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The Assassin (1952)
"Venetian Bird" (original title)

6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 151 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 1 critic

Private detective Edward Mercer goes to Venice at the request of a French insurance company to locate a brave Italian whom they wish to reward for his part in the rescue of an Allied airman... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Edward Mercer
Eva Bartok ...
Adriana Medova
John Gregson ...
Renzo Uccello
George Coulouris ...
Chief of Police Spadoni
Margot Grahame ...
Rosa Melitus
Walter Rilla ...
Count Boria
John Bailey ...
Lt. Longo
Sidney James ...
Bernardo
Martin Boddey ...
Gufo
Michael Balfour ...
Moretto
Sydney Tafler ...
Boldesca
Miles Malleson ...
Grespi
...
Gostini
David Hurst ...
Minelli
Raymond Young ...
Luigi
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Storyline

Private detective Edward Mercer goes to Venice at the request of a French insurance company to locate a brave Italian whom they wish to reward for his part in the rescue of an Allied airman shot down during the war. At least, that is what Mercer thinks as he steps off the steamer at the Piazza San Marco and is greeted by a smiling street photographer, Cassana. Mercer makes his way to a shop and finds his first contact dead from a knife stab, and the trail leads him to Adrianna. He faces danger from police chief Spaloni and also from a group of foreign patriots, led by Count Borian and Lieutenant Longo, who want to use him as a stool-pigeon for a planned Coup d'Etat. A hectic race across the roof tops, high above the great square, brings Mercer to grips against his unknown enemy. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Filmed in Venice - city of intrigue and danger!

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 April 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Assassin  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Time Was Standing Still
(uncredited)
Music by Nino Rota
Lyrics by Ferrante Alvaro De Torres
English Lyrics by Harold Purcell
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User Reviews

 
Richard Todd gets embroiled in an assassination plot in Venice
16 April 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The Assassin" boasts beautiful noir cinematography in the city of Venice, and that ties in with some excellent sequences staged in places like a 16th through 18th century museum and the rooftops overlooking Piazza Saint Marco. There is solid supporting work from Walter Rilla. There is an assassination sequence too.

Richard Todd, a kind of private eye with a tattered history, arrives in Venice seeking a man named Renzo Uccello (John Gregson) so that a bequest can be conferred on him for a wartime act of saving someone's life. Uccello is, however, wanted by the police, and, unknown to both Todd and Gregson's wife (Eva Bartok), he is involved in a plot to assassinate a political figure in order to induce a coup d'etat by right-wing elements. Todd places himself in the middle, while also falling for Eva Bartok.

This plot is more than enough to generate a penetrating script, but unfortunately it doesn't. The script has the elements but still seems to lack sharpness and depth. The story at times reminds one of "The Third Man" with Todd replacing Joseph Cotten, Gregson a kind of shady character (like Welles' third man), and Bartok standing in for Valli. Again, unfortunately, neither the direction of this picture nor the acting nor the characterizations generated by the script measure up to such a classic.

Still, forgetting such comparisons, the movie stands on its own as a decent noir effort.


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