IMDb > The Clearing (2004)
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 5% 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:
20 August 2004 (Spain) 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 »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Well Acted, Well Crafted and Yet a Little Disappointing. 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?

Went straight-to-video in the UK.See more »
Factual errors: When Eileen returns home from the FBI and checks the mail, two identical looking business letters are visible that both have "Pittsburgh, PA" spelled without h in the recipient address. On the first letter the same mistake can also be seen in the sender address.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:
Happy Birthday to YouSee more »


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50 out of 56 people found the following review useful.
Well Acted, Well Crafted and Yet a Little Disappointing., 2 April 2005
Author: Michael Margetis ( from United States

A great deal of viewers will pan The Clearing for being too "not down to the point", an intelligent suspense thriller about a wealthy man (Redford) kidnapped by an angry ex-employee (Dafoe) and held for ransom until the rich business owner's wife (Mirren) pays the price. Although The Clearing is creatively put together, I just doesn't get right down to the point. What you expect it to be is a kidnapping thriller but it turns into mostly a big discussion between Redford's character and Dafoe's character. Not that that is an insult to the film, their discussions are very carefully and skillfully written, it is just that we are expecting this movie to go places, it doesn't go.

The other half of the film consists of Mirren's character dealing with the F.B.I. and the kidnapper to get back her beloved husband. Her part of the film also consists of her chats with her two grown –up children (played by Laurel Canyon's Alessandro Nivola and Soul Survivor's Melissa Sagemiller) who are visiting from out of town to comfort their mother in her time of need. The scenes of dialogue between Mirren and her son are very engrossing due mostly to the fact that Nivola is a great actor. However, the scenes of dialogue between Mirren and her daughter are perhaps the most tedious parts of the film, due mainly to the fact that Sagemiller is not a good actress, and unfortunately we get to see more of the scenes between Mirren and her daughter, then scenes with Mirren and her son. The most intriguing of Mirren's interactions of the film, is that of her and the F.B.I. agent in charge of getting back her husband, played by Matt Craven in one of his very best roles. In a whole, The Clearing is a film about interactions rather than actions.

The most rewarding element of Pierre Jan Brugge's The Clearing, is perhaps the acting. All three leads are pitch perfect in their roles, with talent to spare. Robert Redford gives us another great performance that was long awaited. Willem Dafoe is priceless and the meticulous and spooky kidnapper. I think Dafoe's role is the most interesting out of the bunch, but maybe unintentionally. In the hostage scenes with Dafoe and Redford, you're supposed to pay close attention to Redford's stories, but Dafoe's reactions to the stories turn out to be way more interesting. I think the best performance in The Clearing (which may be honored with an Oscar or at least Golden Globe nomination) is Helen Mirren as the intensely worried housewife of Robert Redford. She reels you into to feeling her emotions about this horrible and stressful situation. It takes real talent for an actress to do it, but it takes even more talent for an actress to do this without opening her mouth. That is what Helen Mirren achieves in this film, among many others she's been featured in over the years.

The ending of The Clearing is very disappointing. Although, it's realistic and not hokey, it leaves a lot of questions unanswered. In the last fifteen minutes of the movie they lead you down the garden path into believing everything will be made clear at the end, and don't go through with it. The ending of the film will sit with you better a day after you've seen the picture then it will two seconds after the credits start rolling. You'll realize this was a smart unexpected way to end it, and that it was okay to not add everything up, because in real life not everything always adds up. I think the people who would be most disappointed in The Clearing, are those who watch a lot of television during the week. The reason being is that on television everything is neatly put together in a package and there are no loose ends in the final moments, but on film that doesn't always happen. I think film scholars would appreciate The Clearing substantially more than then the general public.

In closing, this is a good, not great, but good film from first time filmmaker Pierre Jan Brugee. Brugee does a sensational job for his first picture, and presents himself like he's been doing film-making all his life. He is a very bold filmmaker, with a lot of confidence that I'd like to see more of in the not-to-distant future. (review written 8/16/04) Grade: B (screened at AMC Deer Valley 30, Phoenix, Arizona)

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Opening shot vegas_jay
What's Dafoe's motivation? Jonathan Dore
Based on a TRUE Story... (Spoilers) should have been mentioned sartor023
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Why I cried at the end of this movie. (spoiler) pablocerocuatro
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