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The Assassination of Richard Nixon (2004)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 21,736 users   Metascore: 63/100
Reviews: 201 user | 150 critic | 38 from Metacritic.com

Based on real life events, Assassination is set in 1974 and centers on a businessman who decides to take extreme measures to achieve his American dream.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Martin Jones (as Brad Henke)
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Harold Mann
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Mae Simmons
Lily Knight ...
Receptionist
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Sammy Jr.
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Ellen
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Julie
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Marie's Mother
Derek Greene ...
Joey Simmons
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Storyline

In 1974 Samuel Joseph Byck attempted to hijack a plane he intended to fly into the White House to kill Richard Nixon - possibly the first time an airliner was to be used as a flying bomb in a terrorist attack. Sam Bicke is a lonely, ineffectual incompetent who feels wronged by his family, friends, employers and the world in general, though his problems are largely of his own making and his petulant refusal to compromise what he sees as his 'values'. Thus he loses his job rather than 'lie' to customers about prices, while at the same time he continuously deceives his friends, and steals from his friend and his brother. Elaborate plans for success founder on equally avoidable issues. As his world falls apart, he fantasizes Richard Nixon (then under the shadow of Watergate and soon to leave office) as his ultimate enemy, and Leonard Bernstein (to whom he dictates endless self-exculpatory audio letters) as his only friend and equal. As a bleak future closes in, Bicke mounts the ... Written by Chris Davis

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The mad story of a true man. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and a scene of graphic violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

22 October 2004 (Greece)  »

Also Known As:

A Richard Nixon-merénylet  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$10,050 (Chile) (7 July 2006)

Gross:

$10,050 (Chile) (7 July 2006)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sean Penn was attached to this project for six years before they found the financing for it. See more »

Goofs

Aircraft not from the story's time period are visible outside the airport terminal near the end of the film. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Samuel Bicke: Testing. Testing. Testing. One, two, three. Mr. Maestro, Leonard Bernstein, tape number one.
See more »

Connections

Features Let's Make a Deal (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

Piano Concerto No. 5 in E Flat Major, Op. 73
Emperor"
Performed by the Studio Symphony Orchestra Prague
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven
Produced by Steven Stern and Jack Smalley
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Best film of the year
2 August 2004 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

I saw this film at Cannes and thought it was fantastic. There is not a flawed moment in the entire film. The performances are amazing and any intelligent film fan will see Sean Penn's performance as one of his best if not his very best ever.

Additionally, Naomi Watts is outstanding. She disappears entirely in her role as Marie and is almost unrecognizable from anything she's ever done in the past. Jack Thompson, the great Australian actor of Breaker Morant and Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith fame is stunning. I can't believe he hasn't been used more in the United States. Not to mention the always great Don Cheadle and others...

The story itself is chilling. This is one relevant film that everyone should see. I don't want to give anything away but suffice it to say that this film discusses with great depth and insight issues that are burning in everyone's minds these days -- terrorism, 9-11, powerlessness as a voting public, etc., etc.

This film is gripping from start to finish. It is a carefully crafted character dissection that takes you inside the mind and heart of Penn's character. The film couldn't have succeeded without Penn's brilliance. The art direction and cinematography are stand out as well as the editing which keeps the film moving at a very assured pace.

This film is as good as they come. It's the kind of film they used to make and I was thrilled to see that some filmmakers and actors had the courage to tackle such complexities as are tackled here.

Roger Ebert calls "Nixon" one of the best films at this year's Cannes film festival...Le Monde in France called it a near masterpiece and in Rome's largest paper they wondered why this film instead of Fahrenheit 911 wasn;'t garnering all the attention. I agree with all of them. Amazing what the director and cast were able to pull off, simply amazing.

This film is an absolute gem and a must see for any intelligent film-goer....It will become a classic...guaranteed.


97 of 126 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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