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The Assassin (1952)

Venetian Bird (original title)
Approved | | Mystery, Thriller | 22 April 1953 (USA)
Private detective Edward Mercer goes to Venice at the request of a French insurance company to locate a brave Italian whom they wish to reward for his part in the rescue of an Allied airman... See full summary »

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Edward Mercer
... Adriana Medova
... Renzo Uccello
... Chief of Police Spadoni
... Rosa Melitus
... Count Boria
... Lt. Longo
... Bernardo
... Gufo
Michael Balfour ... Moretto
Sydney Tafler ... Boldesca
... Grespi
... Gostini
... Minelli
... Luigi
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Storyline

Private detective Edward Mercer goes to Venice at the request of a French insurance company to locate a brave Italian whom they wish to reward for his part in the rescue of an Allied airman shot down during the war. At least, that is what Mercer thinks as he steps off the steamer at the Piazza San Marco and is greeted by a smiling street photographer, Cassana. Mercer makes his way to a shop and finds his first contact dead from a knife stab, and the trail leads him to Adrianna. He faces danger from police chief Spaloni and also from a group of foreign patriots, led by Count Borian and Lieutenant Longo, who want to use him as a stool-pigeon for a planned Coup d'Etat. A hectic race across the roof tops, high above the great square, brings Mercer to grips against his unknown enemy. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Filmed in Venice - city of intrigue and danger! See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

22 April 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Assassin  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Rosa Melitus: Survival is often a simple matter of being able to change your habits at the right moment.
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Soundtracks

Time Was Standing Still
(uncredited)
Music by Nino Rota
Lyrics by Ferrante Alvaro De Torres
English Lyrics by Harold Purcell
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User Reviews

 
Venice on a black and white budget, still beautiful
1 May 2013 | by See all my reviews

Richard Todd stars in "The Assassin" with Eva Bartok and George Coulouris, from 1952, shot in Venice.

Todd plays Edward Mercer, who comes to Venice on behalf of an insurance company, looking for a man named Uccello who has a reward coming for the rescue of an Allied airman during the war. Unfortunately for Mercer, the first person he's supposed to see is dead. Then he meets Adrianna (Bartok), who knew Uccello, and he is told that Uccello is dead. After a while, though, he begins to think that's not the case.

The director, Ralph Thomas, borrowed a good deal from Hitchcock in this film and did some effective things, particularly at the end, which is marvelous. He also used Venice and its surroundings very well to create an excellent atmosphere. If only the script had been less talky and the plot better, you might really have something here.

Bartok is mysterious, Richard Todd is very serious and quite handsome, and Venice is beautiful, even in black and white. Well worth seeing for that.


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