On This Day: Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich Hit Film ‘In the Line of Fire’ Debuts in 1993

by Joe Rutland

Clint Eastwood is no slouch at the movie theaters. On this day in 1993, his hit movie “In the Line of Fire” with John Malkovich premiered.

Eastwood played Secret Service agent Frank Horrigan, who remembered being in Dallas on that fateful day in 1963. He couldn’t save President John F. Kennedy from getting assassinated in Dealey Plaza. But there is a rather smart assassin in Mitch Leary [Malkovich] looking to take out another president.

Not on Horrigan’s watch, you’re not. Clint Eastwood gets some help from co-star Rene Russo, who played Lilly Raines in the film.

So “In the Line of Fire” was shot on an estimated $40 million budget. Guess how much it grossed at the box office? $102 million in the United States alone and $152 million worldwide.

One can say that Clint Eastwood seeing those numbers roll in made his day.

Clint Eastwood Danced, Sang His Way Through ‘Paint Your Wagon’

Would you believe that the tough-as-nails actor one time cut loose? It’s true.

Actually, Clint Eastwood learned how to dance and sing for the rather forgettable western musical “Paint Your Wagon.” Lee Marvin had a starring role in this tour-de-farce and, yep, he also ends up singing, too.

You might want to close your ears before seeing the movie. Otherwise, watching Eastwood not grit his teeth for once and speak will surprise many.

So here’s what happened in a part of the movie. Eastwood’s “Pardner” character starts pining for co-star Jean Seberg’s “Elizabeth” (and vice versa) during the California Gold Rush. Things get complicated. That’s because of Marvin’s elder and Seberg’s rightful lover, Prospector Ben Rumson.

Before you ask, yes, Marvin and Clint Eastwood both sing their parts with their real voices. His songs included “I Still See Elisa,” “Best Things,” “Gold Fever,” and “I Talk to the Trees.”

Before all of his movie success, though, Clint Eastwood had made a name for himself as “Rowdy” Yates on the popular TV western “Rawhide.”

But that show, sadly, got the boot from CBS. Why? Look right at President William Paley, who carried a lot of power even in his little finger.

Paley didn’t like the show’s production plans and work. He canceled the show in December 1965 after eight seasons. “Rawhide” aired its last original episode on Jan. 4, 1966. That’s a strange time to cancel a TV series since it is right in the middle of the season.

It was eight seasons for Eastwood and others on that show. All it took was the mighty Paley to put out a “thumbs down” and “Rawhide” was gone.

He would never return to a regular TV series for Clint Eastwood turned his attention toward the big screen and movie stardom.