Frank Horrigan is a secret service agent who keeps thinking back to November 22, 1963, when, as a hand-picked agent by President Kennedy, he became one of the few agents to have lost a President to an assassin when Kennedy died. Now, former CIA assassin Mitch Leary is stalking the current President, 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 CIA, and the CIA 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. 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 refuses to alter the President's itinerary, while Horrigan's boss, Secret Service ...Written by
The movie makes connections to three of the four historical assassinations of American presidents. 1) Frank Horrigan was on the Secret Service detail of John F. Kennedy. 2) Mitch Leary called himself Booth, the assassin of Abraham Lincoln. 3) Mitch Leary tries to shoot the president with a gun concealed in a handkerchief, which was how Leon Czolgosz assassinated William McKinley. The fourth, James A. Garfield, was assassinated by Charles Julius Guiteau, July 2, 1881. See more »
The pay phone has the off-hook sound when Frank goes down to look for Leary after hearing the fire truck in the phone, but Leary and Frank should still be on a live line. See more »
[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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An extension of the scene where Frank and Lilly are in the bar. He tells her that he once protected Fidel Castro. See more »
Back when I was working person, I remember having a really obnoxious client to deal with who insisted on making everything on a personal basis. I was telling him things that my agency could do and could not do and he firmly believed I was personally out to do him out of what was rightfully his. I swear but I was thinking of this guy as I watched John Malkovich and Clint Eastwood in their battle of wits.
In The Line Of Fire casts Clint Eastwood as a veteran Secret Service Agent who was on the job in Dallas as a young man when John F. Kennedy was assassinated. He's had his doubts ever since and been given to drink and his life at one time was a real shambles. He's gotten back on the White House detail now and when a potential assassin's landlady rats on her tenant to the Secret Service, it's Eastwood and partner Dylan McDermott who draw the case.
But the assassin is no ordinary crank case. He's a professional at his job, trained by and used by the Central Intelligence Agency. John Malkovich earned a deserved Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He lost that year to Tommy Lee Jones for The Fugitive and I'm not sure, but that I thought Malkovich was better.
Oddly enough Malkovich might have been better off, but he saw Eastwood as the agent in charge breaking into his apartment while on the job and he insisted on making the whole thing personal. He calls Eastwood throughout the film and taunts him. And after a while what Malkovich says and does causes Clint to get real personal.
The presidential assassins we've had in our history have been lucky amateurs, unless you believe in some of the conspiracy theories about some of the assassinations. A guy like Malkovich, a professional with a real or imagined grudge, is the most dangerous kind of foe.
Others to note in the cast are Fred Dalton Thompson as the White House chief of staff (and would be president in real life), Rene Russo as another agent who falls for the Eastwood masculine charm, John Mahoney as the Secret Service head, Gary Cole as the White House head Secret Service guy, Gregory-Alan Williams as another agent and Jim Curley and Sally Hughes as the President and First Lady.
But when Malkovich is on he owns In The Line Of Fire. The climax with him and Eastwood is unforgettable.
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