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In the Line of Fire

"In the Line of Fire, Special Edition" on DVD

Eastwood Meets Petersen

Clint Eastwood is Frank Horrigan, a tired veteran Secret Service Agent chasing demons from his past in Wolfgang Petersen's taut thriller.

Eastwood was on duty in Dallas on November 22, 1963 when Lee Harvey Oswald shot JFK, and the experience has haunted him ever since.

Then he gets a call from someone calling himself Booth, as in John Wilkes, who says he's going to kill the current president, an incumbent currently trying to make up a deficit in the polls only a few weeks before election.

This is Frank's chance to redeem himself, clear any stains on his record and his reputation, and exorcise his ghosts. Unfortunately, the would-be assassin (John Malkovich) is intent on making it a frustrating time for Horrigan as he taunts him over the phone, leaving him tantalizing tips - and crawling unwanted into Horrigan's most inner self.

Frank's frustrations extend far beyond those of the assassin, however. There are some ruffled feathers - and suits - in the Secret Service who want him nowhere around, and they not only make his life miserable, they get in his way as he tries to track down the killer before he can unholster his gun.

Then there's Lilly (Rene Russo), an attractive agent who proves to be as much of a distraction for Horrigan as he does for her.

This is a pretty superficial look at the plot, but we don't want to give it away for those who haven't yet seen the movie.

What you end up with here is a finely crafted, well told and acted thriller that keeps you going even though there are times when you figure you know exactly what's going on - and, as it turns out, you may or you may not.

Eastwood turns in an excellent performance as Horrigan, a proud man but one with real human feelings and responses. Malkovich is typically evil and loopy, and the rest of the supporting cast all turn in journeyman performances. It's a thriller in the grand tradition, done with style.

The Special Edition DVD is offered in digitally mastered anamorphic widescreen video (16x9 TV compatible) and the audio is in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround. Video and audio quality are superb; the picture's so clean you can almost make out the actors' makeup.

Extras include director's running commentary, deleted scenes, "the Ultimate Sacrifice: In the Line of Fire, and a behind the scenes with the Secret Service featurette. There's also a featurette from the series "How'd They Do that," another feature on "Catching the Counterfeiters," as well as the usual TV spots, trailers, talent files, production notes, etc.

In the Line of Fire, from Columbia Tristar Home Video
127 minutes, Widescreen (2.35:1)16x9 TV compatible, Dolby Digital 5.1
Starring Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich, Rene Russo
Produced by Jeff Apple
Written by Jeff Maguire, Directed by Wolfgang Petersen.


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Updated May 13, 2006