IMDb > The Assassination Bureau (1969)
The Assassination Bureau
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The Assassination Bureau (1969) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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6.8/10   1,334 votes »
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Up 20% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Robert L. Fish (novel)
Jack London (unfinished novel)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Assassination Bureau on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
April 1969 (France) See more »
Tagline:
Zeppelins. Bombs. Bordellos. Burials. You name it. We have it.
Plot:
The Assassination Bureau has existed for decades (perhaps centuries) until Diana Rigg begins to investigate it... See more » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination See more »
NewsDesk:
(2 articles)
New Who Review: The Crimson Horror
 (From Comicmix. 6 May 2013, 3:00 AM, PDT)

Diana Rigg in Ohmss: A Wedding Ensemble to Die For
 (From Clothes on Film. 23 June 2011, 6:32 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Jack London - An American Original With a "Jules Verne" Problem See more (28 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Oliver Reed ... Ivan Dragomiloff

Diana Rigg ... Sonya Winter

Telly Savalas ... Lord Bostwick

Curd Jürgens ... Gen. von Pinck

Philippe Noiret ... Monsieur Lucoville

Warren Mitchell ... Herr Weiss
Beryl Reid ... Madame Otero

Clive Revill ... Cesare Spado
Kenneth Griffith ... Monsieur Popescu

Vernon Dobtcheff ... Baron Muntzof
Annabella Incontrera ... Eleanora Spado
Jess Conrad ... Angelo
George Coulouris ... Swiss Peasant
Ralph Michael ... Editor
Katherine Kath ... Mme. Lucoville
Eugene Deckers ... 'La Belle Amie' desk clerk
Olaf Pooley ... Swiss Cashier
George Murcell ... Zeppelin pilot
Michael Wolf ... Zeppelin officer
Gordon Sterne ... Corporal

Peter Bowles ... Jealous lover at 'La Belle Amie'
William Kendall ... M. Marivaux at 'La Belle Amie'
Jeremy Lloyd ... English Officer
Roger Delgado ... Bureau Member
Maurice Browning ... Bureau Member
Clive Cazes ... Bureau Member
Gerik Schjelderup ... Bureau Member

Milton Reid ... Elevator victim Leonardi

Frank Thornton ... Elevator victim
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Maggie Wright ... Exquisite girl
John Abineri ... Police Inspector (uncredited)

Jonathan Adams ... French President (uncredited)
Patrick Allen ... Narrator (uncredited)
Neal Arden ... 'La Belle Amie' Client (uncredited)
Sydney Arnold ... 'La Belle Amie' Client (uncredited)
Pauline Barker ... Nursemaid (uncredited)
Jane Bates ... 'La Belle Amie' Girl (uncredited)
Victor Beaumont ... von Pinck's Aide (uncredited)
Mona Chong ... 'La Belle Amie' Girl (uncredited)
John Crocker ... 'La Belle Amie' Client (uncredited)
Bill Cummings ... Bureau Member (uncredited)
Anthony Dawes ... Assistant Editor (uncredited)
Alicia Deane ... 'La Belle Amie' Girl (uncredited)
Roy Degay ... Tsar (uncredited)
Jim Delaney ... Undertaker (uncredited)
Carmen Dene ... 'La Belle Amie' Girl (uncredited)
Dominique Don ... 'La Belle Amie' Girl (uncredited)
Sally Douglas ... 'La Belle Amie' Girl (uncredited)
Steve Emerson ... Bureau Member (uncredited)
Fred Emney ... Elevator Victim (uncredited)
Felix Felton ... Beer Cellar Proprietor (uncredited)
Harry Fielder ... Soldier (uncredited)
Ray Ford ... Bureau Member (uncredited)
Michael Gover ... Venice Hotel Manager (uncredited)
Angela Grant ... 'La Belle Amie' Girl (uncredited)
Peter Graves ... Dragomiloff's Butler (uncredited)
Dianne Greaves ... 'La Belle Amie' Girl (uncredited)
Olive Gregg ... Eleanora Spado (voice) (uncredited)
John Hallam ... Bureau Member (uncredited)
Maurice Hedley ... Military Man at Lowe's (uncredited)
John G. Heller ... von Pinck's Aide (uncredited)
Arthur Hewlett ... Counterman at Lowe's (uncredited)
Hubert Hill ... Kaiser (uncredited)
Katharine Holden ... 'La Belle Amie' Girl (uncredited)
Stephen Hubay ... Bureau Member (uncredited)
Malcolm Johns ... Piero (uncredited)
Elizabeth Knight ... Nursemaid (uncredited)
Nita Lorraine ... 'La Belle Amie' Girl (uncredited)
Philip Madoc ... Officer (uncredited)
Terence Maidment ... Bureau Member (uncredited)
Michael Mellinger ... Venice Police Sergeant (uncredited)
Georgina Moon ... Nursemaid (uncredited)
Robert Rietty ... Police Officer with Eleanora (uncredited)
Kevin Stoney ... Blind Beggar (uncredited)
Dermot Tuohy ... Archduke Ferdinand (uncredited)
Colin Vancao ... 'La Belle Amie' Client (uncredited)
Sue Vaughan ... 'La Belle Amie' Girl (uncredited)
Desmond Walter-Ellis ... Equerry (uncredited)
Chris Webb ... Undertaker (uncredited)
Sheree Winton ... 'La Belle Amie' Girl (uncredited)
Karen Young ... 'La Belle Amie' Girl (uncredited)
Raymond Young ... Police Officer with Sonya (uncredited)
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Directed by
Basil Dearden 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Robert L. Fish  novel
Jack London  unfinished novel
Wolf Mankowitz  additional dialogue
Michael Relph  writer

Produced by
Charles Orme .... associate producer
Michael Relph .... producer
 
Original Music by
Ron Grainer 
 
Cinematography by
Geoffrey Unsworth 
 
Film Editing by
Teddy Darvas 
 
Casting by
Weston Drury Jr. (uncredited)
 
Production Design by
Michael Relph 
 
Art Direction by
Roy Forge Smith  (as Roy Smith)
Frank White 
 
Costume Design by
Beatrice Dawson 
 
Makeup Department
Harry Frampton .... makeup artist
Barbara Ritchie .... hair stylist
Peter Frampton .... makeup assistant (uncredited)
Philip Leakey .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Mibs Parker .... hair stylist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Barrie Melrose .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
John Peverall .... assistant director
Richard Hoult .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Terry Marcel .... second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Helen Thomas .... set dresser
Ferdinand Bellan .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Roger Cain .... draughtsman (uncredited)
Dennis Griffin .... property buyer (uncredited)
Wally Hill .... chargehand props (uncredited)
Simon Holland .... draughtsman (uncredited)
Danny Skundric .... propman (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Ken Barker .... sound recordist
John Dennis .... sound recordist
Dudley Messenger .... sound recordist
John Poyner .... sound editor
Danny Daniel .... boom operator (uncredited)
John Hayward .... assistant boom operator (uncredited)
Vivian Temple-Smith .... sound camera operator (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Les Bowie .... special effects
Thomas Clark .... special effects
 
Stunts
Eddie Stacey .... stunt coordinator
Vic Armstrong .... stunts (uncredited)
Bill Cummings .... stunts (uncredited)
Steve Emerson .... stunts (uncredited)
Terence Maidment .... stunts (uncredited)
Nosher Powell .... stunts (uncredited)
Chris Webb .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Peter MacDonald .... camera operator
George Courtney Ward .... still photographer
Martin Body .... assistant camera (uncredited)
John Campbell .... focus puller (uncredited)
Cedric James .... assistant camera (uncredited)
George Stephenson .... clapper loader (uncredited)
John Tythe .... chargehand electrician (uncredited)
Ted Underwood .... camera grip (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Rosemary Burrows .... wardrobe supervisor
John Hilling .... wardrobe supervisor
 
Other crew
Susan Dyson .... continuity
Robert Ellis .... titles designer
Rhonda Grogan .... production secretary (uncredited)
 

Production CompaniesDistributors
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
110 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Company:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Last feature film of Eugene Deckers.See more »
Goofs:
Anachronisms: In the scene, about 40-45 minutes in, where Lord Bostwick visits General Van Pinck whilst the latter is at fencing practice, you will see a map of Europe on the wall. Although this film ostensibly takes place before World War I, the map is of post-Versailles Europe, c.1925-1939.See more »
Quotes:
Miss Winter:Ivan!
Ivan Dragomiloff:Sir Ivan, if you please. Virtue, it seems, has been rewarded.
See more »
Soundtrack:
To Know My Love Loves MeSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
10 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
Jack London - An American Original With a "Jules Verne" Problem, 15 January 2006
Author: theowinthrop from United States

Jack London was a phenomenal writer, who came up from poverty and turned out some amazing books. These include (but are not limited to) THE SEA WOLF, WHITE FANG, THE CALL OF THE WILD. London is usually brushed aside today as a "kids" author. The same idiocy that relegates Jules Verne to be a writer for children and ignores his savage comments on politics affects London. After you are encouraged (about eighth grade) to read THE CALL OF THE WILD, you are told that London is always writing about man and animals in Alaska in the Gold Rush of 1898, with an occasional look at an exciting sea story.

Actually he's sharper than that: THE CALL OF THE WILD and WHITE FANG were his attempts to tell a story from an animals' point of view. THE SEA WOLF is his attempt to attack the prevalent socio-economic doctrine of the day (1900): Social Darwinism, as practiced by Captain Wolf Larsen. He wrote one of the first good novels about America under a dictatorship: THE IRON HEEL. He discussed his early life in MARTIN EDEN. He discussed his alcoholism in his book JOHN BARLEYCORN. He was the first American novelist of real international stature to embrace socialism! A reporter as well as writer, his experiences watching the Japanese government prevent him from carrying out his job during the Russo - Japanese War turned him into a perpetually hostile critic of Japan's goals in the Pacific (although, to be fair to the Japanese, London did show some racism here).

Keeping this in mind, one realizes that THE ASSASSINATION BUREAU, LTD. has to be tackled differently from say THE CALL OF THE WILD or the short story TO BUILD A FIRE. London is looking with jaundice eye at the political system that had ruled Europe (and most of the world) since 1815 or so. It was oppressive and uneven, and even in the United States (probably the best major power to live in in terms of opportunity and social mobility) it was still badly flawed.

Assassination had become a serious tool for trying to influence European affairs from 1881 to 1910 (when the novel was begun by London). Tsar Alexander II of Russia was blown to bits in 1881 by a Nihilist group called "The People's Will". Although it was captured and most of its members hanged, others copied it. Assassinations continued in Russia up to 1911 including Interior Grand Duke Serge in 1904,Minister Von Phleve in 1905, and Prime Minister Peter Stolypin in 1911. Elsewhere the other states suffered. Presidents Garfield and McKinley were assassinated in 1881 and 1901 (the latter by a self-proclaimed anarchist). President Sadi Carnot of France was stabbed to death in a public parade in 1894, in the middle of a series of anarchist attacks (including a bombing at the Chambre of Deputies). Empress Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary, King Umberto I of Italy, the Prime Minister of Spain, King Carlos III of Portugal, were all killed. So were Lord Frederick Cavendish and Thomas Burke by Irish nationalists in Phoenix Park in 1882. Many smaller public figures were killed as well. The topic of an "assassination bureau" was timely - especially as some of these victims fit what the bureau decided: were the targets worthy of being assassinated.

Of course not all of them were (Empress Elisabeth for example). But London's vision was not totally flawed. It was just that being a realist he knew that the "pure" idea of the bureau would be corrupted sooner or later. So his plot involves the head of this international bureau being offered a huge reward if he orders his own assassination. Note that Oliver Reed's character is a Russian, as though the author knew who was most likely to be the head of an assassination group.

Probably due to other commitments London never finished the novel. Robert L. Fish, a successful mystery novelist, wrote a completion which was rather amusing. I tend to believe that was an error - London was seldom an amusing writer. The film treats the moral issue as a joke, and uses the characters as caricatures of the nations they represent (the doleful Russian, the gluttonous and sexually active Italian, the pragmatic Frenchmen who runs a bordello too, the English newspaper tycoon). These characters need good performers, and Philippe Noiret is on target as the bordello owner/assassin leader); and (although not Italian) Clive Revill is quite good as the Italian. The Russian (it's not Reed) is doleful, but hardly memorable. As for Lord Bostwick, Telly Savalas is not convincing as an English aristocrat (one can't even imagine him as a Canadian transplant to England, like Spencer Tracy in EDWARD, MY SON). Curt Jurgens' German assassination leader, General Von Pinck (the name suggested, perhaps, by his handiness with a sword) is either sadistically high-spirited or vicious: no other characteristics there.

Diana Rigg, as the budding journalist who's first job is actually as a cats-paw for Savalas (her boss) is pretty good, but her performance as Vincent Price's daughter in THEATRE OF BLOOD was livelier. She seems determined to maintain her suffragette style dignity here no matter what. However it happens to work for the film. As for Reed, his straight villains were usually far better than his heroes. He appears to be too laid back at times. A bit more jittery behavior would have been better.

One final point: One minor character, an Austrian nobleman marked for death, is killed when he cuts into a large knock-wurst (that has a bomb in it). This gag probably is not original but it was reused in the television movie MORE WILD WILD WEST with Jonathan Winters as the victim.

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