5.8/10
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The Clearing (2004)

Trailer
2:30 | Trailer
As an executive is held captive by a former employee, it's up to his wife to deliver the ransom.

Director:

Pieter Jan Brugge

Writers:

Pieter Jan Brugge (story), Justin Haythe (story) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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
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Storyline

After decades of happy marriage and a life surrounded by luxury and wealth, Wayne Hayes (Robert Redford), a successful car-rental businessman and his loving wife Eileen (Dame Helen Mirren), are looking forward to a tranquil and comfortable retirement. However, the dreams of a peaceful life comes crumbling down like a pack of cards, when at gunpoint, Arnold Mack (Willem Dafoe), a disgruntled former employee, abducts Wayne in broad daylight right in front of his mansion in Pittsburgh. Suddenly, the life of the accomplished entrepreneur and seasoned negotiator rests entirely in the hands of his nervous, yet ruthless kidnapper, who has nothing to lose and everything to gain. This is Wayne's most important negotiation in his life, nevertheless, has he the strength to succeed? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

One Kidnapping... Three Victims. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Fox Searchlight

Country:

Germany | USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 July 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Clearing See more »

Filming Locations:

North Carolina, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$472,781, 4 July 2004

Gross USA:

$5,763,875

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,520,799
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Matt Craven (Agent Ray Fuller) and Diana Scarwid (Eva Finch) appeared in From the Earth to the Moon (1998). See more »

Goofs

When Wayne Hayes is approaching the top of the hill and it begins to rain, his right shoulder appears slightly transparent. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Crazy Credits

For ALAN J. PAKULA See more »


Soundtracks

The Trout
Written by Franz Schubert
Performed by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Courtesy of The Extreme Music Library plc
See more »

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User Reviews

Kidnapping as Cross-Class Conflict
15 July 2004 | by noraleeSee all my reviews

"The Clearing" is a taut, suspenseful kidnapping story.

But the tension is primarily ratcheted up not by action, but what we learn what stuff each of the characters is made of, particularly as to how superbly Helen Mirren and Willem Dafoe surround Robert Redford.

Ironically, Mirren's husband Taylor Hackford directed a more muddled take on a very similar story line in "Proof of Life," which couldn't decide if it was an action movie or a drama. Here first-time writer Justin Haythe and director Pieter Jan Brugge are more focused, even while playing a few tricks on the viewer with time-shifting "Rashomon" rewinds, though there are a couple of questionable holes in the story as it takes surprising directions.

It's a relief to finally see Redford in a role fitting his age, with an age-appropriate spouse and adult children, including Alessandro Nivola not playing his usual sensual snake. It's nice to see Mirren get to play an attractive, rich matron who can carry off nice clothes and hair styles as she usually hides herself in her roles.


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