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In the Line of Fire

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

Year: 1993 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  

The plot of In The Line Of Fire, although easy to explain, is taken by the director and woven into a taut, fast-paced and believable political thriller.

Clint Eastwood plays Frank Harrigan, a secret service agent who failed to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy. He is given a chance to redeem himself as a would-be assassin threatens the present president, while taunting Harrigan over his past failures.

The film works well because of the strong convincing character of Harrigan. As a "borderline burnout with questionable social skills" he is a likeable, flawed hero. One of the strengths of the film is it doesn't try to hide Eastwood's age (he was 63 during filming). Harrigan puffs along as younger FBI agents dash around youthfully.

In fact, Eastwood is almost overshadowed by the brilliant performance of John Malkovich (Dangerous Liasons, The Killing Fields) as potential assassin James McCrawley. This is not some standard movie psycho, but an intelligent, scheming individual who knows exactly what he is doing, and exactly how to torment Harrigan as he does it. The mental and physical battle between these two characters sustains the tension and action right through the film.

The supporting cast are also impressive, especiall Russo as Raines, the thoroughly modern agent who provides a sympathetic sidekick and love interest.

In summary, this enjoyable thriller is well worth a look, and is guaranteed to entertain.

Neil Richardson.

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Screenings of this film:

1993/1994 Spring Term (35mm)
1993/1994 Spring Term (35mm)
1993/1994 Spring Term (35mm)
1993/1994 Spring Term (35mm)
1994/1995 Spring Term (35mm)
1994/1995 Spring Term (35mm)