The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, July 27-August 2

Photo by REX/Moviestore Collection (1591651a) In The Line Of Fire,  Clint Eastwood

In the Line of Fire (1993)
Directed by Wolfgang Petersen
Secret Service agent Frank Horrigan (a rough-hewn, grey Clint Eastwood) still blames himself three decades later for the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Insidious, loathsome ex-CIA agent Mitch Leary (John Malkovich, the exemplary villain) has been trailing Horrigan and manipulatively tunnels into the agent’s psyche. Leary plants the proverbial seed, warning of a forthcoming assassination attempt on the current president, and forces Horrigan into a hazardous position. Bludgeoning his way onto the president’s detail, Horrigan finds an ally and a love interest in agent Lilly Raines (Rene Russo), though the rest of the ambitious political team hates him. Petersen directs a cast of adept, empathetic actors who engage in realistic conversation and conflict; Russo and Eastwood’s sexually charged banter about past lovers, work ethic, and jazz music is convincing enough to be a real date while Eastwood’s relationship with his partner, played by Dylan McDermott, is candidly pragmatic. When he needs to, Horrigan breaks agency policy, he defies orders, he follows the madman’s clues, and he occasionally finds time for an ice cream rendezvous at the Lincoln Memorial. Thanks to Eastwood’s expertly gruff persona—which he perfected in the Dirty Harry films and other thrillers like Tightrope—the film is a mindful, realistic thriller that churns ahead with purpose instead of being endlessly labyrinthine like its contemporaries. Samantha Vacca (August 1, 5pm, 8pm at BAM’s “Four More Years: An Election Special”)

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