The Inspiration Behind “The Assassination of Richard Nixon” (by Jason Guerrasio, May 2, 2005)

The early 1970s in America marked the end of innocence with the battle for civil rights causing many deaths in the south, the Vietnam War becoming an obvious losing effort and Watergate not too far behind. Using this chaotic time as the backdrop for his chilling debut, Niels Mueller’s “The Assassination of Richard Nixon” explores one man’s tormented soul and his insane actions on a February morning.

In the film Sean Penn plays Sam Bicke, who from the outside looks like a regular working class guy fighting for the American dream. But when his wife (played by Naomi Watts) divorces him and his aspirations to start his own business falls apart, Bicke is suddenly at the end of his rope. Overwhelmed by the uneasiness of the country and his shattered life, Bicke comes to the conclusion that there’s one man responsible for his downfall: The President of the United States.

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