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The Assassin (1961) More at IMDbPro »L'assassino (original title)

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Up 33% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Tonino Guerra (story) &
Elio Petri (story) ...
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Release Date:
August 1965 (USA) See more »
Today's Most Exciting Star in a New and Provocative Role! See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
1 win & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
The Assassin! See more (9 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Marcello Mastroianni ... Alfredo Martelli

Micheline Presle ... Adalgisa De Matteis

Cristina Gaioni ... Nicoletta Nogaro (as Cristina Gajoni)

Salvo Randone ... Commissario Palumbo
Andrea Checchi ... Morello
Francesco Grandjacquet ... Vecchio signore
Marco Mariani ... Commissario Margiotta
Franco Ressel ... Dottore Francesconi
Mac Ronay ... Suicida
Toni Ucci ... Toni
Max Cartier ... Bruno
Bruno Scipioni
Lucia Raggi
Giovanna Gagliardo ... Rosetta
Liana Ferri (as Lina Ferri)
Carlo Egidi ... Amico di Nello
Eugenio Maggi
Ubaldo Micacchi
Silvio Bastianelli
Paolo Panelli ... Paolo
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Franco Freda ... Barbone / Tramp (uncredited)

Giuliano Montaldo ... (uncredited)

Enrico Maria Salerno ... (uncredited)
Corrado Zingaro ... (uncredited)

Directed by
Elio Petri 
Writing credits
Tonino Guerra (story) (as Antonio Guerra) &
Elio Petri (story)

Pasquale Festa Campanile (screenplay) &
Massimo Franciosa (screenplay) &
Tonino Guerra (screenplay) (as Antonio Guerra) &
Elio Petri (screenplay)

Produced by
Franco Cristaldi .... producer
Original Music by
Piero Piccioni 
Cinematography by
Carlo Di Palma 
Film Editing by
Ruggero Mastroianni 
Production Design by
Giovanni Checchi 
Lorenzo Vespignani  (as Renzo Vespignani)
Art Direction by
Carlo Egidi (uncredited)
Set Decoration by
Lorenzo Vespignani  (as Renzo Vespignani)
Costume Design by
Graziella Urbinati 
Makeup Department
Anna Fabrizzi .... hair stylist (as Anna Fabrizi)
Franco Freda .... makeup artist
Production Management
Felice D'Alisera .... unit production manager
Gino Millozza .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Adolfo Cagnacci .... assistant director
Maurice Hartwig .... assistant director for french version
Giuliano Montaldo .... assistant director
Fabio Rinaudo .... assistant director
Giorgio Trentin .... assistant director
Art Department
Gastone Carsetti .... assistant production designer
Sound Department
Giovanni Rossi .... sound engineer
Camera and Electrical Department
Dario Di Palma .... camera operator
Angelo Lannutti .... assistant camera (as Angelo Lannuti)
Alberto Spagnoli .... assistant camera
Editorial Department
Giovanna De Santis .... assistant editor
Music Department
Piero Piccioni .... conductor
Other crew
Giovanna De Santis .... script supervisor
Albino Morandini .... production secretary
Albino Morandini .... script supervisor
Lamberto Pippia .... production secretary
Lamberto Pippia .... script supervisor
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"L'assassino" - Italy (original title)
"The Lady Killer of Rome" - USA (dubbed version)
See more »
97 min | Spain:90 min | USA:83 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Finland:K-16 | Italy:VM16 (original rating) | Italy:T (re-rating) (1970) | Spain:T | UK:X (original rating) | UK:12 (video) | West Germany:18 (nf) (cut)

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The Assassin!, 5 May 2017
Author: gavin6942 from United States

Alfredo Martelli (Marcello Mastroianni) 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 made a large handful of classic films. His best known, "Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion" (1970), was about the police force. "The Working Class Goes to Heaven" (1971) focused on the worker's condition. And "Property Is No Longer a Theft" (1973) emphasized the role of money in our society and how power destroys the individual. But "The Assassin" (1961) was his first feature film, and for that fact alone deserves to be looked at more closely.

Petri was able to land star Marcello Mastroianni at the perfect point in his career. Although he was already an award-winning actor, this pint had him just finishing up "La Dolce Vita" and about to start "8 1/2", quite possibly the two biggest Italian films of that era, and ones that would make him an international star.

This film's legacy includes the story of cinematographer Carlo DiPalma, who went on to make some notable Italian films (including "Blowup"), and perhaps more interestingly, a dozen movies with Woody Allen in the 1980s. This was also an early film for composer Piero Piccioni and his jazzy piano, which really moves the film forward at every turn. He would eventually contribute to over 300 soundtracks at least up through 1990.

Both the crisp black-and-white photography and the catchy, memorable score are key pieces of what make this film worthy of further inspection. But there is also the unusual narrative structure. Perhaps due to poor dubbing, some viewers have mistakenly wondered why the lead character seems to be living two lives. In fact, the answer is quite clear: much of the film is a flashback. While probably not unique, this structure does allow the audience to better understand the current predicament of our hero in little pieces... and then decide for themselves. This method also suggests that a second (or third) viewing might further elucidate the plot.

The Arrow Blu-ray features a 2K digital restoration from the Cineteca di Bologna, and it looks stunning. We also get an introduction by Italian cinema expert Pasquale Iannone and a nearly hour-long documentary, "Tonino Guerra: A Poet in the Movies" by Nicola Tranquillino. While supplies last, each disc comes with a booklet featuring writing on the film by Petri expert Camilla Zamboni, Petri's own critical analysis of 1950s Italian cinema, plus a selection of contemporary reviews.

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