In the Line of Fire (1993)

R | 123 mins | Drama, Mystery | 9 July 1993

Director:

Wolfgang Petersen

Writer:

Jeff Maguire

Producer:

Jeff Apple

Cinematographer:

John Bailey

Editor:

Anne V. Coates

Production Designer:

Lilly Kilvert

Production Companies:

Castle Rock Entertainment, Columbia Pictures
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HISTORY

The summary and note for this entry were completed with participation from the AFI Academic Network. Summary and note were written by participant Tobias Grünthal, a student at University of Washington, Seattle, with Jennifer Bean as academic advisor.

Noted in the end credits is a “Special thanks to the men and women of the United States Secret Service.” The filmmakers acknowledge and give “Special Thanks to” the following people, works of art and organizations: Walter A. Forbes; John H. Fullmer; Wiley T. Buchanan III; Richard A. Sandberg; Carl Meyer, U.S. Secret Service; Jack Warner, U.S. Secret Service (Ret.); Jerry Parr, U.S. Secret Service (Ret.); Gayle Moore, U.S. Secret Service; Patrick Caddell, Political Advisor; Philip Strub; Charles Davis; John Horton; Westin Bonaventure Hotel; Office products provided by Eldon Office Products; Secret Service computer systems provided by Calcomp; Maps provided by ARC/INFO computer software, Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc.; Video displays by Video Image; Projection process coordination by Hansard®; National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Paul Mellon Collection, ©1992 National Gallery of Art, Washington; ©The Cleveland Museum of Art, Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund, 65.233; Eliphalet F. Andrews, Rutherford B. Hayes, 1881, oil on canvas, in the collection of The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Museum purchase, 82.2; Selected wardrobes by Nino Cerruti & Cerruti 1881 Paris; “Zapruder Film & Stills:" Copyright 1992, 1967, 1963 LMH Co., c/o James Silverberg, Esquire, Washington, D.C. All Rights Reserved; JFK Autopsy photographs, courtesy · Mark A. Crouch, Original source · James K. Fox, United States Secret Service.
       According to a 13 Jul 1993 LAT article, producer Jeff Apple, a former student of director Martin Scorsese at New York University ... More Less

The summary and note for this entry were completed with participation from the AFI Academic Network. Summary and note were written by participant Tobias Grünthal, a student at University of Washington, Seattle, with Jennifer Bean as academic advisor.

Noted in the end credits is a “Special thanks to the men and women of the United States Secret Service.” The filmmakers acknowledge and give “Special Thanks to” the following people, works of art and organizations: Walter A. Forbes; John H. Fullmer; Wiley T. Buchanan III; Richard A. Sandberg; Carl Meyer, U.S. Secret Service; Jack Warner, U.S. Secret Service (Ret.); Jerry Parr, U.S. Secret Service (Ret.); Gayle Moore, U.S. Secret Service; Patrick Caddell, Political Advisor; Philip Strub; Charles Davis; John Horton; Westin Bonaventure Hotel; Office products provided by Eldon Office Products; Secret Service computer systems provided by Calcomp; Maps provided by ARC/INFO computer software, Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc.; Video displays by Video Image; Projection process coordination by Hansard®; National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Paul Mellon Collection, ©1992 National Gallery of Art, Washington; ©The Cleveland Museum of Art, Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund, 65.233; Eliphalet F. Andrews, Rutherford B. Hayes, 1881, oil on canvas, in the collection of The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Museum purchase, 82.2; Selected wardrobes by Nino Cerruti & Cerruti 1881 Paris; “Zapruder Film & Stills:" Copyright 1992, 1967, 1963 LMH Co., c/o James Silverberg, Esquire, Washington, D.C. All Rights Reserved; JFK Autopsy photographs, courtesy · Mark A. Crouch, Original source · James K. Fox, United States Secret Service.
       According to a 13 Jul 1993 LAT article, producer Jeff Apple, a former student of director Martin Scorsese at New York University (NYU) in the early 1970s, was struck by the “imposing" nature of U.S. Secret Service agents during a 1964 motorcade of President Lyndon B. Johnson in FL, which he attended as a fifteen-year-old boy. Apple later hired his classmate at NYU, Ken Friedman, to write a script about Secret Service personnel. On 16 Dec 1983, HR announced that Apple and co-producer Bob Rosenthal’s company, Apple/Rose Productions, acquired “independent financing“ from private investors based in Connecticut to develop four projects, including In the Line of Fire, which was a yet unfinished script by Friedman. The film was reportedly in development for over nine months prior to the deal, and production was scheduled to begin summer 1984. A 4 Jan 1984 Var news item formally announced Friedman’s role as screenwriter.
       As stated in LAT, director Michael Apted was intrigued by the project in its early stages of development but requested revisions. At the same time, actor Dustin Hoffman contracted to play the starring role. Hoffman’s association with Columbia Pictures facilitated a deal for Columbia to produce the film, but when executive David Puttnam took over as the studio’s chairman several weeks after the contract was signed, Hoffman pulled out because of “reported bad blood" between himself and Puttnam. Nearly two years later, Hoffman arranged for Warner Bros. Inc. to produce In the Line of Fire but, according to Apple, Hoffman had lost interest in the project by that time and decided to pursue a role in Rain Man (1988, see entry) instead. With the loss of Hoffman, Apple was unable to find a studio to back the film.
       After another two years, Scott Immergut, an executive at Hollywood Pictures, expressed interest in the picture and asked for rewrites, provoking Apple to abandon Friedman’s original script and hire Jeff Maguire to write an entirely new version. At the time, Maguire had only one credit as screenwriter on a theatrically released feature film, the Canadian picture Toby McTeague (1986). According to LAT, Apple conceived the lead character, “Frank Horrigan," and the historical backdrop of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination on 22 Nov 1963, when Maguire took over the script. A 4 Jul 1993 LAT article reported that Horrigan was “loosely based" on Clint Hill, a Secret Service agent who clambered onto J.F.K.’s limousine during the assassination in an attempt to save the president. The 13 Jul 1993 LAT stated that Maguire’s script was offered to Robert Redford, Sean Connery and Warren Beatty, but Apple was unable to secure a new star and Hollywood Pictures lost interest. Although Imagine Entertainment was intrigued by the project, the studio requested that Horrigan be rewritten for a younger actor, effectively removing the character’s association with J.F.K. Before changes were considered, however, in Apr 1992, Hollywood Pictures renewed its interest and Maguire, who did not have an agent, was quickly picked up by the United Talent Agency (UTA). According to LAT, the momentum sparked a bidding war and it took less than two days for the property to be purchsed by the independent studio Castle Rock Entertainment for approximately $1.4 million. Pre-production started two months later in Jun 1992. A 6 Apr 1992 DV article reported that the sale was notable because it marked one of the highest prices paid for a speculative script at the time and because two talent agencies worked together to engineer the auction, Maguire’s UTA and Apple’s Creative Artists Agency. DV stated that bidding began only hours after the script was sent to studios, and Walt Disney Studios, Paramount Pictures, Island Pictures and Warner Bros. were included among the bidders. According to DV, Castle Rock’s purchase of In the Line of Fire, which was a “polished" albeit speculative script, was unusual because the studio was known for developing screenplays in-house.
       LAT stated that actor Clint Eastwood signed to star in the picture only several days after the deal with Castle Rock solidified, and the actor had “final approval" of its director. A 10 Jun 1992 DV article announced that Wolfgang Petersen was hired to direct at the behest of Eastwood and a sixty to sixty-five day shooting schedule was set to begin at the end of Sep or beginning of Oct 1992 in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, CA, and Chicago, IL. According to HR production charts on 15 Oct 1992, principal photography began 3 Oct 1992. As noted in LAT, Castle Rock approached New Line Cinema for financing, but New Line was unwilling to support a budget of approximately $40 million and Castle Rock instead negotiated a deal with Columbia Pictures. DV noted that Columbia bid “aggressively" early on in the sale of the script, but withdrew in order to avoid competition with Castle Rock as Columbia was the domestic distributor of Castle Rock productions. Although Castle Rock executives told LAT that Columbia’s involvement with the film’s production and content was minimal, Columbia representatives claimed that their studio played a collaborative role. Siding with Castle Rock, Maguire stated that although Columbia’s contibutions to the production were few, the studio made several suggestions that were adopted into the film, including a change in the ending, which gave the character “Lilly Raines," played by Rene Russo, a more active role. Columbia also pushed for Russo’s casting, according to LAT, although a 22 Jun 1992 Var news item reported that Sharon Stone was also considered for the role. On 14 Aug 1992, Screen International announced that actor Vincent D’Onofrio was cast as the film’s villain, “Mitch Leary," but the part eventually went to John Malkovich.
       According to studio production notes from AMPAS library files, shooting began on Washington D.C.’s Pennsylvania Avenue, where a parade was staged to represent the campaign trail of the film’s incumbent president. The two-day shoot took over an eight-block radius, required weekend traffic to be rerouted and involved 2,000 extras. Other Washington, D.C., locations included Lincoln Memorial, the United States Treasury, Dulles Airport, the Corcoran Art Center, Ebbitt Grill on 15th Street, and various neighborhoods surrounding the city. Los Angeles locations included Los Angeles International Airport, the Bonaventure Hotel, the Biltmore Hotel, Universal Amphitheater, Pasadena Art Center, Apple’s Bar and soundstages at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, CA. The interior of Air Force One was duplicated with close attention to detail and included the Presidential seal on objects not captured on film, such as the seat belts. Although Chicago was listed in DV as a possible location, the city was not mentioned in production notes or HR production charts.
       A 24 Jun 1993 L.B. Press-Telegram news item reported that Eastwood performed his own stunts during the rooftop chase sequence, which required him to dangle from a building’s sixth-story ledge. Peterson stated that it was “the scariest shot" he ever directed, but added that Eastwood was protected by a safety harness and wire. In the 4 Jul 1993 LAT article, Petersen expressed that the film was shot during the 1992 presidential campaign, and because of the filmmakers’ association with the Secret Service, they were allowed to film at real rallies. According to a 13 Aug 1993 L.A. Weekly article, one such rally was during Bill Clinton’s visit to Denver, CO. Digital technology was used in post-production to erase images of speakers and insert footage of the film’s actors, as well as altering texts on placards. Production notes reported that the film wrapped in Los Angeles on 11 Jan 1993.
       As noted in the 6 Jul 1993 DV review, the film marked Eastwood’s first picture away from Warner Bros. since 1979, when he made Escape from Alcatraz for Paramount, as well as his first performance in a film that he did not direct, himself, since Pink Cadillac (1989, see entry). Although Eastwood was not credited with any of the film’s music, he did play piano in the role of Horrigan, himself, according to a 21 Nov 1993 Parade brief. However, the Epic Records soundtrack album versions of the songs were performed by professional musician Jay Rosenthal.
       According to various contemporary sources, including the 4 Jul 1993 LAT and a 16-22 Jul 1993 Los Angeles Village View article, the film marked the first time the U.S. Secret Service cooperated in the development and production of a Hollywood film. Apple told Los Angeles Village View that while he was working on the first script with Friedman in 1983, he approached the Secret Service’s head of public affairs, Robert Snow, and convinced him that they were “attempting for the first time to show a realistic movie about the Secret Service, as opposed to the caricatures that have normally been created in other movies and television." Apple reported that Snow, who was credited as the film’s technical advisor with the title “Assistant director, U.S. Secret Service," was intimately involved with the writing process to check for errors and misrepresentations. As stated in the 16 Dec 1983 HR article, Apple also hired Jack Warner Jr., a retired U.S. Secret Service agent who worked closely with many presidents, including President Kennedy, as an advisor just after he secured funding from independent investors in Dec 1983. In Los Angeles Village View, Apple expressed that he was struck by the agents’ “impartiality," both politically and emotionally, and their “willingness to take a bullet on a leader’s behalf." In response to an inquiry about whether the weapon used by Leary in his assassination attempt was authentic, the 26 May 1995 Reader reported that “no gun made made entirely out of plastic is currently available" but may be “feasible... in a matter of time."
       In a flashback sequence, Eastwood was protrayed as a younger man at J.F.K.’s assassination. According to Los Angeles Village View, the effect was created by combining footage of Eastwood from the 1971 film Dirty Harry (see entry) with newsreel footage of the motorcade in Dallas, TX. Digital effects were used to manipulate the lighting, motion and perspectives in order to make the scene appear realistic and, according to Apple, the process was “painstaking, expensive and time-consuming." Apple told L.A. Weekly that the picture marked “the first use of digital special effects... not for a science-fiction film" and, in the assassination scene, Eastwood was given “the first digital haircut." In Los Angeles Village View, Apple noted that Eastwood was always his first choice for the role of Horrigan, but Maguire denied writing the part with the actor in mind.
       According to an 11 Jun 1993 HR brief, In the Line of Fire was released on nearly 2,000 screens nationwide and HR ’s Cinemascore Movie Report on 13 Jul 1993 stated that ninety-five percent of opening-night audiences gave the movie an A or B grade. As noted in a 25 Jul 1993 L.B. Press-Telegram brief, President Bill Clinton praised the movie in a Larry King interview for the television network, CNN, but Petersen decided against using the President’s comments in the film’s advertisements because he was unsure whether it would “help" or “hurt" box-office appeal. According to the 13 Jul 1993 LAT, the film grossed over $15 million in ticket sales its opening weekend.
       The film was nominated for the following Academy Awards: Actor in a Supporting Role (John Malkovich), Film Editing (Anne V. Coates) and Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen for Jeff Maguire.
More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
6 Apr 1992
p. 1, 17.
Daily Variety
10 Jun 1992
p. 1, 25.
Daily Variety
6 Jul 1993.
---
Daily Variety
6 Jul 1993
p. 4, 15.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Dec 1983
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Oct 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
11 Jun 1993.
---
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jul 1993
p. 6, 62.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jul 1993.
---
L.B. Press-Telegram
24 Jun 1993.
---
L.B. Press-Telegram
25 Jul 1993.
---
LA Weekly
13 Aug 1993.
---
Los Angeles Times
4 Jul 1993
Calendar, p. 5.
Los Angeles Times
9 Jul 1993
p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
13 Jul 1993
Calendar, p. 1.
Los Angeles Village View
16-22 Jul 1993
p. 9, 11.
New York Times
9 Jul 1993
p. 1.
Parade
21 Nov 1993.
---
Reader
26 May 1995.
---
Screen International
14 Aug 1992.
---
Variety
4 Jan 1984.
---
Variety
22 Jun 1992.
---
Variety
19 Jul 1993
p. 71, 74.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
An Apple/Rose Production
A Wolfgang Petersen Film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
1st asst dir, Campaign unit
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Co-prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog, Second unit/Campaign unit
Cam op
Cam op, Second unit
Cam op, Campaign unit
Cam op, Campaign unit
"B" cam op
1st asst cam
1st cam asst, Second unit
1st cam asst, Second unit
1st cam asst, Second unit
1st cam asst, Campaign unit
1st cam asst, Campaign unit
1st cam asst, Campaign unit
2d asst cam
2d cam asst, Second unit
2d cam asst, Second unit
2d asst cam
Chief lighting tech
Asst lighting tech
Key grip
Key grip, Second unit
2d company grip
Dolly grip
Still photog
Gaffer, Second unit
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Storyboard artist
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Addl film ed
1st asst film ed
Asst film ed
Apprentice ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec, Washington, D.C. unit
Set des
Leadperson
Prop master
Asst prop master
Const coord
Gen foreman
Paint foreman
COSTUMES
Cost supv
Set cost
Set cost
MUSIC
Mus comp, orch and cond
Asst mus ed
Scoring eng
Asst eng
Scoring asst
Gen mus coord
Interpreter
SOUND
Prod mixer
Boom op
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Supv sd ed
Supv sd ed
Sd eff supv
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
1st asst sd ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
Foley supv
ADR ed
Sd asst
Sd asst
Foley artist
Foley artist
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Visual eff supv, Second unit
Visual eff supv, Sony Picture Imageworks
Visual eff prod, Sony Picture Imageworks
Lead anim/Software, Sony Picture Imageworks
Sr. anim/Software, Sony Picture Imageworks
Sr. anim, Sony Picture Imageworks
Anim, Sony Picture Imageworks
Anim, Sony Picture Imageworks
Anim, Sony Picture Imageworks
Anim, Sony Picture Imageworks
Visual eff prod, R/Greenberg Associates West, Inc.
Visual eff prod, R/Greenberg Associates West, Inc.
Digital video ed, R/Greenberg Associates West, Inc
Digital video ed, R/Greenberg Associates West, Inc
Digital film supv, R/Greenberg Associates West, In
Addl opt and digital composite, R/Greenberg Associ
Digital film services provided by
Visual eff supv, Cinesite, Inc.
Digital coord, Cinesite, Inc.
Composite des, Cinesite, Inc.
Composite des, Cinesite, Inc.
Titles and opticals
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Makeup, Washington, D.C. unit
Hair stylist
Hairstylist, Washington, D.C. unit
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting assoc
Casting asst
Extras casting
Tech adv
Prod coord
Prod coord, Washington, D.C. unit
Prod supv, Campaign unit
Prod secy
Prod accountant
Asst accountant
Asst to Mr. Petersen
Asst to Mr. Apple
Asst to Ms. Katz
Asst to Mr. Valdes
Asst to Mr. Eastwood
Asst to Mr. Eastwood
Loc mgr
Loc mgr, Washington, D.C. unit
Asst loc mgr, Washington, D.C. unit
Transportation capt
Transportation co-capt
Post prod services provided by
Video assist
Craft service
First aid
Unit pub
DGA trainee
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
STAND INS
Stand in - Eastwood
Stand in - Malkovich
Stand in - Russo
Stunt coord
Utility stunt
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
SOURCES
MUSIC
"All Blues," written and performed by Miles Davis, courtesy of Columbia Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing.
SONGS
"Willow Weep for Me," written by Ann Ronell
"These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You)," written by Jack Strachey, Holt Marvell and Harry Link
"As Time Goes By," written by Herman Hupfeld
+
SONGS
"Willow Weep for Me," written by Ann Ronell
"These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You)," written by Jack Strachey, Holt Marvell and Harry Link
"As Time Goes By," written by Herman Hupfeld
"I Didn't Know What Time It Was," written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart
"I Only Have Eyes for You," written by Harry Warren and Al Dubin.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
9 July 1993
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 9 July 1993
New York opening: week of 9 July 1993
Production Date:
3 October 1992--11 January 1993 in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, CA
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.
Copyright Date:
13 July 1993
Copyright Number:
PA626066
Physical Properties:
Sound
SDDS Sony Dynamic Digital Sound in selected theatres; Dolby Stereo® in selected theatres
Color
Color by Technicolor®
Lenses
Filmed in Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
123
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
32342
SYNOPSIS

In 1992 Washington, D.C., veteran Secret Service agent Frank Horrigan and his new partner, Al D’Andrea, bust a counterfeit money dealer, but Al is nearly killed. Al is afraid to continue working in the agency, but Frank encourages him to stay. Sending Al home to his family, Frank responds to a landlady’s report of a suspicious tenant and finds an apartment wall covered with newspaper clippings about presidential assassinations, particularly the 1963 killing of John F. Kennedy. Meanwhile, the tenant, Mitch Leary, observes his apartment from across the street with binoculars. At Secret Service headquarters, Frank and Al discover the occupant used a false identity and return to the apartment. They find the residence empty with the exception of one photograph depicting Kennedy’s motorcade just before the assassination; Frank, as a younger man, stands beside the president’s vehicle. That evening, Frank receives a phone call from Leary, who does not disclose his identity, but expresses knowledge of Frank’s career as “J.F.K.’s favorite agent” and confesses his plan to assassinate the standing president. The next day, Frank and Al report the events to Secret Service director Sam Campagna and his team of presidential guards, which includes a pretty agent named Lilly Raines. Afterwards, Frank meets Sam at a bar and convinces the director to relocate him to the presidential protective detail during the re-election campaign. On the job, Frank is winded during a motorcade and his colleagues mock his faltering endurance. That evening, Frank gets anther call from Leary, who suggests that Frank’s alcoholism and divorce were a consequence of his failure to stand in the line of fire during ... +


In 1992 Washington, D.C., veteran Secret Service agent Frank Horrigan and his new partner, Al D’Andrea, bust a counterfeit money dealer, but Al is nearly killed. Al is afraid to continue working in the agency, but Frank encourages him to stay. Sending Al home to his family, Frank responds to a landlady’s report of a suspicious tenant and finds an apartment wall covered with newspaper clippings about presidential assassinations, particularly the 1963 killing of John F. Kennedy. Meanwhile, the tenant, Mitch Leary, observes his apartment from across the street with binoculars. At Secret Service headquarters, Frank and Al discover the occupant used a false identity and return to the apartment. They find the residence empty with the exception of one photograph depicting Kennedy’s motorcade just before the assassination; Frank, as a younger man, stands beside the president’s vehicle. That evening, Frank receives a phone call from Leary, who does not disclose his identity, but expresses knowledge of Frank’s career as “J.F.K.’s favorite agent” and confesses his plan to assassinate the standing president. The next day, Frank and Al report the events to Secret Service director Sam Campagna and his team of presidential guards, which includes a pretty agent named Lilly Raines. Afterwards, Frank meets Sam at a bar and convinces the director to relocate him to the presidential protective detail during the re-election campaign. On the job, Frank is winded during a motorcade and his colleagues mock his faltering endurance. That evening, Frank gets anther call from Leary, who suggests that Frank’s alcoholism and divorce were a consequence of his failure to stand in the line of fire during Kennedy’s assassination. Later, Leary calls Frank at work and he is traced to a nearby park. There, Frank spots his adversary in a disguise. Leary outruns Frank, but leaves his handprint on a car; however, Secret Service agents discover the match is classified and do not disclose Leary’s identity to Frank. As Frank follows the president’s campaign trail, he charms Lilly and they fall in love. Meanwhile, Leary assumes a new identity, donates money to the campaign and trails the president. Plotting the assassination, he molds a composite gun out of plastic. At a Chicago, Illinois, rally, Frank becomes disoriented by flu symptoms and calls a false alarm, mistaking the sound of a popping balloon for gunfire. Although Frank’s error leads to his dismissal from the protective detail, Sam lets him remain in charge of the Leary case. In another call to Frank, Leary admits to popping the balloon and claims that he and Frank face a similar dilemma: “There’s no cause left worth fighting for… all we have is the game.” Soon, Frank and Al discover Leary’s identity through several of his model-building colleagues. However, when they go to Leary’s home, they encounter two agents from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) who report that Leary was a former CIA assassin who turned against the government after a mental breakdown. Sometime later, Frank gets another call from Leary and learns that the assassination is planned for an event in California. When the call is traced, Frank and Al rush to Leary’s hotel and chase the villain across nearby rooftops. Missing a jump between two buildings, Frank clings to the edge, but Leary offers him his hand. Taking it, Frank uses his other hand to point a gun at his adversary. Leary tests Frank’s capacity for self-sacrifice by daring him to fire, knowing that after pulling the trigger, Frank will also fall to his death. When Frank wavers, Leary hoists him onto a nearby fire escape. Al holds Leary at gunpoint, but Leary fires first and kills the young agent. Back at Leary’s hotel room, agents discover a note indicating a presumed location, but are unable to decipher its meaning. The next day, Frank convinces Lilly to push for his reappointment to the protective detail. However, back on the job, Frank mistakenly apprehends a bellboy in preparation for an event at the Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles, California, and is reassigned to a rally in San Diego. Meanwhile, Leary disguises himself and is welcomed to the hotel by Sanford Riggs, a presidential fundraiser, who rewards Leary’s donations with a ticket to the banquet. Before leaving for San Diego, Frank realizes the note found in Leary’s hotel room is the coded notation of a phone number. After connecting the number to a bank, Frank discovers that Leary opened an account with a false identity and sent campaign donations to gain access to the president. As Frank rushes back to the hotel, Leary passes through security with his plastic gun undetected and secretly loads the weapon under the table while the president makes his entrance. Comparing a list of bank account holders to the event’s seating chart, Frank finds Leary’s table. As Leary takes aim, Frank throws himself in the line of fire and saves the president. Mayhem ensues, and while agents rush the president to an awaiting limousine, Leary takes Frank’s gun and holds him hostage in a glass elevator. Frank, who is wearing a bulletproof vest and is still alive, dares Leary to shoot. However, unknown to Leary, Frank’s words are transmitted through a hidden microphone to Lilly and a crowd of agents, who translate the message as an order for sharpshooters to fire at Leary. Lilly warns Frank through his earpiece that the marksmen cannot see inside the elevator, and if they shoot through the glass, he will be killed along with Leary. Frank remains resolute in his demand, giving Lilly permission to launch the attack. When Frank says “aim high,” Leary realizes he has been tricked. Although bullets break the glass walls of the elevator, neither man is killed. A fight between Frank and Leary ensues, leaving Leary clinging to a rail outside the lift, far above ground. Frank offers Leary his hand, but Leary lets go and drops to his death. After retiring from the Secret Service and returning home with Lilly, Frank hears a phone message from Leary, who called before the assassination attempt. Leary refers to Frank as a friend and speculates about the outcome of his “game.” Leary expresses concern that Frank will continue to lead a lonely life, but Frank and Lilly leave the apartment together and cuddle on the steps of Lincoln Memorial. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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