The Assassination Bureau

( 4 )

Overview

The Assassination Bureau is loosely based on a turn-of-the-century yarn written by Jack London. Nellie Bly-style girl reporter Sonya Winter (Diana Rigg) tries to get the goods on shady businessman Ivan Dragomiloff (Oliver Reed). Ivan is in charge of a wide-reaching organization which, for a price, assassinates those who "need killing." As a challenge, Sonya offers to pay Ivan a huge sum if he'll instruct his minions to assassinate him; Ivan agrees, hoping that it will put a little kick in his work. Despite his ...
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Overview

The Assassination Bureau is loosely based on a turn-of-the-century yarn written by Jack London. Nellie Bly-style girl reporter Sonya Winter (Diana Rigg) tries to get the goods on shady businessman Ivan Dragomiloff (Oliver Reed). Ivan is in charge of a wide-reaching organization which, for a price, assassinates those who "need killing." As a challenge, Sonya offers to pay Ivan a huge sum if he'll instruct his minions to assassinate him; Ivan agrees, hoping that it will put a little kick in his work. Despite his profession, Ivan isn't the villain of the piece; that honor goes to evil nobleman Lord Bostwick (Telly Savalas), whose perfidy leads Sonya into joining forces with the Assassination Bureau. A wild climactic chase in a zeppelin caps this tongue-in-cheek escapade.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Widescreen version enhanced for 16:9 TVs; Dolby Digital English Mono; English subtitles
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Tongues are set so firmly in cheek in The Assassination Bureau that some of the actors may never be able to dislodge them. That's all to the good, for the ironic, semi-campy approach to Assassination's black comedy helps make the picture a delightful, if ultimately inconsequential, little diversion. While the film plays around with ideas of morality and right and wrong, that's really only window dressing; Assassination is really all about staging a big cat-and-mouse game with some good actors and some smashing sets and costumes. True, it could have benefited from livelier direction than is supplied by Basil Dearden; he struggles so hard to keep the proper tone to the film that it occasionally becomes a bit wan and boring. The "silent movie" touches he brings to the piece help, but a bit more visual flair would not have been amiss. Still, this doesn't matter too much, as long as a truly luscious Diana Rigg is around, along with an amorally amusing Oliver Reed. Rigg looks fabulous, but more importantly she knows how to play this material for all its worth, with a knowing arch of the eyebrow or a slight smirk that is irresistible. Reed mugs a bit, but he's still charming and quick and brings the perfect tone to his role. In addition, there's Telly Savalas as pure corporate evil, early 20th century style, and an excellent supporting cast. Throw in a lovely physical production, and the result is pure entertainment.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/13/2004
  • UPC: 097360682243
  • Original Release: 1969
  • Rating:

  • Source: Paramount
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Alternate Wide Screen (1.78:1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Mono
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:49:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Oliver Reed Ivan Dragomiloff
Diana Rigg Sonya Winter
Telly Savalas Lord Bostwick
Curd Jurgens Gen. von Pinck
Philippe Noiret Lucoville
Warren Mitchell Weiss
Clive Revill Cesare Spado
Kenneth Griffith Popescu
Vernon Dobtcheff Muntzov
Annabella Incontrera Elenora
Peter Bowles
Jess Conrad Angelo
George Coulouris Peasant
Eugene Deckers Desk Clerk
Katherine Kath Mme. Lucoville
Victor Kendall Clients at Mme. Otero's
Jeremy Lloyd English Officer
Ralph Michael Editor
George Murcell Pilot
Olaf Pooley Swiss Cashier
Beryl Reid Mme. Otero
Gordon Sterne Corporal
Michael Wolf Officer
Technical Credits
Basil Dearden Director, Producer
Ken Barker Sound/Sound Designer
Teddy Darvas Editor
Beatrice Dawson Costumes/Costume Designer
John Dennis Sound/Sound Designer
Ron Grainer Score Composer
Dudley Messenger Sound/Sound Designer
John Peverall Asst. Director
Michael Relph Art Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Roy Forge Smith Production Designer
Geoffrey Unsworth Cinematographer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Murder as a Fine Art [5:45]
2. Ivan Dragomiloff [8:40]
3. Miss Winter's Commission [6:36]
4. The Devil in Paris [10:52]
5. Trapped [4:48]
6. The Merit of Surprise [4:52]
7. Swiss Efficiency [7:05]
8. A Cause for Celebration [7:34]
9. Venetian Cuisine [13:06]
10. Surrender Is No Defeat [9:03]
11. Lord Bostwick Pays His Respects [10:52]
12. The Zeppelin [12:50]
13. Virtue Is Rewarded [7:39]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play
   Set Up
      Subtitle Options: English
      Subtitle Options: None
   Scene Selection
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    It's better than Hudson Hawk

    Some spoilers Pleasant is the word for this light-hearted but inert comedy-adventure. As other reviews indicate, Diana Rigg plays a turn-of-the-last century female journalist. Rigg is a very arch actress, but she's often amusing as someone crusading for herself as well as for justice. Oliver Reed is a real trouper, playing a painfully courteous bad guy who you just know will turn out heroically. In a particularly odd bit of casting, Greek-American Telly Savalas is cast as a British press lord _ clearly a bad guy. But Savalas relishes every moment as though he's about to tie a damsel to a railroad track. The film lights up every time he appears on screen. There are plenty of amusing but not hilarious set pieces, as Reed tries to outwit his own hired killers and Rigg tries to figure out what's really going on. Despite his many merits, though, Reed is no comedian. He discomfort seems genuine in many scenes with Rigg. That may be because although she's got a pretty face, even in a towel or a padded balconette bra Rigg lacks the physique and presence to set off sparks with Reed. They play off each other like professionals, but their romance never really gets off the ground. Fortunately, the supporting cast seems to be having a better time. Curt Jurgens, Philippe Noiret and Vernon Dobtcheff have fun in very different ways as bumbling plotters. Sexy Beryl Reid does just as well, and provides a good foil for Oliver Reed. The movie misses her when she's gone. This film is an attractive travelogue, although it's true that many scenes seem to be stock footage or British backlots. But Oliver Reed finally does get to turn swashbuckler in some well-done sequences aboard a zeppelin. It's an obvious relief to him _ possibly because Rigg disappears for about 20 minutes _ and a kick for those looking for a bit of excitement. All in all, this is a nice movie, worth a rental but not a cheer.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2004

    Spectacular Movie

    I totally disagree with the reviewer who disliked this movie I though this was one of the best movies I have ever seen hands down. I especially loved watching the foiled assassination attempts. It also had great action sequences

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2003

    Amusing set-up, mild payoff

    A good cast has a reasonably good time in this turn-of-the-(20th)-Century comedy adventure. Diana Rigg is well cast as a prim suffragette trying to break into male-dominated journalism. Rigg's Sonya Winter has a scoop, having discovered a nefarious murder-for-hire group. It wasn't supposed to be nefarious, insists Oliver Reed, playing Ivan, the son of the founder. But Miss Winter hires the group to kill its leader, Ivan. The pair travels across Europe, Ivan trying to stay alive while Sonya reports to Telly Savalas, the Fleet Street press lord financing his investigation. But then as now, you can't trust the lords of the press. There are plenty of escapades and scenic, if stock, footage. But Reed isn't a comedian and the script is only workmanlike. The scenes that don't end in a bang or a boom don't have much payoff. Sexy Beryl Reed and dolorous Vernon Dobtcheff sparkle in supporting roles. The violence is comic, the romance is discreet. Diana Rigg spends some time dressed only a towel, but the scene is unerotic and Rigg's curves are so minuscule that she hardly raises a bump. As a result, the movie is suitable for all but younger children.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2002

    Hilarious comedy hijinks abound in this fun comedy

    I absolutely love this movie it is one awesome movie with all the hilarious action and comedy that abounds throughout it was a captivating film and I was totally engrossed with it

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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