The Recasting Couch Ep. 33: In The Line of Fire

In the Line of Fire

“Most thrillers these days are about stunts and action. In the Line of Fire has a mind.”

  • Roger Ebert
  1. I totally agree with that assessment .
  2. Your options are kinda limited when the star is 62 years old.


That being said, the smaller scale of this movie is sort of the whole point. It’s an “assassinate the President” movie without the president. The writing and the acting are so good that the president is almost an afterthought*. Clint Eastwood plays Frank Horrigan, a Secret Service agent who has stood by the side of presidents his entire career.

Having recently taken a backseat as a closer step to retirement, a new threat emerges in the shape of Mitch Leary (John Malkovich); a war-hardened assassin who is intending to kill the president. Frank then moves back into presidential duty in order to catch this madman. The real question I have is whether or not he is attracting the killer closer to the target. Wouldn’t the president be better off without the guy who is being very seriously threatened right by his side? I’m just spitballing here, but it seems to make sense.

I know I’m poking fun, but this movie is pretty great. Clint is riding his “charming older man” apex, Rene Russo nails her “been there, done that” attitude, and Dylan McDermott….well…he dies rather predictably.

*John Malkovich was nominated for the Best Actor in a Supporting Role Oscar, and Jeff Maguire was nominated for Best Writing/Screenplay


Thanks for tuning into this week’s pod! Do us a favor and tell some friends about it and start playing the game yourselves! If you’ve got some picks you want to share with us, you can find us on twitter @recastingpod, on facebook (, or you can email us at

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