8.2/10
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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 9 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 military-led country, a pacifist organization, which supports the opposition party in the government, is planning on holding an anti-military rally. The organization's leader is scheduled to arrive the day of the rally. During the rally, a kamikaze attack kills the deputy. The official report is that the incident was an accident. In reality, the deputy's death was murder orchestrated by the secret police, Thrown into the mix is a photojournalist who's looking for the truth. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

M/PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$83,305, 13 September 2009
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The only film that year nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, and not in any Best Motion Picture category at the Golden Globes. See more »

Goofs

After Georges Géret as Nick is hit on the front of the head, he holds the back of it. 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

Any resemblance to actual events, to persons living or dead, is not the result of chance. It is DELIBERATE. (Signed by) Jorge Semprún, Costa-Gavras See more »

Connections

References The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) 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 »

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User Reviews

 
Possibly, the mother of all political thrillers
27 July 2006 | by barba_georgeSee all my reviews

In this film, we find ourselves in a big city in a nameless country, whose political system is royal democracy. However in effect it is under a military regime. At that time, a pacifist politician-doctor-athlete arrives to deliver a speech about disarmament. This does not please the military, who devise a plot to do away with him. The politician is killed and his murder is covered up as an accident. The rest of the film is about the efforts of the Examining Magistrate and a newspaper photographer to uncover the truth.

For those who are up to date with Greek history, the country is Greece, the city is Thessaloniki and the politician is Grigoris Lambrakis. But that is of small importance, since this is a story which could have (and possibly has) happened anywhere at any time in history.

About the film: the cinematography is excellent, even by today's standards. The acting and direction are both top class. But what impressed me the most was the film's editing. After the slow first 15-20 minutes or so, the film picks up a pace which is tight and lightning fast. The dialogue is concise and to the point - the film's last lines, spoken by the Narrator and found in the quotes section of IMDb, never fail to bring tears to my eyes. Finally, the film offers what I consider to be the best film score of all time (but I may be a bit biased on this, since the score is by Mikis Theodorakis, my personal favourite).

This kind of documentary-style film making has been done plenty of times since, especially in political thrillers. But this is what sparked everything up. Watch this film. You'll be rewarded.

My rating: 10/10


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