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The Assassin (1961)

L'assassino (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Thriller | August 1965 (USA)
Alfredo Martelli is picked up by the police at his apartment without justification. In the precinct, he slowly discovers what the investigation is about as we discover details about his life.


Elio Petri


Tonino Guerra (story) (as Antonio Guerra), Elio Petri (story) | 4 more credits »
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Marcello Mastroianni ... Alfredo Martelli
Micheline Presle ... Adalgisa De Matteis
Cristina Gaioni ... Nicoletta Nogaro (as Cristina Gajoni)
Salvo Randone ... Commissario Palumbo
Andrea Checchi ... Morello
Francesco Grandjacquet Francesco Grandjacquet ... Vecchio signore
Marco Mariani Marco Mariani ... Commissario Margiotta
Franco Ressel ... Dottore Francesconi
Mac Ronay Mac Ronay ... Suicida
Toni Ucci ... Toni
Max Cartier Max Cartier ... Bruno
Bruno Scipioni Bruno Scipioni
Lucia Raggi Lucia Raggi
Giovanna Gagliardo Giovanna Gagliardo ... Rosetta
Liana Ferri Liana Ferri ... (as Lina Ferri)


The antiquarian Alfredo Martelli is brought to a police precinct without any explanation and interviewed by Inspector Palumbo. During the questioning, Martelli learns that his older wealthy mistress Adalgisa De Matteis was stabbed to death and he is the prime suspect. While in jail, Martelli recalls moments of his life with Adalgisa and his love affair with the young Nicoletta Nogaro. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Today's Most Exciting Star in a New and Provocative Role! See more »


Crime | Thriller


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Referenced in Marcello Mastroianni: I Remember (1997) See more »


By Henri Salvador
Sung by Henri Salvador
Fontana records
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User Reviews

One of Mastrioanni's greatest performances
28 May 2017 | by MOscarbradleySee all my reviews

"L'Assassino" was Elio Petri's remarkably assured debut. It's a Kafkaesque story of a man, (Marcello Mastrioanni), under investigation for the murder of his former mistress, (Micheline Presle), The film flits back and forth between the investigation and events in Mastrioanni's past life. It's clear from the outset that what interests Petri isn't so much the prospect of making a thriller but dissecting the protagonist's way of life. This is the Italy of La Dolce Vita or at least the sweet life that was emerging for people like Mastrioanni if they could only keep themselves free of accusations of murder. This is one of his greatest performances but the film itself disappeared soon after its release and is now something of a cult film. Carlo Di Palma was responsible for the superb black and white cinematography.

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Italy | France



Release Date:

August 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Assassin See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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