The Secret Service at the Movies

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Now that we know that 11 members of President Obama's Secret Service detail don't like paying hookers for services rendered, the top executive security detail is under heavy scrutiny. The elite team of guards, known in pop culture as spy-cool, levelheaded and omnipresent protectors of the president and his family, are now being compared to naughty frat boys during spring break.

The recent incident in Colombia is a black eye to the protective force, which is tasked with looking after the president, the vice-president, past presidents, presidential candidates and also handling the stopping of counterfeiting currency and fraud. This isn't the first time the Secret Service has been under a microscope, either. After the JFK assassination, they were beaten pretty badly in the press for their supposed failures leading up to the shooting.

Most every movie in history has depicted the Secret Service as upstanding -- for the most part -- civil servants who will take a bullet or a train for their precious cargo. With the allegations that guys were being entertained by hookers while prepping for a presidential visit to a Colombian hotel during a trade summit, that image is tarnished.

Secret Service agents are frequent Hollywood fodder, from Clint Eastwood's steely-eyed agent from In the Line of Fire to Ving Rhames's tender-hearted guard in Dave.

In the Line of Fire

Agent Frank Horrigan is a haunted veteran of the Secret Service who was in Dallas the day Kennedy was shot, and enters into a deadly game with would-be assassin Mitch Leary. Also starring Rene Russo as Eastwood's way-too-young love interest.

Guarding Tess

Nicolas Cage is in charge of a mischievous former First Lady played by Shirley MacLaine. This is perhaps Cage's most human role, featuring no freak-outs or bugged-out dialog. It's almost frightening in itself.


Hapless presidential look-alike Dave Kovic must act as president while the real leader of the free world lies in a coma after a heart attack during a sexual escapade. Rhames plays the agent assigned to the "new" president. It's also one of the most underrated comedies of the '90s, in my opinion.

First Kid and/or Chasing Liberty

Filmmakers are obsessed with precocious presidential kids, with this one starring Sinbad, and Chasing Liberty with Mandy Moore. There have also been a handful of TV movies on the detail.


The Bodyguard

Few people remember that Kevin Costner's titular character in the 1992 Whitney Houston vehicle The Bodyguard was in fact a former Secret Service agent. He left the agency to work in the private sector after his tenure protecting presidents Carter and Reagan.

See Also:

Vantage Point

Absolute Power

To Live and Die in L.A.

The Sentinel

Murder at 1600

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