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Portrait d'un assassin (1949)

A circus daredevil is the next victim of a danger-seducing woman who tricks him into a potentially deadly stunt after he attempted to kill her.




François Chalais (dialogue), Henri Decoin (screenplay) | 2 more credits »


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Complete credited cast:
Maria Montez ... Lucienne de Rinck
Erich von Stroheim ... Eric
Arletty ... Martha
Pierre Brasseur ... Fabius / Jean
Marcel Dalio ... Fred dit Bébé (as Dalio)
Marcel Dieudonné Marcel Dieudonné ... Prosper
Les Fratellini Les Fratellini ... Eux-mêmes
Jules Berry ... Pfeiffer


A circus daredevil is the next victim of a danger-seducing woman who tricks him into a potentially deadly stunt after he attempted to kill her.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Thriller


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Release Date:

25 November 1949 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Portrait of an Assassin See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

S.E.C.A.,U.T.C. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In an interview, Orson Welles said that he and Charles Lederer were hired by the producers to rewrite the script. They wrote a new script in just a few weeks, but the producers didn't use it, didn't make the last payment on their salaries, and on top of that, sued them. See more »


Fabius: I expected my shooting mishap to be followed by a legal mishap. Well, what do we do now? Shall we have a drink? Make love? Throw things at each other?
See more »

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User Reviews

My God She Really Could Act!
8 July 2002 | by foxfyreangelSee all my reviews

I FINALLY got my DVD of Portrait of an Assasin today. It took a little longer than anticipated but it was well worth the wait.

This movie proves Maria Montez could act quite well, given the proper venue. Though in french, I enjoyed it thoroughly. It would have been nice had the actors had done an english version......not just dubbed by anyone. But alas it was not! Hearing Maria do french was interesting. Though handled well, you could tell it wasn't her native tongue. Unlike the French actors, she enuciated her lines so they were understandable. Personally I think the reason Maria had such a problem with her acting in her english movies is that she (undoubtly at the request of the studio) had to re-aquire her spanish accent, which she had lost years prior........Yes Virginia, Maria was faking her own accent!!!

I find it peculiar how there seems to be a problem with Maria character's name. Even the DVD cover mistakenly listed it as Catherine. Doesn't anyone ever actually view the movies before writing stuff about it?

Now Speaking of the DVD cover. WHY did they put Maria on the back of it instead of the front? She was first billed in the actual movie credits. To add insult to injury they took 2 of the supporting actors, Arletty & Von Stronheim and gave them the billing on the cover like they were the stars of it when they were NOT.........So What is up with this thing about not putting Maria on the cover of her own movies???? Arabian Nights was like this also.

There's a bit of trivia that you might find interesting about this movie. Henri Decoin wrote this movie and went on to direct L'Affaire des Poisons in 1955. A movie about Catherine DeShayes the Satanic High Priestess of 17th century Paris. It looks like the pinkie Ring Arletty was wearing thoughout the movie may have been a special one belonging to Miss DeShayes. And it is said that Maria became the owner of it after the movie was done shooting.

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