6.3/10
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13 user 7 critic

The Assassin (1952)

Venetian Bird (original title)
Approved | | Mystery, Thriller | 22 April 1953 (USA)
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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(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Edward Mercer
...
Adriana Medova
...
Renzo Uccello
...
Chief of Police Spadoni
...
Rosa Melitus
...
Count Boria
...
Lt. Longo
...
Bernardo
Martin Boddey ...
Gufo
Michael Balfour ...
Moretto
Sydney Tafler ...
Boldesca
Miles Malleson ...
Grespi
...
Gostini
...
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  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Rosa Melitus: Survival is often a simple matter of being able to change your habits at the right moment.
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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

 
Why has this been overlooked? A solid post-war thriller.
19 February 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film, although not as well-crafted as THE THIRD MAN or THE MAN BETWEEN, is definitely in their league; it's a taut, post-war mystery in which a European city (in this case, Venice) is one of the most important characters. The main human character, Edward Mercer (Richard Todd), is a Hitchcockian protagonist: a man trying to prove his innocence in ever more dire circumstances.

The plot does get convoluted at times, but director Ralph Thomas always keeps your eyes interested with wonderful location shots. The cast is solid, and Sid James is given a rare dramatic role. The ending, also with Hitchcockian overtones, is thrilling and a fine bit of camera work and direction. (May I recommend that after you finish the film, go back and watch the first few minutes again. You'll see how cleverly the motifs of the film are tied together.)


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