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Assassination (1987)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Drama, Thriller  |  9 January 1987 (USA)
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Jay Killion (Charles Bronson) had been the presidential bodyguard, but for the inauguration of the recently elected president, he is assigned to the first lady, Lara Royce (Jill Ireland). ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Stephen Elliott ...
Erik Stern ...
Billy Hayes ...
Pritchard Young (as William Hayes)


Jay Killion (Charles Bronson) had been the presidential bodyguard, but for the inauguration of the recently elected president, he is assigned to the first lady, Lara Royce (Jill Ireland). Lara, a perpetually indignant, arrogantly feministic lady, initially hates the methodical and rules-following Killion, and so she does all she can to avoid him and disregard his safety procedures. The story complicates, however, when repeated attempts are made on Lara's life. Eventually, the shaken Lara decides to trust Killion's instincts and precautionary methods, and the pair embark on a difficult and often perilous cross-country journey, with the assassins close on their heels. Written by Michel Rudoy <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Only Jay Killian stood between the President's wife and assassination. See more »


Action | Drama | Thriller


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

9 January 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Assassin  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)


$6,075,793 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


First filmed production in ten years for writer Richard Sale. The last had been The White Buffalo (1977) which also starred Charles Bronson. See more »


When Mama One is taken from the helicopter into a car, there are several cars and a truck following. In the next shot from within the car there are no cars at all to be seen through the back window. See more »


Jay Killion: Charlie, get some clothes on!
Charlotte Chong: That's not what you said last night!
See more »


from Invasion U.S.A. (1985)
Composed by Jay Chattaway
See more »

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User Reviews

Playing babysitter.
15 August 2009 | by (the Mad Hatter's tea party.) – See all my reviews

I was a little disappointed after re-watching 'Assassination'. It was a good piece, but it wasn't the non-stop action pack feature that I remembered. A bad thing… not really. Typical Bronson venture done through Cannon productions? Yes and no. However it's a typical story (even though quite ludicrous at times), but it felt rather low-scale (think of Bronson's 'Messenger of Death' the following year) with its thriller elements and explosively sparse action. Surprisingly when the action did kick into gear, the stunt work and positioning was impressive, but where the film's drive came from was the budding rapport between Charles Bronson (whose appealingly laid-back) and Jill Ireland (diving right into the role with convincing aplomb). Outside of those two I found the rest of the performances sub-standard.

The plot is a tautly twisty (but far-fetched) cross-country political thriller that has veteran Secret Agent Jay Killian assigned to protect the demandingly stuck-up first lady, where he uncovers a devious plot involving assassins out to her kill her. It's a complex web, but the material seems to breeze through rather concentrating on the combination of the two main characters and their growing respect for each other. It can be dramatically soapy, but never does it feel as if it's really taking itself seriously due to some forced humour coming from the script. This doesn't stall it at all. Director Peter Hunt (who also directed Bronson with Lee Marvin in the 1981 rugged survival thriller 'Death Hunt') does a conventionally efficient job, even with some sequences coming across as if made for a TV show. When it came to the vigorously pumped-up activity, Hunt was at the top his game accommodating a no-bull approach and the productively scope-like cinematography passes through the top-notch scenic locations with verve-like ease.

Earnestly slick filler.

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