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The Assassination (1972)

L'attentat (original title)
Sadiel, rebel leader in a North African state, takes refuge in Switzerland in the aftermath of a coup. Aware of the threat posed by Sadiel, the ruthless Colonel Kassar contacts the French ... See full summary »


Yves Boisset


Ben Barzman (original scenario), Basilio Franchina (original scenario) | 1 more credit »
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean-Louis Trintignant ... François Darien - un intellectuel instable
Michel Piccoli ... Le colonel kassar - le ministre de l'intérieur d'un pays du maghreb
Jean Seberg ... Edith Lemoine - une infirmière gauchiste
Gian Maria Volontè ... Sadiel - un leader progresste maghrebin
Michel Bouquet ... Maïtre Lempereur - un avocat corrompu
Bruno Cremer ... Maître Michel Vigneau - l'avocat de Sadiel
Daniel Ivernel Daniel Ivernel ... Antoine Acconetti - un truand
Philippe Noiret ... Pierre Garcin - le responsable de l'information à l'ORTF
François Périer ... Le commissaire René Rouannat - un flic honnête
Roy Scheider ... Michael Howard - uncorrespondant de la TV américaine
Jacques François ... Lestienne - le chef des services secrets français
Jean Bouise ... Un policier français haut placé qui couvre l'affaire
Denis Manuel Denis Manuel ... Azam - un étudiant maghrebin
Marc Mazza Marc Mazza
Jacques Richard Jacques Richard


Sadiel, rebel leader in a North African state, takes refuge in Switzerland in the aftermath of a coup. Aware of the threat posed by Sadiel, the ruthless Colonel Kassar contacts the French security services to help in capturing the political activist. A police informer, Darien, is forced to lure Sadiel to Paris, allegedly to make a television coverage about the Third World. Arriving in Paris, Sadiel is captured and delivered to his opponents. Disgusted by the way he has been manipulated, Darien tries to turn back the clock, unknowing who he's dealing with. Written by Anonymous

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PG | See all certifications »



France | Italy | West Germany



Release Date:

4 October 1972 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

The Assassination See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Roy Scheider and Jean-Louis Trintignant also appeared in The Outside Man (1972). See more »

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User Reviews

The Ben Barka affair
20 November 2008 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

The precedent user found it hard to catch up with a muddled screenplay;it is sure easy to see why: first he saw a digest version (93 min) whereas the French version has a running time of two hours. And the subject deals with an affair which was widely talked about in the French sixties,but which is virtually unknown abroad:Sadiel (Volonte) was inspired by real-life character Ben Barka who was murdered in mysterious circumstances .I was still a child when it happened but I can remember my mother talk about it indignantly.

Yves Boisset is ,par excellence,the French political director.But he was still immature at the time;all the qualities he would display in later works ("RAS" "Dupont-Lajoie" "Allons Enfants" "Espions Lève-Toi" and our French "Paths of gloryesque" "Le Pantalon Rouge" ) are absent here: the tightness,the directness and above all the accessibility.His screenplay looks like a hotchpotch made of all the trendy subjects which were not even those of the Ben Barka era: May 68 and the CRS (the riot police),the guys singing Hare Krishna and more,as the precedent user pointed out.

An international cast does not help ;two American stars were hired:Jean Seberg who was fluent in French and sadly who was to die several years later in mysterious circumstances and Roy Scheider who manages quite well with the French language too.Plus all the who's who of the French actors :Jean -Louis Trintignant,Michel Bouquet,Michel Piccoli,and the politically committed Italian Gian Maria Volonte.But it makes the matters worse: it looks like a stream of stars who do not seem to believe in the parts they are playing.

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