In the Line of Fire-Special Edition

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Best movie of 1993 - Don't miss it

by rkk on 12/23/2004

One of the best thrillers of all time, this is probably Clint Eastwood's best movie. There is an understated yet palpable air of menace from start to finish. John Malkovich does a superb job of creating one of the most unforgettable villians of all time, despite not having that much screen time. Needless to say the acting and directing are first rate, throughout. This movie is an object lesson on how thrillers should be made (hint - you don't need loud explosions and car chases). If you are a Clint Eastwood fan then you should have this in your collection. A gripping movie. Don't miss it! Read More

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Product Overview

A veteran secret sevice agent haunted by his failure to protect john F. Kennedy from assassination gets a chance to redeem himself thirty years later, when a brilliant psychopath threatens to kill the current president.


Studio Sony
SKU 40147919
UPC 043396523173
UPC 14 00043396523173
Format DVD
Release Date 8/23/2005
Rating Rating
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note Aging secret service agent Frank Horrigan (Clint Eastwood), on duty the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, is still unable to forget his failure on that fateful day, even as he nears retirement in 1993. When Mitch Leary (John Malkovich), a psychotic man calling himself Booth, threatens to kill the current president, Horrigan is the only one who takes the threat seriously. Over time, a cat-and-mouse game develops between the potential assassin and the agent; Horrigan sees the game as a chance to redeem his earlier failure and escape a life that has fallen into alcoholism and self-pity. With his only allies his partner (Dylan McDermott), who realizes he can't handle being a secret service agent and wants to resign, and a female agent (Rene Russo) whom he alternately annoys and attracts, Horrigan takes on Leary one-on-one in a fight to save the president, his job, and his self-respect. Directed with panache and precision by Wolfgang Petersen, IN THE LINE OF FIRE is an expertly crafted thriller that features spectacular performances by Eastwood and Malkovich.
Memorable Quotes
Quote "What's kept you in the game all these years?"--Mitch Leary (John Malkovich) to Frank Horrigan (Clint Eastwood)|"Why don't we get together and have a drink? We could talk about that."--Horrigan|"Oh, I'd love to, but I think the less you know about me the better."--Leary|"Oh, why?"--Horrigan|"Because I'm planning to kill the president."--Leary|"Oh, now you shouldn't have gone and said that. It's a federal offense to threaten the president. You could go to jail, even if you don't mean it."--Horrigan|"I mean it all right."--Leary
Quote "What makes you think he'll call again?"--Lilly Raines (Rene Russo)|"Oh, he'll call again. He's got, uh, panache."--Horrigan |"Panache?"--Raines|"Yeah, it means flamboyance."--Horrigan|"Mm, I know what it means."--Raines|"Really? I had to look it up."--Horrigan
Quote "Do you make an effort to be obnoxious, or is it a gift?"--Raines|"It's a gift."--Horrigan
Quote "There's no cause left worth fighting for, Frank. All we have is the game. I'm on offense, you're on defense."--Leary to Horrigan
New York Times "...Movie making of the high, smooth commercial order that Hollywood prides itself on but achieves with singular infrequency....[Eastwood lends] tone and class..." 07/09/1993 p.C1
Rolling Stone "...Terrifically exciting..." 08/05/1993 p.71-2
Variety "...A proficiently made thriller....Eastwood splendidly gives Horrigan humor, grit and imagination..." 07/19/1993
Entertainment Weekly "Anyone on the hunt for surefire movie concepts need look no further than IN THE LINE OF FIRE....Engrossing..." 07/16/1993 p.38-9
Sight and Sound "...Clint Eastwood excels here as a Secret Service agent with an Achilles' heel....The rest of the cast is equally impressive..." 05/01/2002 p.61
Premiere "It's Malkovich, as an assassin tormenting Eastwood's aging Secret Service agent, who gives this movie its pulse." 09/01/2005 p.130-131
Empire "Clint Eastwood followed his Oscar triumph UNFORGIVEN with a tough turn as a veteran secret service man....Riveting..." 09/01/2008 p.150
Wolfgang Petersen
John Malkovich
Clint Eastwood
Cast & Crew
Clint Eastwood - Actor
Dylan McDermott - Actor
John Malkovich - Actor
Rene Russo - Actor
Wolfgang Petersen - Director
John Bailey - Director of Photography
Anne V. Coates - Editor
Ennio Morricone - Musical Score
Bob Rosenthal, et al. - Producer
Jeff Maguire - Screenplay
Technical Info
Original Release Date 1993
Catalog ID 52317
UPC 00043396523173
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 127 minutes
Color Color
Original Language English
Available Subtitles English, French, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai, Chinese
Available Audio Tracks English, French Dubbed, Spanish Dubbed
Aspect Ratio
Anamorphic Widescreen  2.35:1
Oscar (1994) Anne V. Coates, Nominee, Best Film Editing,John Malkovich, Nominee, Best Supporting Actor,Jeff Maguire, Nominee, Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly For The Screen,John Malkovich, Nominee, Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Golden Globe (1994) John Malkovich, Nominee, Best Performance By An Actor In A Supporting Role In A Motion Picture
MTV Award (1994) John Malkovich, Nominee, Best Villain
British Academy Awards (1994) Anne V. Coates, Nominee, Best Editing,Jeff Maguire, Nominee, Best Screenplay - Original,John Malkovich, Nominee, Best Actor in a Supporting Role
ReviewSource Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide
Review Crackling, well-made thriller about a would-be presidential assassin who pulls Secret Service agent Eastwood--who failed to protect President Kennedy in1963--into a cruel game of cat-and-mouse as he plans to murder the current president. Eastwood, as an older, vulnerable, piano-playing loner, has never been better, and Malkovich matches him as the superintelligent loony.
Reviewer Leonard Maltin
ReviewRating 8
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review Thrillers are as good as their villains, and "In the Line of Fire" has a great one - a clever, slimy creep who insidiously burrows his way into the psyche of the hero, a veteran Secret Service agent named Horrigan (Clint Eastwood). The creep, who likes to play mind games with his opponents, makes a series of phone calls threatening to assassinate the president. He chooses Horrigan because he knows the agent still feels guilty about failing to save the life of John F. Kennedy 30 years ago...In its broad outlines, "In the Line of Fire" has a story similar to many of Eastwood's Dirty Harry movies, in which a psycho killer plays games with the cop, who is ordered off the case and then continues as a free-lance, helped by a loyal partner. The movie even supplies a typical Eastwood sidekick, a woman agent played by Rene Russo, who is tough and capable, and able to fall in love...Eastwood is perfect for the role, as a man of long experience and deep feelings. He is set off by an inspired performance by Malkovich, who is quiet and methodical and very clever, and devises a sneaky plan to work his way close to the president with an ingenious murder weapon. The movie's climax is exciting not only because of its action, but also because of its flawless logic...Most thrillers these days are about stunts and action. "In the Line of Fire" has a mind.
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 9
ReviewSource ReelViews
Review Director Wolfgang Petersen, best known for Das Boot, but also at the helm for the taut, twisted Shattered, is aware of what's necessary to make a good thriller work. He knows the importance of pacing, and plays the tension in In the Line of Fire like a virtuoso. Petersen takes what could have been a muddled motion picture and structures it perfectly, creating a strong piece of entertainment...Plot-wise, In the Line of Fire is nothing extraordinary. It's basically a formula-type thriller with one or two twists thrown in to keep the viewer off-balance. However, strength of character, coupled with a consistently-high level of excitement, makes this film anything but ordinary. The most intriguing element of In the Line of Fire is the cat-and-mouse game between Horrigan and Leary. The relationship of these two is fascinating in a twisted way, as it explores psychological layers which many motion pictures find too difficult to convey realistically...Overall, this is one of the most intelligent thrillers of the summer. In the Line of Fire doesn't require the special effects bonanza of Jurassic Park to involve the audience, nor does it rely on the mega-budget explosions and mountaintop battles of Cliffhanger. So, for a couple of hours of entertainment, In the Line of Fire is one of those rare "big" movies that doesn't disappoint.
Reviewer James Berardinelli
ReviewRating 8
DVD, Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 2.35:1, Dolby Digital (5.1), Dolby Surround Sound, Used
Product Attributes
Actor Eastwood,Clint
Label Columbia/tri-Star
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
Joanna Langfield, The Movie Minute Eye-popping and heart-pounding, maybe one of the best thrillers ever!
Roy Leonard, WGN-TV of the finest thrillers you'll ever see.
Joel Siegel, ABC-TV Movies don't get more exciting than this! Don't miss it!
Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide Crackling, well-made thriller...Eastwood, as an older, vulnerable, piano-playing loner, has never been better...
Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle ...a terrific action movie with good performances and a smart script...
TV Guide ...a finely tuned suspense thriller, though executives who have recently laid off trained killers may experience some discomfort.
Vincent Canby, The New York Times making of the high, smooth, commercial order that Hollywood prides itself on but achieves with singular infrequency.

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Best movie of 1993 - Don't miss it by rkk on Dec 23, 2004