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The Assassination of Richard Nixon (2004)

Based on real life events, Assassination is set in 1974 and centers on a businessman who decides to take extreme measures to achieve his American dream.


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2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Martin Jones (as Brad Henke)
Tom Ford
Mae Simmons
Sammy Jr.
Marie's Mother
Derek Greene ...
Joey Simmons


Fact-based story about a disturbed office furniture salesman who in 1972 concocted a plot to kill then-President Nixon by hi-jacking a plane to fly over the White House to drop a gas bomb. At the start of the movie, the man is separated from his wife and stressed in his job where he is made the butt of jokes and is an under-performer. Attempts to get his brother's old tire business resurrected with a black partner is rejected by the banks. When he is officially served with divorce papers, everything comes apart and Richard Nixon's broken promises comes to represent all the evils that have come down on him. A news story about a pilot that landed a helicopter on the White House lawn gives him the idea for his attack. Bolting onto a Baltimore plane, he attempts the hi-jacking. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The mad story of a true man. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and a scene of graphic violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

22 October 2004 (Greece)  »

Also Known As:

The Assassination of L.B.J.  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$37,547, 2 January 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$697,759, 27 February 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


(archive footage)| (archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Debut theatrical feature film directed by Niels Mueller. See more »


Julius Bicke is shown wearing a wedding ring. He is a fervently Orthodox Jew, and such Orthodox males do not wear wedding rings as a matter of religious principle. See more »


[first lines]
Samuel Bicke: Testing. Testing. Testing. One, two, three. Mr. Maestro, Leonard Bernstein, tape number one.
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Referenced in The Comeback: Valerie Faces the Critics (2014) See more »


Angel of the Morning
Written by Chip Taylor
Performed by Merrilee Rush and The Turnabouts
Courtesy of Arista Records, Inc.
Under License from BMG Film and TV Music
Published by EMI Blackwood Music (BMI)
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User Reviews

In short recommended.
15 December 2004 | by See all my reviews

Thanks to my keen eye, I (one of few, I believe) caught that free tickets to above movie were being given away, and would be followed by a Q & A with the director, producer (the guy behind Y Tu Mama Tambien) and Sean Penn, who is the lead of the movie, and takes a large majority of the screen time. The movie comes to select U.S. theaters on Dec. 29th, and the widens. I'll mention the questions later, but first the review.

A very good, yet flawed film. I use the term film not to be pretentious, but because it is primarily a film, not a movie in the blockbustery sense. It was produced independently, with the documenting the assassin, Sam Byck (Sean Penn.) It focuses on the year before he attempted (true story) to kill President Nixon in February, 1974 by flying a plane into the White House. However, the main thrust of the film was not politics, but character development.

Sean Penn is clearly one of the best actors today, very much in his prime. He once again proves it here. Byck is a man separated from his family, unsuccessful in his careers, and is marginalized from his life. We watch him obtain a sense of hopelessness, as he watches his dreams crumble away, as he blames the American system for his demise. Similar to Taxi Driver, in a lot of ways. Outstanding portrayal.

The only negative was the short span of the movie. It was 95 minutes, and left too little time for back story. There is not nearly enough exploration of how Byck got to the point where he could be pushed to kill. Another half hour of explaining his character would have made for a pantheon-level movie, instead of just a rather good one.

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