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Z (1969)

M  -  Crime | Drama | History  -  8 December 1969 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 14,863 users  
Reviews: 79 user | 60 critic

Following the murder of a prominent leftist, an investigator tries to uncover the truth while government officials attempt to cover up their roles.

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Title: Z (1969)

Z (1969) on IMDb 8.1/10

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 11 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Z
...
Hélène
...
...
...
François Périer ...
Le procureur
Pierre Dux ...
Georges Géret ...
Nick (as Georges Geret)
Bernard Fresson ...
Marcel Bozzuffi ...
Vago (as Marcel Bozzufi)
Julien Guiomar ...
...
La soeur de Nick
...
Yago
Habib Reda
Clotilde Joano ...
Shoula (as Clotilde Joanno)
Edit

Storyline

In a mid-sized metropolis (population 500,000) in a right-wing military led country, a pacifist organization, which supports the opposition party in the government, is planning on holding an anti-military, nuclear disarmament rally. The organization's charismatic leader - the deputy - is scheduled to arrive in the town from the capital the day of the rally. Beyond the problems arranging the rally due to the probable incitement of violence at such a rally, the organization learns of an unconfirmed report that there will be an attempt on the deputy's life. The rally does happen, after which a three-wheeled kamikaze runs over the deputy, who eventually passes away from his injuries. The official report is that the incident was a drunken accident. In reality, the deputy's death was murder orchestrated by the secret police, the general for who likens the pacifist organization to mildew killing off agricultural crops. A magistrate is assigned to the case. Although he does have political ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

M | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

8 December 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Z - A Orgia do Poder  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$10,144 (USA) (13 March 2009)

Gross:

$83,305 (USA) (11 September 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie is based on the events surrounding the assassination of democratic Greek politician Grigoris Lambrakis. On May 22, 1963, Lambrakis was attacked and struck on the head (in the same manner depicted in the film) by right-wing extremists after giving an anti-war speech in Thessaloniki. He died of brain injuries from the attack on May 27, 1963. Following Lambrakis's assassination, a military junta of right-wing generals seized control of the Greek government in 1967. During this time, the letter Z (meaning "He is alive") became a common piece of protest graffiti in Greek cities, in memory of Lambrakis and his democratic ideals. The military junta banned the use of the letter "Z" as graffiti, in response to these protests. The Greek junta collapsed in 1974, following a disastrous invasion of Cyprus by Turkey (which led to the occupation of almost half Cyprus by the Turkish army), and democracy was restored to Greece. In the film, the Examining Magistrate (played by Jean-Louis Trintignant) is in reality Christos Sartzetakis, who later served as President of the Hellenic Republic (1985-1990). See more »

Goofs

After Georges Géret as Nick is hit on the front of the head, he holds the back of it. See more »

Quotes

Manuel: Always blame the USA, even if you are wrong!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Mikis Theodorakis (the film's composer) having been deported, the orchestration is by Bernard Gérard. See more »

Connections

Referenced in JFK (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Messe Pour le Temps Présent--Psyché Rock
(uncredited)
Composed and Performed by Pierre Henry
Courtesy of Philips/PolyGram Records
by arrangement with PolyGram Special Markets
© 1967 Philips Classics Productions
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The most important political film in Greece
13 July 1999 | by (Athens, Greece) – See all my reviews

First and foremost, it is a true story. It's the story of the assassination of Grigoris Lambrakis, that eventually led to the military junta. Every time I see it, it gives me the chills. Since Z was released while the junta was still in power, it was banned in Greece for several years. After the fall of the military junta, Z was worshiped, although we saw it on TV much later in order to avoid stirring passions. In terms of the plot, if you're not Greek, it's quite possible you might be left with many unanswered questions, but, in general, it is an accurate description of Greece during that era.

While Vassilikos' novel (written in 1966) has driven him to exile from 1967, Theodorakis was still in Greece under surveillance and managed to write his excellent score secretly.

Costa-Gavras gives us a top-class fast paced direction which hasn't aged even today, although I'm sure the Oscar was as much a political decision as a purely artistic one. What is truly spot-on is the casting. Both Montand and Trintignant excel, but even minor roles like Vago and Yago are portrayed in an extremely realistic way. My small objection would be Irene Papas staying near-silent throughout the movie. Although her talent allows her to pull it off with class, I really didn't understand why she was not supposed to talk.


68 of 72 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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