Search - Z on DVD

Actors: Yves Montand, Irene Papas, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Jacques Perrin, Charles Denner
Director: Costa-Gavras
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2002     2hr 7min

From the acclaimed political film maker Costa-Gavras (Amen, Missing, Music Box) comes Z, winner of the Best Foreign Film Oscar® in 1969. Z's edge of your seat action closely parallels the real life assassination of Gregori...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Yves Montand, Irene Papas, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Jacques Perrin, Charles Denner
Director: Costa-Gavras
Creators: Jacques Perrin, Costa-Gavras, Ahmed Rachedi, Eric Schlumberger, Philippe d'Argila, Jorge Semprún, Vasilis Vasilikos
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Fox Lorber
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 07/02/2002
Original Release Date: 01/01/1969
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1969
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 2hr 7min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 11
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: French
Subtitles: English
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Movie Reviews

Memorable Film In An Excellent DVD Restoration
Gary F. Taylor | Biloxi, MS USA | 11/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Although it is seldom seen today, in 1970 Constantin Costa-Gavras' "Z" picked up both the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Picture and an Academy Award as Best Foreign Film. In the wake of the John and Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King assassinations of the 1960s and fueled by the later Watergate scandal, the film had tremendous resonance with American audiences, becoming one of the highest grossing foreign language films ever released in that market.Based on the novel by Vassilis Vassilikos, which was itself based on the 1966 "Lambrakis Affair" in Greece, "Z" is at once a political thriller and satire. Set in an unnamed nation, it presents a politician who is strongly critical of American and Russian nuclear build up and his nation's participation in it. Denounced by the status quo as a communist, he is met with civic obstruction when he arrives to give a speech and afterward is struck down and killed by a speeding truck in the streets. A drunk driving accident, according to local officials. An assassination, according to his entourage.Although the film has a somewhat slow and uncertain build, once fully underway it becomes a rapid-fire series of sharply edited scenes in which the sloppy assassination plot is unraveled by a dispassionate magistrate sent to conduct an investigation--an investigation plagued by assaults on witnesses and civic cover-up. But in such a corrupt society, can the full truth ever be known?Director Costa-Gavras walks a very fine line here, presenting the characters as archetypes but endowing them yet endowing with enough human emotion to engage our interests and sympathies. And the cast is remarkable, with Yves Montond, Irene Papas, and Jean-Louis Trintignant particularly notable. The script is at once chilling and covertly comic, jeering at officialdom around the corners of its more serious business, and the overall look of the film--particularly in the violent crowd scenes--is truly memorable.The film has been restored to a pristine condition in its original widescreen and the DVD offers a number of language subtitles (including English) in easy-to-read yellow script. Bonus features are slight, but include the original trailer, samples of restoration work, and an extremely interesting conversation between novelist Vassilikos and director Costa-Gavras. Consta-Gravas also offers an audio-commentary--in French, which will be frustrating for those who (like me) do not speak the language.Although some viewers may not even notice the satirical tone of the film, and while some will be put off by its distinctly liberal slant, I think most viewers--including those who don't normally care for foreign film--will find "Z" a fascinating ride, particularly if they enjoyed the likes of JFK or THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE. Time may have dimmed the origins of the piece, but sadly the subject of governmental corruption and the mendacity of powerbrokers remains as timely as ever.GFT, Amazon Reviewer"
Costa-Gavras' Masterpiece
A. Hogan | Brooklyn, NY USA | 02/06/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Z is a political thriller with few action scenes,none of the "thrills" associated with conevntional thrillers. The Murder takes place fairly early on,and it is obvious who is respnosible. The thrill is in the dogged investigation by an incorruptible magistrate{interesting comparison to Stones's JFK},which leads to the highest seats of government. Based on a terrific novel by Vassilis Vassilikos{and an excellent screenplay by Jorge Semprun},this tells the story of the murder of the Greek parliamentarian and doctor Gregory Lambrakis.That it was a political assasination is obvious,though the complicity is so multilayered that it appears that the truth will never come out. Yves Montand is ,as usual, excellent as Lambrakis [referred to as Z throughout the film.Z comes from the Greek verb zei, HE LIVES} Irene Pappas is his suffering wife{and widow}. Costa-Gavras travelled this territory often, {the Confession, Missing} though not with this brilliance. The editing is crsip,leading to the sense of breathlessness among the defendents. I will leave the ending to the viewer.This is probably the best political thriller that I have ever seen, and 31 years later,is till excellent,if not brilliant"
Still a thrill, 30 years later
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 10/03/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It starts out by saying: "Any similarity to actual persons or events is deliberate" and goes on to tell an intricate, absorbing story.From 1969, this political thriller stands up as a brilliantly crafted film, helped by an extraordinary cast, great editing, and a marvelous Mikis Theodorakis soundtrack.What an amazing ensemble of actors ! Yves Montand is fabulous, also the beautiful Irene Papas, Charles Denner, Jacques Perrin, and so many more...but the real hero of this film is Jean-Lois Trintignant. He is magnificent, and the subtleties of his performance riveting.I don't think you have to subscribe to the politics espoused in this film to appreciate its greatness. It stands as a work of art, and I think Costa-Gavras' finest film."
Sheila Bloom | Alexandria, VA United States | 09/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have seen this movie untold number of times since it first came out. I first saw it in NYC in 1969 and it was the first movie where the audience applauded at the end. This was a time of activism on the part of the young people and even older people against racism and the war in Vietnam (unlike today where kids only care about their ipods, etc.) and this film hit a nerve. The Greeks, unlike Americans, have a long attention span and still hold a grudge against the American support of the dictatorship in Greece (so do I). To understand the present you must know the past and this is still an important picture. Just look at the present administration with its lies, deceptions, preemptive wars, and meddling in foreign affairs, mainly propping up corrupt and dirty leaders.

I have an older VHS version (when it first came out) but it has English subtitles in white, making it almost impossible to read at times. However, after seeing the movie about 20 times when it first came out and watching it many more times on video, I can pretty well understand what is going on.

I have read the book (still have the original paperback released when the movie came out) plus Theodorakis' soundtrack (written while he was under house arrest).

Extraordinary and timely film. Not to be missed."