Z (1969)

M  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  8 December 1969 (USA)
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Reviews: 81 user | 64 critic

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



(novel) (as Vassili Vassilikos) , , 2 more credits »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


Crime | Drama | Thriller


M | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






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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)


$83,305 (USA) (11 September 2009)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The meaning of "Z" : At the very end of the movie, a message tells us "Also the military regime banned (...) the letter "Z" which means "He is alive" in ancient Greek." See more »


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 »


The General: Dreyfus was guilty!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in Spielberg on Spielberg (2007) See more »


Messe Pour le Temps Présent--Psyché Rock
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

Possibly, the mother of all political thrillers
27 July 2006 | by (Athens, Greece) – See all my reviews

In this film, we find ourselves in a big city in a nameless country, whose political system is royal democracy. However in effect it is under a military regime. At that time, a pacifist politician-doctor-athlete arrives to deliver a speech about disarmament. This does not please the military, who devise a plot to do away with him. The politician is killed and his murder is covered up as an accident. The rest of the film is about the efforts of the Examining Magistrate and a newspaper photographer to uncover the truth.

For those who are up to date with Greek history, the country is Greece, the city is Thessaloniki and the politician is Grigoris Lambrakis. But that is of small importance, since this is a story which could have (and possibly has) happened anywhere at any time in history.

About the film: the cinematography is excellent, even by today's standards. The acting and direction are both top class. But what impressed me the most was the film's editing. After the slow first 15-20 minutes or so, the film picks up a pace which is tight and lightning fast. The dialogue is concise and to the point - the film's last lines, spoken by the Narrator and found in the quotes section of IMDb, never fail to bring tears to my eyes. Finally, the film offers what I consider to be the best film score of all time (but I may be a bit biased on this, since the score is by Mikis Theodorakis, my personal favourite).

This kind of documentary-style film making has been done plenty of times since, especially in political thrillers. But this is what sparked everything up. Watch this film. You'll be rewarded.

My rating: 10/10

13 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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