Secret Service agent Frank Horrigan (Clint Eastwood) couldn't save Kennedy, but he's determined not to let a clever assassin take out this president.

Director:

Wolfgang Petersen

Writer:

Jeff Maguire
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1,811 ( 55)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Clint Eastwood ... Frank Horrigan
John Malkovich ... Mitch Leary
Rene Russo ... Lilly Raines
Dylan McDermott ... Al D'Andrea
Gary Cole ... Bill Watts
Fred Thompson ... Harry Sargent (as Fred Dalton Thompson)
John Mahoney ... Sam Campagna
Gregory Alan Williams ... Matt Wilder (as Greg Alan-Williams)
Jim Curley ... President
Sally Hughes ... First Lady
Clyde Kusatsu ... Jack Okura
Steve Hytner ... Tony Carducci
Tobin Bell ... Mendoza
Bob Schott ... Jimmy Hendrickson
Juan A. Riojas Juan A. Riojas ... Raul
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Storyline

Frank Horrigan (Clint Eastwood) is a Secret Service Agent who keeps thinking back to November 22, 1963, when, as a hand-picked Agent by President John F. Kennedy, he became one of the few Agents to have lost a President to an assassin when Kennedy died. Now, former C.I.A. assassin Mitch Leary (John Malkovich) is stalking the current President (Jim Curley), who is running for re-election. Mitch has spent long hours studying Horrigan, and he taunts Horrigan, telling him of his plans to kill the President. Leary plans to kill the President because Leary feels betrayed by the government. Leary was removed from the C.I.A., and the C.I.A. is now trying to have him killed. After talking to Leary, Horrigan makes sure he is assigned to Presidential protection duty, working with fellow Secret Service Agent Lilly Raines (Rene Russo). Horrigan has no intention of failing his President this time around, and he's more than willing to take a bullet. White House Chief of Staff Harry Sargent (Fred ... Written by Todd Baldridge

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

An assassin on the loose. A president in danger. Only one man stands between them...


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert De Niro was the first choice for the role of Mitch Leary, but he turned it down due to scheduling conflicts with A Bronx Tale (1993). Robert Duvall and Jack Nicholson were also considered before John Malkovich was cast. See more »

Goofs

When Horrigan breaks into Leary's house, he punches the window glass and some of the glass falls inside the house. When he climbs through the window, there is no glass on the floor. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Al D'Andrea: [running late while driving in his car] Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Oh, Frank, thank God. Thank God. I'm dead. I'm dead. I'm dead. I'm dead.
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Alternate Versions

An extension of the scene where Frank and Lilly are in the bar. He tells her that he once protected Fidel Castro. See more »

Connections

Featured in In the Line of Fire: Catching the Counterfeiters (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

As Time Goes By
Written by Herman Hupfeld
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User Reviews

 
Satisfactory Condition
28 April 2002 | by rmax304823See all my reviews

This is another of Eastwood's many movies mixing intrigue, action, and a dollop of romance, along with "The Gauntlet," "Firefox," and so forth. Clint's acting range by now is pretty familiar. In this one, he's taciturn and a bit outrageous, especially with women and superiors. There are no surprises in his performance. But the film itself is something of a surprise; it's above average.

Clint is Frank, a Secret Service agent who, perhaps in a moment of doubt, failed to catch the bullet that killed JFK. He then took to drink, which drove his family away, and now plods along in the bureaucracy until he is contacted by John Malkovitch, calling himself "Booth," who strikes up a sort of skewed relationship with him based on their shared, disillusioned conviction that everything is meaningless except the impulse to escape dreariness and predictability. Now, this is rather an anfractuous set of attitudes for a performer like Clint to project, but he does rather well, less robotic than usual. And he does seem to carry around with him, like a burden of stone, the memory of that moment in Dallas.

He's tested again halfway through this movie. He is hanging from the roof of a tall building, grasping Booth's hand, and he pulls his pistol and points it at Booth, who asks him if he is really willing to shoot. If he does, of course, he saves the president from an attempted assassination by a CIA-trained murderer, but he does so at the cost of his own life. Booth twits him about the situation as they hold hands in midair.

Later Clint even has a short speech, talking to Renee Russo, about his failure to save the president in Dallas. "If I'd have reacted quickly enough, I could have taken that shot . . . and that would have been alright with me." It's underplayed, but his voice chokes slightly, his eyes water, and his lip trembles. It's one of the few scenes in any of Clint's films that might properly be called "moving." We know from his newfound resolve that given another chance he would take the bullet this time. (The irony is that he doesn't like the current president. Who could? He gives pompous speeches in Colorado about how they "carved a nation out of the wilderness." Didn't they do the same thing in Las Vegas?)

It's often said that a movie is only as good as its villain. It isn't true, nothing is that simple, but an argument could be made for its truth value in this case. The reptilian John Malkovitch with his Tartar eyes is marvelous.

Talk about disillusioned. Okay, he can ham it up a little, sniffing with disdain even as he plugs two innocent hunters between the eyes, but he's fascinating on the screen. Renee Russo has little do to. Fred Thompson, as the chief White House aid, is now back in politics, a relief for movie-goers. If Clint's acting range is limited, Thompson's is something less. In every film he's been in, he wears the same solemn and dissatisfied expression, as if constantly plagued by some form of volcanic digestive disorder.

The direction by Wolfgang Peterson is as good as it was in "Das Boot," which is pretty good. There is a great deal of the usual suspenseful cross-cutting in the final shootout. And when Clint and Russo fall into an impassioned embrace in her hotel room and scuttle backwards towards the bed like two weasels in heat, Peterson playfully shows us their feet along with a succession of objects dropping to the floor -- not only the usual garments but handcuffs, guns, beepers, palm pilots, Dick Tracy wrist watches and other impedimenta. Interrupted, Clint lies back on the bed and sighs, "Now I have to put all that stuff back on again."

Well written and worth watching.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 July 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

In the Line of Fire See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,269,388, 11 July 1993

Gross USA:

$102,314,823

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$176,997,168
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints)| SDDS (8 channels) (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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