Fact-based story about a disturbed office furniture salesman who in 1972 concocted a plot to kill then-President Nixon by hi-jacking a plane to fly over the White House to drop a gas bomb. At the start of the movie, the man is separated from his wife and stressed in his job where he is made the butt of jokes and is an under-performer. Attempts to get his brother's old tire business resurrected with a black partner is rejected by the banks. When he is officially served with divorce papers, everything comes apart and Richard Nixon's broken promises comes to represent all the evils that have come down on him. A news story about a pilot that landed a helicopter on the White House lawn gives him the idea for his attack. Bolting onto a Baltimore plane, he attempts the hi-jacking. Written by
John Sacksteder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
According to Andre Soares at the ALt Film Guide in a postscript entitled "Samuel Byck and Travis Bickle: 'Taxi Driver' connection?": "Initially, this review of The Assassination of Richard Nixon (2004) stated that Samuel Byck also inspired the character of Travis Bickle, played by Robert De Niro in Martin Scorsese''s Taxi Driver (1976). However, that film's screenwriter, 'Paul Schrader', claims he wrote the film's screenplay at age 26 (1972), or about two years before Samuel Byck attempted to kill Richard Nixon. If that chronology is correct, the similarity between the names Byck and Bickle is a mere (and bizarre) coincidence. According to Schrader, Travis Bickle was inspired by Arthur Bremer, the man who shot U.S. presidential candidate George Wallace in 1972. Curiously, The Assassination of Richard Nixon (2004) evolved from [writer-director] Niels Mueller's totally fictitious screenplay called "The Assassination of L.B.J." (That's U.S. president Lyndon B. Johnson, people.) While doing research, Mueller discovered Samuel Byck's story, which paralleled that of his lead character; the writer-director then decided to reconstruct his screenplay using Byck as its direct inspiration." See more »
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 »
Testing. Testing. Testing. One, two, three. Mr. Maestro, Leonard Bernstein, tape number one.
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Just saw THE ASSASSINATION OF RICHARD NIXON last night at an AFI screening. The film is absolutely stunning.
Niels Mueller has such a sure and masterful hand in directing that belies the fact that this is his theatrical directorial debut. He directs with a flair that is never gimmicky and the film is pitch perfect without a single false note (helped in part by the tight script by Mueller and Kevin Kennedy and the elegant editing). The scenes hum with a slowburn intensity and gradually build up a momentum that lunges to the film's explosive final act.
This young director is one to watch.
Sean Penn gave a powerful and nuanced performance that explores the whole range of his acting personas. This IS the towering performance of his career. Excellent supporting work from Naomi Watts, Don Cheadle, Jack Thompson and a scene-stealing Michael Wincott.
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