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

Director:

Writers:

(novel) (as Vassili Vassilikos), (dialogue) (as Jorge Semprun)
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ON DISC
Won 2 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Z
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Hélène (as Irène Papas)
...
...
Le procureur
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...
...
Georges Géret ...
Bernard Fresson ...
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Vago (as Marcel Bozzufi)
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La soeur de Nick
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Yago
Habib Reda
Clotilde Joano ...
Shoula (as Clotilde Joanno)

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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:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

When the Photo-Journalist is interviewing Dumas the Russian in the café, Dumas mentions a paramilitary force. In the English subtitles this is translated as "a paramilitary farce". See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Deputy Minister of Agriculture: Mildew is prevented by spraying the vines with a solution of copper sulfate. There are two standard remedies: Bordeaux mixture and Burgundy mixture - named after the French provinces famous for its wines. The vines are sprayed three times a year: first when the shoots are about five inches long; second, just before or after the blossoms appear; and the third time, a month later. Spraying is preventative and thus essential
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Crazy Credits

Any resemblance to actual events, to persons living or dead, is not the result of chance. It is DELIBERATE. (Signed by) Jorge Semprún, Costa-Gavras See more »

Connections

References The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) 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
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User Reviews

A powerful film I waited a long time to see.
9 July 2000 | by (Oregon USA) – See all my reviews

I have to start by getting slightly off topic. I've wanted to see this film for thirty years. Not because I've read or heard anything about it, but entirely because of the trailer I saw when it was first released, back when I was 14. Although I now remember more the feelings the trailer inspired than the trailer itself, it still reminds me how awful trailers almost always are. The trailer for "Z" was some the most intense, exciting few seconds of film I had ever seen, and I wanted to see more. A brilliant ultra-short film production. And it did it without revealing and spoiling the movie's story. So when I finally did see "Z" I was able to enjoy something fresh and new.

It wasn't what I expected, but turned out to be one of the best political thrillers I've ever seen. You don't really have to know Greek history to see it, in part because the movie never explicitly mentions Greece. Better to do it the other way around, by getting swept up in the gritty often tawdry intrigues you will be learning Greek history without realizing it. Or if you are into conspiracies and cover-ups in general you'll learn how they really aren't the brilliantly crafted master-plans of distant omnipotent figures that most movies show, but are usually the creation of dull mediocrities, full of flaws, stupidities, and ham-fisted improvisations. That they often succeed is more because of brute force than any innate cleverness. This is a powerful and effective movie, which is almost certainly due to its being based closely on reality and the passions that inspired it's making, and from it not being a recycled and denatured Hollywood product. I highly recommend it.


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