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Film / Life on the Line

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"I am my brother's keeper."

"Life is a series of collected moments and experiences that we gather over the course of time.
It’s more about the quality of life, than the height of the climb.

We are more than 1,000,000 strong, but together we act as one.
We walk the line whether hurricanes, tornadoes, rain, wind, or sun.

Our main mission is to protect the grid, even if one of us meets our maker. We are linemen, it is what we do, the credo we chant, you are your brother’s keeper."
Beau Ginner

Life on the Line is a 2015 Direct to Video disaster film directed by David Hackl, written by Primo Brown, Marvin Peart and Peter I. Horton, and staring John Travolta, Kate Bosworth, Devon Sawa, Gil Bellows, Julie Benz, Ryan Robbins and Sharon Stone. It premiered at the Napa Valley Film Festival on November 5, 2015 and was released on November 18, 2016, by Lionsgate Premiere. It tells the story of a group of Texan linemen who brave a severe storm to fix the electrical grid to bring back power to the county.

At least that's what the trailer promised.

Instead the storm only arrives during the climax. The rest of the film is about Bailey Ginning (Kate Bosworth) struggling with her relationship with Duncan (Devon Sawa) while dealing with her pregnancy and fending off her ex-boyfriend Ron (Matt Bellefleur); Beau Gunner (John Travolta) struggling to let go of his niece Bailey whom he raised since the death of her parents - his brother whose death he blames himself for and sister-in-law; Duncan starting a job as a lineman much to the anger of his alcoholic mother who was left destitute after her husband, a lineman, was killed and the displeasure of his new boss Beau who resents him for dating his niece; Carline (Julie Benz) befriending Bailey and suffering from marriage problems as a result of her husband Eugene’s PTSD from Iraq; and Eugene (Ryan Robbins) himself, a vet and lineman, suffering from flashbacks and suicidal tendencies and slowly suspecting his wife’s infidelity. All of these events make up the bulk of the film as it slowly builds up to the storm.


This film provides examples of:

  • Alcoholic Parent: Duncan’s mom
  • Attempted Rape: Ron breaks into Carline’s house to rape her but is shot dead by her husband.
  • Babies Ever After: In the epilogue which takes place two years later, Duncan and Bailey are seen with their two-year-old child.
  • Badass Biker: Three of them loudly and boorishly demand service at the linesman's favourite after-work hangout, until Beau makes it clear they are outnumbered 10 to 1. But then of course his backstory shows that before working on the lines, Beau was a badass biker himself.
  • Driven to Suicide: Played Straight twice. Eugene’s PTSD from the Iraqi War drive him to commit suicide. Luckily, he doesn’t go through with it. He is driven to suicide again when he shoots and kills his wife’s rapist and immediately outs a gun to his head.
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  • Family Versus Career: Go to college, start a career, and get away from the world of lineman or rekindle your relationship with your now lineman boyfriend and carry his child? Bailey chooses the latter despite Beau wanting her to choose the former.
  • Interrupted Suicide: Played twice. Thinking about his wife calling his name convinces Eugene to climb down from the power line he was about to jump from and go home. Then when he gets home, he shoots and kills his wife’s rapist which causes him to put a gun to his head. Carline talks him out of it.
  • Nephewism: more like niece-ism. Beau adopts his niece after her parents were killed and raises her like his own daughter.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailer promises us a disaster thriller movie, but the disaster thriller part doesn’t come in until the climax of the movie. The majority of it is instead a melodrama, leading up to the storm.
  • Overprotective Dad: Overprotective uncle actually. Beau does not want Bailey dating Duncan, believing that he will ruin his niece’s plans of going to college and making something out of herself.
  • Papa Wolf: Beau. He punches Ron who was harassing Bailey.
  • Parental Substitute: Beau is Bailey’s uncle but has raised her since the death of her parents when she was a little girl.