6.3/10
205
13 user 5 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 »

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Reviews

Watch Now

$0.00 (SD) with Prime Video

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Jim Ackland, who suffers from a head injury sustained in a bus crash, is the chief suspect in a murder hunt, when a girl that he has just met is found dead on the local common, and he has ... See full summary »

Director: Roy Ward Baker
Stars: John Mills, Joan Greenwood, Edward Chapman
Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A man is torn between tackling a sinister crime syndicate or turning a blind eye to the suffering it creates.

Director: Ronald Neame
Stars: Trevor Howard, Anouk Aimée, Herbert Lom
Mystery | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A Royal navy Commander is tricked by a pretty girl who is working for the Nazis. She tricks him into revealing some military secrets and he is court martial. He vows to track her and her ... See full summary »

Director: Carl Lamac
Stars: James Mason, Joyce Howard, Tom Walls
Snowbound (1948)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A group of people search for Nazi treasure hidden in the Alps. From "The Lonely Skier" by Hammond Innes.

Director: David MacDonald
Stars: Dennis Price, Mila Parély, Stanley Holloway
The Assassin (1961)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Alfredo Martelli is picked up by the police in his apartment without justification. In the precinct, he slowly discovers what is the investigation about as we find out details about his life.

Director: Elio Petri
Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Micheline Presle, Cristina Gaioni
Dear Murderer (1947)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When successful business man Lee Warren suspects his wife is having an affair, he sets out find her lover, kill him, and make it look like suicide. Complications set in, when he finds out ... See full summary »

Director: Arthur Crabtree
Stars: Eric Portman, Greta Gynt, Dennis Price
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When Secret Service agent David Somers is fired, he takes a quiet job with the Fentons at their country estate - cataloging butterflies, hence the title insect. David grows fond of Jess ... See full summary »

Director: Ralph Thomas
Stars: Jean Simmons, Trevor Howard, Sonia Dresdel
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When FBI Agent Zack Stewart is killed, Agent John Ripley takes over the three cases he was working on, hoping one will lead to his killer. The first involves gangster Joe Walpo and Ripley ... See full summary »

Director: Arnold Laven
Stars: Broderick Crawford, Ruth Roman, Martha Hyer
Backfire (1950)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

While recuperating from wartime back injuries at a hospital, veteran Bob Corey is visited on Christmas Eve by a beautiful stranger with an even stranger message.

Director: Vincent Sherman
Stars: Virginia Mayo, Gordon MacRae, Edmond O'Brien
High Treason (1951)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Communist saboteurs plot peace-time attack on Britain.

Director: Roy Boulting
Stars: Liam Redmond, André Morell, Anthony Bushell
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When John North, a budding author, pulls the communication cord of a late night train that is taking him away on a weekend with his publishers wife, he sets in motion a series of events ... See full summary »

Director: Daniel Birt
Stars: Valerie Hobson, Richard Todd, Christine Norden
Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When Germany invades Czechoslovakia, the German and the British intelligence services try to capture Czech scientist Axel Bomasch, inventor of a new type of armor-plating.

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Margaret Lockwood, Rex Harrison, Paul Henreid
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Edward Mercer
...
Adriana Medova
John Gregson ...
Renzo Uccello
...
Chief of Police Spadoni
...
Rosa Melitus
...
Count Boria
...
Lt. Longo
Sidney James ...
Bernardo
Martin Boddey ...
Gufo
Michael Balfour ...
Moretto
Sydney Tafler ...
Boldesca
Miles Malleson ...
Grespi
...
Gostini
...
Minelli
Raymond Young ...
Luigi
Edit

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

22 April 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Assassin  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

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

Soundtracks

Time Was Standing Still
(uncredited)
Music by Nino Rota
Lyrics by Ferrante Alvaro De Torres
English Lyrics by Harold Purcell
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Some great visuals, but it talks the convoluted plot to death...death in Venice anyone?
8 May 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Assassin (1952)

What distinguishes this movie is the setting--Venice, in the 1950s. There are some other famous movies set in this town in this time (the moody 1955 "Summertime"), and somehow this one feels the most authentic, not romanticized to pieces but still an appreciative take on it.

Of course, you'd rather have your movie succeed because of its plot and acting, and this one isn't bad--I'd watch it if you like this kind of low budget black and white Euro-noir. (This is a British B-movie.)

As much as murder, and the machinations of post-war Italy, are the backdrop, this is a very talky movie, to the point of being both redundant and at times confusing. It's dramatic in its progression of mysteries, and in the many night or dark interior scenes, barely lit. It's dripping in art history throughout, both as backdrop and as a growing part of the theme (one of the main mysterious characters is an artist) and this is terrific.

Because the plot is one conversation after another, all rather undramatic in its delivery, it depends on its actors rather a lot, and the leading man (Richard Todd) in particular is serious but straining the whole way. The story and screenplay are by Victor Channing, who was a best selling British author in his day, and it feels like best seller stuff, thinly conceived. There are bit actors doing their best, and there is an authenticity implied by all of the settings and period sets fairly contemporary to the filming. But the deadened script undermines a visually emphatic movie. Watch with some patience left over.

Or watch for Venice. There really is a lot in store in this aspect (though some of the interiors were apparently shot in Veneto, which is the province nearby. Toward the end is a large procession on the grand canal, pretty neat if you like that kind of thing. As the assassin, an artist at heart, says as he is ready to commit his crime, "I should have a pencil, not a gun." And you know, the last five minutes is amazing filming (and sound!), with Hitchcockian overtones, worth seeing no matter what you think of the rest of it.


5 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss The Assassin (1952) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?