8.3/10
23,024
96 user 81 critic

(1969)

Following the murder of a prominent leftist, an investigator tries to uncover the truth while government officials attempt to cover up their roles.

Director:

Costa-Gavras

Writers:

Vasilis Vasilikos (novel) (as Vassili Vassilikos), Jorge Semprún (dialogue) (as Jorge Semprun)
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Yves Montand ... Z
Irene Papas ... Hélène (as Irène Papas)
Jean-Louis Trintignant ... Le juge d'instruction
François Périer ... Le procureur
Jacques Perrin ... Le photojournaliste
Charles Denner ... Manuel
Pierre Dux ... Le général de gendarmerie Missou
Georges Géret ... Nick
Bernard Fresson ... Matt
Marcel Bozzuffi ... Vago (as Marcel Bozzufi)
Julien Guiomar ... Le colonel de gendarmerie
Magali Noël ... La soeur de Nick
Renato Salvatori ... Yago
Habib Reda Habib Reda
Clotilde Joano ... Shoula (as Clotilde Joanno)
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Storyline

In a mid-sized metropolis (population 500,000) in a right-wing military led country, a pacifist organization, which supports the opposition party in the government, is planning on holding an anti-military, nuclear disarmament rally. The organization's charismatic leader - the deputy - is scheduled to arrive in the town from the capital the day of the rally. Beyond the problems arranging the rally due to the probable incitement of violence at such a rally, the organization learns of an unconfirmed report that there will be an attempt on the deputy's life. The rally does happen, after which a three-wheeled kamikaze runs over the deputy, who eventually passes away from his injuries. The official report is that the incident was a drunken accident. In reality, the deputy's death was murder orchestrated by the secret police, the general for who likens the pacifist organization to mildew killing off agricultural crops. A magistrate is assigned to the case. Although he does have political ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

M/PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Algeria's official submission to the 1970's Oscar as Best Foreign Language Film. See more »

Goofs

After hitting Z, Vigo and Yago escape on a three-wheeler. Shortly thereafter, the driver Yago is captured by a policeman. The policeman searches him and finds a truncheon. When the guard uses the truncheon on Yago's chest to keep him away, the stick clearly flexes. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Deputy Minister of Agriculture: Mildew is prevented by spraying the vines with a solution of copper sulfate. There are two standard remedies: Bordeaux mixture and Burgundy mixture - named after the French provinces famous for its wines. The vines are sprayed three times a year: first when the shoots are about five inches long; second, just before or after the blossoms appear; and the third time, a month later. Spraying is preventative and thus essential
See more »

Crazy Credits

Mikis Theodorakis (the film's composer) having been deported, the orchestration is by Bernard Gérard. See more »

Alternate Versions

This received wide release in the United States in an English-dubbed version. See more »

Connections

Version of Shanghai (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Pios Den Mila Yia Ti Lambri
Composed by Mikis Theodorakis
Arranged By, Conducted by Bernard Gérard
Published By April Music
(p) CBS Records / Columbia
See more »

User Reviews

 
The most important political film in Greece
13 July 1999 | by AngeneerSee all my reviews

First and foremost, it is a true story. It's the story of the assassination of Grigoris Lambrakis, that eventually led to the military junta. Every time I see it, it gives me the chills. Since Z was released while the junta was still in power, it was banned in Greece for several years. After the fall of the military junta, Z was worshiped, although we saw it on TV much later in order to avoid stirring passions. In terms of the plot, if you're not Greek, it's quite possible you might be left with many unanswered questions, but, in general, it is an accurate description of Greece during that era.

While Vassilikos' novel (written in 1966) has driven him to exile from 1967, Theodorakis was still in Greece under surveillance and managed to write his excellent score secretly.

Costa-Gavras gives us a top-class fast paced direction which hasn't aged even today, although I'm sure the Oscar was as much a political decision as a purely artistic one. What is truly spot-on is the casting. Both Montand and Trintignant excel, but even minor roles like Vago and Yago are portrayed in an extremely realistic way. My small objection would be Irene Papas staying near-silent throughout the movie. Although her talent allows her to pull it off with class, I really didn't understand why she was not supposed to talk.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

France | Algeria

Language:

French | Russian | English

Release Date:

8 December 1969 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Z See more »

Filming Locations:

Algeria See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,144, 15 March 2009

Gross USA:

$83,305

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$83,305
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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