UK, 1973, 83 minutes, Colour.
Ian Hendry, Edward Judd, Frank Windsor.
Directed by Peter Crane.
Assassin is a minor thriller, a star vehicle for Ian Hendry. Hendry had appeared in a number of smaller-budget films and horror films including Tales from the Crypt, The Theatre of Blood, Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter. He regularly appeared in a number of television series including The Protectors and The Sweeney. He is a rather stern screen presence.
The film has a British supporting cast led by Edward Judd who appeared in a number of films and television series. Nothing particularly startling – a minor film of the 1970s.
1. Was this a good thriller? What thriller conventions did it use? how well?
2. The overall impact of the film and audience response? The picture of government and obeying orders? The cold world of assassinations? The technique of espionage and assassinations? The possibility of mistakes? The background of the life of spies and assassins? Did the film make any moral comment?
3. What insight did the portrait of the assassin give? The initial injury, the picture of him as a loner? The skill and the technique that he used? The significance of his dreams and their style? The ominous note of the dreams and his death wish? The nature of his life? His relationship to people? his being sick of his work? The accident of his death and its irony? What comment was made on the life and death of this man?
4. How interesting was the portrayal of Stacey and his world? The suspicion on him? The victim of the government and the machine? The fact that the audience knew him and the detail of his life? Sympathy for him as an ordinary public servant? The irony of the wrong identity of the criminal? The callousness of his death?
5. The importance of the lonely girl in the film? As an equivalent of the assassin? The relationship between the two, the initial games played and the stories told, the emotional relationship? The effect of this on each of them?
6. The portrayal of government? conscience and obeying orders? Moral detachment?
7. The portrayal of the murderers? Professional assassins enjoying their work? The irony of their killing the assassin? The theme of death in the film and Its significance?
8. What values did this thriller stand for? How well were they explored?