In The Line Of Fire

Details At A Glance

Category Action Thriller Theatrical Trailer(s) None
Rating Other Trailer(s) Yes, 1 - CT DVD Trailer
Year Released 1993 Commentary Tracks None
Running Time 124 minutes Other Extras None
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 4 Director Wolfgang Petersen

Columbia Tristar
Starring Clint Eastwood
John Malkovich
Rene Russo
Dylan McDermott
Gary Cole
Fred Dalton Thompson
John Mahoney
RRP $34.95 Music Ennio Morricone

Pan & Scan/Full Frame No MPEG 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Dolby Digital 5.1
16x9 Enhancement Yes Soundtrack Languages English (MPEG 2.0 )
English (MPEG 5.1)
English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 2.35:1    
Macrovision Yes    
Subtitles English

Plot Synopsis

    In The Line Of Fire stars Clint Eastwood as Frank Horrigan, a Secret Service agent with the dubious reputation of being the only current serving FBI agent to have lost a president (John F Kennedy). Frank and his partner are investigating what seems to be a routine threat to the current President's life when it becomes apparent that this threat is very real. John Malkovich plays a very cool and calm character - for the moment let's call him Booth - who is determined to kill the president, and who is meticulous and extremely careful in his planning. He leaves very few clues as to his actions, but just enough to allow Frank to inch closer to him.

    Both Clint Eastwood and John Malkovich play their roles to perfection. They both have very well-developed and rounded characters, each with their own inner demons. We can empathize with both of them in their struggle with themselves and with each other. Booth is by no means a one-dimensional villain.

    Rene Russo plays another Secret Service agent, and is the somewhat token love interest in this movie.

Transfer Quality


    This transfer is an early Columbia Tristar effort, but is up to their usual high standards with only minor things to pick at.

    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer was razor sharp and crystal clear throughout. A few of the scenes at the start and at the end of the movie appeared too dark for my liking, with subsequent slight loss of shadow detail, but the great majority of the movie was superbly transferred. Shadow detail is generally excellent and there is no low level noise.

    The colours tended to be a little on the oversaturated side at times, with very reddish skin tones. This could be corrected by decreasing the colour saturation setting of my display device a notch, which left the remainder of the transfer vibrantly coloured rather than oversaturated.

    No MPEG artefacts were seen. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of some image wobble here and there and some trivial aliasing. Film artefacts were rarely seen, and this aspect of the transfer was particularly good given the age of this movie.


    There are three audio tracks on this DVD - English MPEG 2.0, surround-encoded, English MPEG 5.1, and English Dolby Digital 5.1. I listened to the English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. In the style of most other Columbia Tristar DVDs, the English MPEG 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack is the default soundtrack.

    Dialogue was always clear and easily understood.

    There were no audio sync problems.

    The score by Ennio Morricone was frequently present, and enhanced the on-screen action superbly, adding a great deal of tension to the movie. I have found that Ennio Morricone's scores tend to be quite generic and unremarkable, but this is much better than other examples of his work.

     The surround channels were aggressively used, with ambience, music and special effects finding their way into the surround channels. In particular, gunshots are very effective, with most of them mixed into all 5.1 channels. Overall, this is a very enveloping mix with nearly continuous signal coming from the rear.

    The .1 channel was well used for music and special effects.


    As is the case with all the early Columbia Tristar DVDs, the extras are extremely limited, with only the Columbia Tristar DVD trailer present. This one is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, non-16x9 enhanced with MPEG sound.


    The menu design is a standard Columbia Tristar menu. Functional, but virtually devoid of features. It is not 16x9 enhanced.


    In The Line Of Fire is an excellent movie, much better than the typical action thriller. It stands up well to repeated viewing. Highly recommended.

    The video quality is nearly perfect, with only minor faults.

    The audio quality is excellent, with an excellent surround presence.

    The extras present are very limited.

Ratings (out of 5)

Extras nil

© Michael Demtschyna
26th February 1999

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-505, using S-Video output
Display Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 16:9 mode, via the S-Video input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Amplification 2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer
Speakers Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Yamaha B100-115SE subwoofer