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The Assassin (1952)

Venetian Bird (original title)
Approved | | Crime, Mystery, Thriller | 22 April 1953 (USA)
Travelling to Venice to locate an ex-partisan, in behalf of a French insurance company, a British private detective gets mixed-up in a political assassination conspiracy.

Director:

Ralph Thomas

Writers:

Victor Canning (novel), Victor Canning (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Todd ... Edward Mercer
Eva Bartok ... Adriana Medova
John Gregson ... Renzo Uccello
George Coulouris ... Chief of Police Spadoni
Margot Grahame ... Rosa Melitus
Walter Rilla ... Count Boria
John Bailey ... Lt. Longo
Sidney James ... Bernardo
Martin Boddey ... Gufo
Michael Balfour Michael Balfour ... Moretto
Sydney Tafler Sydney Tafler ... Boldesca
Miles Malleson ... Grespi
Eric Pohlmann ... Gostini
David Hurst ... Minelli
Raymond Young ... 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

Taglines:

Suspense races through Venice! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

22 April 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Assassin See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

British Film-Makers See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

 
Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk.....
17 March 2012 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

A private detective is sent to Italy by an insurance company to locate a man so that he may be rewarded for his gallantry during WWII. However, soon it becomes obvious that this is all a ruse and they want to find the man for ulterior motives. Yet, despite this and a group of killers who want to stop him, the handsome detective (Richard Todd) doggedly continues his investigation in the town of Venice. Will he find what he's looking for...and, does the audience really care?

It's odd, but for a mystery/suspense film, "The Assassin" is amazingly unexciting. Most of the problem is that the film is so very talky. Again and again, instead of SHOWING the plot unfold, the film relies on HEARING people talking about it--a very static way to do such a film. The other problem is that although Richard Todd is a suave and handsome guy, he just seemed to sophisticated and nice for such a role. It played very much like if Dirk Bogarde or Cary Grant had played the part--all good actors but all too smooth and 'nice'. Overall, it's not a terrible film but it sure could have been a lot better.


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