The Assassination of Richard Nixon – Review

Worth seeing: for Sean Penn's frighteningly realistic performance in a gripping and chilling drama
Director:Niels Mueller
Featuring:Sean Penn, Brad William Henke, Don Cheadle, Jack Thompson, Michael Wincott, Naomi Watts, Nick Searcy
Length:95 minutes
Released:8th April 2005


Based on the true story of 44 year old unsuccessful salesman, Samuel J Bicke (Sean Penn).

His life spirals out of control when his wife (Naomi Watts) leaves him, his brother (Michael Wincott) abandons him and his application for a bank loan, to set up a business, is turned down.

He blames all his troubles on the president of the day, Richard Nixon.

To get his own back – and to get noticed – he decides to kill him by crashing a plane into the White House.


A totally gripping and chilling drama, set in 1974, from first time director Niels Mueller, which took five years to be made.

It is also much more poignant in the wake of 9/11 and the parallels with political events in the US today are scary.

Penn is frighteningly realistic as the downtrodden and bullied Bicke who completely loses his grip on reality. He truly makes this film. Watts is almost unrecognisable as his brunette ex-wife, while Don Cheadle again shows how good an actor he is as Bicke’s would be business partner.

The irony is Bicke wanted to be remembered but because his assassination attempt came during the Watergate scandal he went unnoticed and is just a footnote in history.

Maybe he’ll have better luck with this film.