The Clearing (2004) Poster



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Based on a true story of a kidnapping that occurred in The Netherlands.
During the fight scene in the woods, Willem Dafoe actually cracked a rib when Robert Redford's stunt double Dan Shea rammed into him, tackling him to the ground during the shooting.
First film featuring Robert Redford to be screened at the Sundance Film Festival.
One of the numbers listed at the top of the ransom note is 814-949-9207, the fax number for Lakemont Park in Altoona, Pennsylvania.
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Went straight-to-video in the UK.
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The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

True story, based on the kidnapping of Gerrit Jan Heijn, CEO of the Dutch Ahold Supermarket Holding. On September 9, 1987, Heijn was kidnapped and killed on the same day by Ferdi Elsas, an unemployed engineer. Elsas, however, demanded ransom money from the victim's family, thereby fueling their hope that Heijn was still alive for weeks. The family paid the ransom, but Elsas did not respond to any of their subsequent pleas to return the victim safely. Elsas was arrested about 7 months later when he was caught spending some of the ransom money; he admitted to the kidnapping and murder, and told the police where the body was buried. He was sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment. Released in 2001, he moved to a small town with his wife. On the 3rd of August, 2009, he was riding his bicycle and failed to give right of way to a digger, which ran him over, leading to his death on the same day.

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