Originally Published: April 6, 2005
One man’s pursuit of the American dream takes a dark and chilling turn in the riveting drama The Assassination of Richard Nixon, available on DVD from New Line Home Entertainment on April 26, 2005. Based on a true story and one of the most critically acclaimed films of 2004, The Assassination of Richard Nixon draws its power from Academy Award-winner Sean Penn’s (Mystic River) heart-rending portrayal of the film’s main character, as well as from stellar supporting performances from Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda, After the Sunset), Naomi Watts (The Ring, 21 Grams) and Jack Thompson (Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones). The DVD bonus features include commentary from debut filmmaker Niels Mueller discussing the real-life inspiration for his examination of the historically overlooked and desperate acts of Samuel Bicke.
In the winter of 1974, a time of great political unrest, Samuel J. Bicke (Penn) is a forty-four-year-old man who wants to believe in something – anything. But at every turn, his faith — in himself and in the world around him – is undermined. He is separated from his wife, Marie (Watts), who refuses to consider the reconciliation he wants so desperately. The only bright spot in Bicke’s life is his dream of opening a door-to-door tire repair service with his auto mechanic friend, Bonny (Cheadle), which requires a modest bank loan. When Bicke experiences a series of ill-fated events – his loan is rejected, and his ex-wife abandons him – he decides the only way to reclaim his insignificant life is to carry out a grand, historic gesture that will make his presence felt. Bicke would like to strike out at all the offenders, however, there is one villain who looms large. For Bicke, Richard Nixon, described by Bicke’s boss (Thompson) as the greatest salesman in history because he swindled the American people twice, becomes the embodiment of everything that is wrong with the world. A new Samuel Bicke, uncharacteristically resolute and resourceful, has an appointment with history.
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