Studio: ThinkFilm

Cast: Sean Penn as Samuel Bicke, Naomi Watts as Marie Bicke, Don Cheadle as Bonny Simmons, Jack Thompson as Jack Jones, Brad Henke as Martin Jones, Michael Wincott as Julius Bicke, Mykelti Williamson as Harold Mann, April Grace as Mae Simmons, Lily Knight as Receptionist, Jared Dorrance as Sammy Jr., Jenna Milton as Ellen, Mariah Massa as Julie, Eileen Ryan as Marie’s Mother, Derek Greene as Joey Simmons and Joe Marinelli as Mel Samuels

Crew: Niels Mueller (co-writer and director); Kevin Kennedy (co-writer); Emmanuel Lubezki, Kurt Mueller and Carlos Cuaron (associate producers); Doug Bernheim (co-producers); Alfonso Cuaron and Jorge Vergara (producers); Debra Grieco (line producer); John Limotte (co-producer); Leonardo DiCaprio, Arnaud Duteil, Avram Kaplan, Jason Kliot, Alexander Payne, Kevin Kennedy, Frida Torresblanco and Joana Vicente (executive producers)

In the winter of 1974, a time of great political unrest, Samuel J. Bicke (Sean 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 (Naomi 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 (Don 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 (played by Jack 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.

Production Company: Anhelo Productions / Appian Way


Power is a state of mind.

The mad story of a true man.

Official Websites:

Release Dates: DECEMBER 29, 2004 (LIMITED U.S.)


Other Info:

Film Fetish trivia:
Leonardo DiCaprio, who is listed as one of the film’s executive producers, is also an accomplished actor himself. He was mosted recently nominated for an academy award for best actor for his portrayal of Howard Hughes in The Aviator.

Aircraft that are clearly not from the movie’s time period are visible outside the airport terminal near the end of the film.

“A riveting film. An astonishing performance.”
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

Sean Penn tops his performance in Mystic River with The Assassination of Richard Nixon. This may be the leanest and most devastating performance of his career…understated and eloquent.”
Stephen Farber, Movieline

“Splendid. Sean Penn gives another powerful and implosive performance.”
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times

“Dazzling. A lasting piece of art. The highest possible thumbs up for Penn and a big thumbs up for first-time director Niels Mueller.”
Richard Roeper, EBERT & ROEPER

“Penn gives the most engrossing performance of his career to date. This is one of the rare movies to explore American materialism through the eyes of an all-too-ordinary person who isn’t up to the challenges of everyday life.”
David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor

“A timely tragedy about the American Dream twisted by bureaucracy, political corruption and suburban alienation.”

“Eerily resonant… quietly powerful. A deeply affecting performance.”
Carina Chocano, Los Angeles Times

“Another right-on performance. A mesmerizing portrayal. Some may even see a bit of themselves in this tragic mix of Travis Bickle and Willy Loman.
V.A. Musetto, New York Post

DVD Available on April 26, 2005
Commentary from writer-director Niels Mueller
Widescreen (1.85:1) version of the film
Stereo Surround Sound (English)
English and Spanish subtitles
Closed captions

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