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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 22% 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 »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
A meditation on loss and regret See more (144 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
Mike Sullivan .... scenic charge
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 .... adr voice casting (as Caitlin McKenna-Wilkinson)
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:
Rated R for brief strong language
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 »
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): 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 »
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 »
Movie Connections:
Happy Birthday to YouSee more »


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70 out of 86 people found the following review useful.
A meditation on loss and regret, 12 July 2004
Author: Howard Schumann from Vancouver, B.C.

Wayne and Eileen Hayes appear to be the ideal couple. They have a successful business, live in a wealthy Pittsburgh suburb, and have two well-adjusted grown children. But when Wayne is kidnapped at gunpoint and held for ransom by a former employee, cracks in their armor begin to show. Based on the kidnapping of a Dutch industrialist, Pieter Jan Brugge's The Clearing shows two different takes on the American dream.

Robert Redford plays Wayne, a self-made car-rental executive who has become emotionally estranged from his wife and children. Willem Dafoe plays Arnold Mack, an unemployed man who sees himself as a failure and is unable to handle the success of his one-time employer. The film tells parallel stories that operate in different time frames, a unique device that deepens the puzzle. One thread revolves around Wayne, handcuffed and held at gunpoint by Arnold, being led through an area near the Great Smoky Mountains. The other revolves around Eileen (Helen Mirren) and her interactions with FBI investigator Ray Fuller (Matt Craven) who has set up his unit as a control center inside the Hayes home while the couple's children look on.

Redford is outstanding as the intense business tycoon, and Mirren gives one of her best performances, portraying a tightly controlled suburbanite wife who refuses to panic even when her husband misses a dinner party she told him to be on time for. She keeps going even when it is obvious that something has gone wrong -- swimming in her pool, holding a birthday party for her grandchild, and waiting before calling the police because she thinks that her husband may have left her. Eileen discovers through the FBI search of phone records that her husband has continued seeing another woman, a relationship he'd told her was broken off. She visits Wayne's mistress (Wendy Crewson), and retains her composure, showing emotion only in the way that she purses her lips. Always self-assured, she wants to know only where their trysts had taken place and what gifts he had brought her.

As Wayne and his abductor walk through the forest, they engage in conversations about their lives and about opportunity in America. Wayne says that he made himself what he is today, and that Arnold had the same opportunity but failed. Both play a cat-and-mouse game, but treat each other with grudging respect, and it is clear that they've both paid a price. Wayne admits that his he has lost the love of his wife because of his overindulgence in his work, and the lack of attention he paid to his children. He tells Arnold, "I love my wife... we have two beautiful kids, and I'm just getting to know them."

The Clearing is a quiet, thoughtful film that slowly builds suspense that is not released until the very end. Although there are some contrivances in the plot, the acting is superb throughout and the film works as a psychological thriller, a meditation on loss and regret, and a character study of two flawed but loving people who have forgotten how to express their joy in living.

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This film is criminally underrated... Macca_UK_2000
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