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Target of an Assassin (1977)

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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 246 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 1 critic

An ailing African leader is admitted to a hospital. A male nurse at the hospital kidnaps him, but it turns out that things aren't exactly what they seem to be.



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Title: Target of an Assassin (1977)

Target of an Assassin (1977) on IMDb 6.3/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ernest Hobday 'Sailor' Slade
Simon Sabela ...
President Lunda
Colonel Albert Pahler
Sandra Prinsloo ...
Sister Janet Hobart
Joe Stewardson ...
Dr. Ben Schaeffer
Ken Gampu ...
Janet du Plessis ...
Ginny Slade
Barry Trengove ...
Reggie Khangela ...
1st Aide
Johnny Molefe ...
2nd Aide
Lisa Shane ...
Sister Killeen
Chris du Toit
Regardt van den Bergh
Hugh Rouse


An ailing African leader is admitted to a hospital. A male nurse at the hospital kidnaps him, but it turns out that things aren't exactly what they seem to be.

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Release Date:

10 February 1977 (South Africa)  »

Also Known As:

Target of an Assassin  »

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Referenced in The Killing Floor (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Worth another look
14 February 2012 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

At first glance, this occasionally melodramatic action thriller appears to be a turkey, with amateurish performances, incoherent narrative and a laborious pace. Anthony Quinn plays a widowed and dying male nurse at a South African hospital who kidnaps a visiting African President (Sabela), concealing him in a disused mine, seeking to extort $100K to support his teenage daughter following his death. Complicating matters, a hired assassin (Law) is stalking the president, leading to a tense encounter on a chair lift.

South African stalwarts Marius Weyers and Simon Sabela deliver likable performances, and although both the female actresses (Prinsloo and Du Plessis) in my opinion looked amateurish, the cast generally knits together well (the ubiquitous South African actor Ken Gampu has a key supporting role). John Phillip Law, while second billed, isn't as prominent as Sabela or Weyers but gives an animated performance nonetheless as what must be considered one of the screen's most inept hit men.

The rapport that develops between captor and captive seems quite sincere and believable, both Quinn and Sabela trading some at-times humorous dialogue as they forge a mutually respectful relationship that transcends race and, the obvious constraints of the situation. While the plot holes were regular and gaping, I found the climax to be better than expected; heroism, redemption, tragedy all unfold with cinematic intensity. Not a work of prestige, but if you persist beyond the first hour without reaching for the remote, then you should be rewarded.

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