8.3/10
24,030
101 user 84 critic
The public murder of a prominent politician and doctor amid a violent demonstration is covered up by military and government officials. A tenacious magistrate is determined not to let them get away with it.

Director:

Costa-Gavras

Writers:

Vasilis Vasilikos (novel) (as Vassili Vassilikos), Jorge Semprún (dialogue) (as Jorge Semprun)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 13 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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Enough excitement to even eclipse James Bond


Certificate:

M | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tied with the Fritz Lang movie M (1931) for the record for shortest movie title ever. This happens only in English countries because around the world it is known as the only shortest title of a movie mainly because 'M', in many other countries was released with the subtitle of 'The Vampire of Dusseldorf', while 'Z' didn't receive any kind of subtitles. Holds the record for the movie with the shortest title to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. See more »

Goofs

While visiting the witness in the hospital the judge, played by Jean-Louis Trintignant, holds some photos in his hand. One of them is a photo of one of the hoodlums who attacked Georges Pirou (played by Jean Bouise). But this photo will be taken later on the street by the journalist (Jacques Perrin), who investigates the members of the secret organization. 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
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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 »

Alternate Versions

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

Connections

Referenced in Akira (1988) 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
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User Reviews

A powerful film I waited a long time to see.
9 July 2000 | by roarshockSee all my reviews

I have to start by getting slightly off topic. I've wanted to see this film for thirty years. Not because I've read or heard anything about it, but entirely because of the trailer I saw when it was first released, back when I was 14. Although I now remember more the feelings the trailer inspired than the trailer itself, it still reminds me how awful trailers almost always are. The trailer for "Z" was some the most intense, exciting few seconds of film I had ever seen, and I wanted to see more. A brilliant ultra-short film production. And it did it without revealing and spoiling the movie's story. So when I finally did see "Z" I was able to enjoy something fresh and new.

It wasn't what I expected, but turned out to be one of the best political thrillers I've ever seen. You don't really have to know Greek history to see it, in part because the movie never explicitly mentions Greece. Better to do it the other way around, by getting swept up in the gritty often tawdry intrigues you will be learning Greek history without realizing it. Or if you are into conspiracies and cover-ups in general you'll learn how they really aren't the brilliantly crafted master-plans of distant omnipotent figures that most movies show, but are usually the creation of dull mediocrities, full of flaws, stupidities, and ham-fisted improvisations. That they often succeed is more because of brute force than any innate cleverness. This is a powerful and effective movie, which is almost certainly due to its being based closely on reality and the passions that inspired it's making, and from it not being a recycled and denatured Hollywood product. I highly recommend it.


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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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