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The Assassination of Richard Nixon (2004)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 21,739 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:

Power is a state of mind. 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

Version of The Plot to Kill Nixon (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Violin Sonata No. 5 in F Major, Op. 24
Spring"
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

 
In short recommended.
15 December 2004 | by See all my reviews

Thanks to my keen eye, I (one of few, I believe) caught that free tickets to above movie were being given away, and would be followed by a Q & A with the director, producer (the guy behind Y Tu Mama Tambien) and Sean Penn, who is the lead of the movie, and takes a large majority of the screen time. The movie comes to select U.S. theaters on Dec. 29th, and the widens. I'll mention the questions later, but first the review.

A very good, yet flawed film. I use the term film not to be pretentious, but because it is primarily a film, not a movie in the blockbustery sense. It was produced independently, with the documenting the assassin, Sam Byck (Sean Penn.) It focuses on the year before he attempted (true story) to kill President Nixon in February, 1974 by flying a plane into the White House. However, the main thrust of the film was not politics, but character development.

Sean Penn is clearly one of the best actors today, very much in his prime. He once again proves it here. Byck is a man separated from his family, unsuccessful in his careers, and is marginalized from his life. We watch him obtain a sense of hopelessness, as he watches his dreams crumble away, as he blames the American system for his demise. Similar to Taxi Driver, in a lot of ways. Outstanding portrayal.

The only negative was the short span of the movie. It was 95 minutes, and left too little time for back story. There is not nearly enough exploration of how Byck got to the point where he could be pushed to kill. Another half hour of explaining his character would have made for a pantheon-level movie, instead of just a rather good one.


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