1993’s In the Line of Fire was and continues to be one of my favorite action-thrillers. What’s not to like about a film that has John Malkovich playing a rogue and mentally-unstable CIA assassin who has decided that he wants to assassinate the current President of the United States. Then there’s Clint Eastwood as the last living Secret Service agent who failed to prevent Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas.
The film was directed by Wolfgang Petersen and was both tense and thrilling in equal amounts. Yet, the film also took some time to develop the relationship between Eastwood’s aging Secret Service agent with a much younger, but capable agent played by Rene Russo. This is a relationship that starts off as quite adversarial but one that gradually moves past that into one of respect then romance.
It was the scene with the two characters taking a break from the dangers of their job to debate the role of women in the Secret Service. It makes Eastwood’s character sound very old-fashioned and while it annoys Russo’s character to no end there’s a sort of playful and flirty byplay between the two throughout the scene. It’s a scene that culminates with Eastwood’s character predicting through years of experience that Russo’s agent character has shown interest in him and thus planting the seeds of a budding romance.
This is the scene I’ve chosen to continue the march towards next week’s Valentines Day.