this was a brilliant film that should have received more attention than what was given to it. I realize that some will find it slow and methodical, but I found it this stunning portrait of the American family and American dream bundled up in the strangest of forms, a kidnapping film. There was definitely some creativity at work here, and the final product shows us that!

Grade: ***** out of *****

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