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The Assassination of Richard Nixon (2004)

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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 21,493 users   Metascore: 63/100
Reviews: 201 user | 151 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:

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Language:

Release Date:

22 October 2004 (Greece)  »

Also Known As:

The Assassination of Richard Nixon  »

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

As Samuel Bicke is about to board the plane, an announcement is made that the TWA flight to Atlanta is about to board. On the news, it is announced as him boarding a Delta flight. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Features CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite (1962) 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
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User Reviews

 
A brilliant achievement in film-making!
12 November 2004 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

I was lucky enough to see this film at the AFI Fest screening in Los Angeles this week. They say it will be released at the end of the year, which is not soon enough as far as I'm concerned.

Others here have commented on the brilliant performances of the stellar cast, and I must concur. There isn't a weak link in the group. Particular standouts are Jack Thompson and Michael Wincott. These two actors play character Sam Byck's (Sean Penn) boss and brother, respectively, and they are the authority figures in Sam's life whose influences are palpable in the film even when they are not on-screen. Naomi Watts and Don Cheadle provide superlative performances that we have begun to expect from them as our due. Certainly one could say the same about Sean Penn. He is probably one of the highest praised and consistently well-reviewed actors of his generation, and his performance in this film illustrates why. Penn's elegiac performance is delicately nuanced and precisely wrought. For me, this is unarguably his finest performance to date. I hope that Academy voters won't hold it against him that he won last year because if ever a performance deserves an Oscar, this is it!

Director/Co-writer Niels Mueller has crafted a stunning work that is clearly heart-felt. This is a beautifully rendered character study. The level of achievement in directing, writing, cinematography, and editing are beyond impressive. Although this film was inspired by true events that occurred three decades ago (and the director and the production design team have captured the feel and look perfectly), the film is timeless in the themes that it explores. Considering the fact that this film was conceived and written at least five years ago (according to the director during the AFI Q&A)-before 9/11, before the Clinton Impeachment, before Bush's election and re-election, before the Iraq war-it is uncanny how relevant and topical the themes are.

If you are someone who likes inspired, thought-provoking films that are well-written, beautifully acted and masterfully directed, then I advise you to run, don't walk, to see NIXON when it comes out.


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