Day: October 3, 2018

Douglas Adams on the Future – In The Line Of Fire – tape 1936

The first thing on this tape is a very short clip of my old boss Douglas Adams talking about a Daily Telegraph magazine from March 1967 predicting what life would be like in 1990. He also wonders what it will be like in 25 years time, looking back at their predictions. So, basically, he’s predicted this actual blog.

Viewers might be interested to know that that was Douglas’s home office, on the top floor of his house in Islington. I visited once, ostensibly to discuss some work stuff, but mostly because he needed someone to help move chairs for a party he was having that evening. It’s an impressive office, though.

I can’t remember which programme this comes from, annoyingly.

After this brief clip (which I think was dubbed from a longer recording, it’s over to The Movie Channel for In The Line Of Fire. It’s being broadcast in the full widescreen ratio, which was rare even for the movie channels. In fact, I went to Netflix to watch it, and found that even Netflix aren’t showing it at the correct ratio. Lucky for me Now TV are so I can watch it in something better than grainy off-air VHS.

I think this movie is a little underappreciated. It’s an excellent thriller, and has great performances, but because it’s not part of a franchise, it tends to get forgotten.

Clint Eastwood plays a Secret Service Agent, who we meet undercover trying to bust a counterfeiting gang.

Dylan McDermott is his partner.

On their bust, the counterfeiter is Tobin Bell, Jigsaw himself. Has he ever played a nice character? I wonder if that would work.

Eastwood gets a tip-off about a suspicious man, and visits his apartment, which has a wall full of cuttings about the Kennedy assassination.

But when they return the next day, it’s been cleared out, and only one photo remains of the Kennedy assassination, with a young Eastwood circled. Then, Eastwood gets a call from the man who rented the apartment, who was watching him, and knows all about his history. And he says he’s going to kill the President.

Back at Secret Service, they’re now on alert. John Mahoney plays the boss.

Gary Cole is the agent leading the investigation. You just know he and Eastwood are going to butt heads. I really like Gary Cole, I get the feeling he can play just about anything.

Rene Russo plays another agent. Uncomfortable age gap romance ahead. Talking about the assassin, Eastwood says “He has panache.” “Panache?” replies Russo. “Yeah it means flamboyance.” “I know what it means.” “Really? I had to look it up.”

So Eastwood asks to be assigned to the President’s protection detail. The assassin keeps calling him and taunting him for not keeping Kennedy alive. There’s more archive footage with Eastwood inserted.

We see more of the assassin’s preparations, and he’s John Malkovich. I once stood behind John Malkovich in the queue for Caffe Nero in Covent Garden. My glittering life.

John Heard pops up in a tiny role as someone who knows something about Malkovich’s history.

They track him down to a hotel, and there’s a Vertigo inspired chase across the rooftops. Eastwood almost falls, and Malkovich saves him.

But poor Dylan McDermott doesn’t make it.

A young Joshua Malina (Will Bailey from The West Wing) plays a young agent.

Eastwood takes a bullet for the President, and because he’s wearing a bullet proof vest, he lives for the final confrontation.

And now it’s Eastwood’s turn to save Malkovich, who instead opts to do a Hans Gruber and fall.

After this, there’s another whole (uncatalogued) movie, Woody Allen’s Husbands and Wives, which I didn’t really think much of when I looked at it on another tape.

Then the tape ends with the start of a movie called The Spikes Gang, featuring very young appearances from Ron Howard and Charles Martin Smith.


  • Ambi-Pur
  • Aunt Bessie’s Yorkshire Puddings
  • Bird’s Eye Vegetable Cuisine
  • Maltesers
  • trail: Sliver
  • trail: Boxing
  • trail: Highlander
  • trail: Saturday on Sky
  • trail: Thursday on Sky
  • trail: Movies in May
  • trail: What’s Love Got To Do With It