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Assassination Tango

3.4 out of 5 stars 156 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

OscarÂ(r) winner* Robert Duvall writes, directs and stars in this "fascinating" (Roger Ebert) tale of dancing, deception and deadly passion on the sizzling streets of Argentina. Starring Ruben Blades, Kathy Baker and Luciana Pedraza, Assassination Tango is "part gritty crime thriller, part dance-driven romance, part evocative character study" (The Hollywood Reporter). Veteran hit man John J. (Duvall) has just received the toughest assignment of his career: Travel to Buenos Aires, take down a corrupt general and be back in America in less than three days. But when the hit is unexpectedly delayed, John finds himself prowling the city's intoxicating tango clubs only to be seduced by a sultry dancer (Pedraza), tempted by the tango and betrayed by a lethal conspiracy. *1983: Actor, Tender Mercies


Robert Duvall's fascination with tango finds its expression in this labor of love, a film he wrote, directed, and stars in. Duvall plays a professional hit man on a job in Argentina. Forced to kill time instead of his target, he learns about tango, and meets a beautiful young dancer who teaches him the art. Seeing this precise, passionate dance, one feels no doubt it is worthy of Duvall's obsession. The hit-man plotline becomes less urgent as the movie goes on, and the director's loose, improvisatory approach makes for a certain sketchiness in scenes. But, like Duvall's marvelously odd The Apostle, the darn thing is intriguing. In leading lady Luciana Pedraza, Duvall has found a stunning partner--a slinky tango dancer and a beguiling actress. (One has no doubt she is worthy of his obsession, too.) This is a film from the "uneven" file, but like many such movies, it has its attractions. --Robert Horton

Special Features

  • Deleted scenes
  • Alternate ending
  • Behind-the-scenes photo gallery

Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Duvall, Luciana Pedraza, Rubén Blades, Kathy Baker, Julio Oscar Mechoso
  • Directors: Robert Duvall
  • Writers: Robert Duvall
  • Producers: Robert Duvall, Raúl Outeda, Francis Ford Coppola, Linda Reisman, Rob Carliner
  • Format: AC-3, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, Portuguese
  • Dubbed: Portuguese, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: December 9, 2003
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (156 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000DI881
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,417 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Assassination Tango" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
Robert Duvall is one of the best actors of the late 20th Century. We are aware of Duvall's versatility in movies in everything from "The Godfather" and "The Apostle" to "Gods and Generals." Few people outside the tango community know that he is a passionate tango dancer. It is obvious that this production was an act of love. This movie will probably not go into general release at your local theater. I really expect it to have a limited release. Notwithstanding that, my advice to you is to see it even if you have to drive two hours [one way] to go to a theater as my wife and I did recently. It was really worthwhile.
It is a movie that did not do well in the Toronto Film Festival in 2002. Because of that, certain portions of the film were re-shot in Buenos Aires. Even still, the movie provoked discussion on the Tango-L listserv. It has been criticized for its "weak" plot. I find the plot less complicated than Sally Porter's "Tango Lesson," and the style of dancing to be less of the "fantasy tango" style and more of the salon style that you see in Buenos Aires today. This movie will have definite appeal to milongueros and tango junkies, as well as some die-hard ballroom dancers.
I loved the dancing in the movie, and I really wish there was more of it. A few years ago, I was pleased to have seen some of the people in the movie dance several years ago at Duvall's farm in northern Virginia. This is the kind of dancing I like. I would love it if there were a "director's cut" of this movie available soon. I would be the first to buy it.
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I took a shot at buying this DVD sight-unseen, something I rarely do and usually regret, but not in this case. I found it even more fascinating than I hoped, thanks to a totally-unknown actress. Two viewings within a year has not changed my opinion.

This movie is just different, a unique portrait of strange older hit-man and the people in his life. I am not surprised a number of viewers did not like this film, even fans of Robert Duvall. It's probably just too quirky for most tastes and too slow for most viewers. Despite being low- key, there are some moments of intense temper and violence on the part of Duvall which helps keep ones attention.

I didn't need that, however, to keep my attention. Just trying to figure out Duvall kept me intrigued. My attention, however, accelerated when newcomer Luciana Pedraza entered the picture.

Pedraza is one of the most interesting "new faces" I've seen on film: a woman who has intelligence written over her face as few modern actresses ever have. This woman has a lot to offer: looks, intelligence, a good figure, a great dancer, wonderful voice and despite being Argentine, speaks better English than many Americans. A pity that to my knowledge, this is still her only screen appearance.

Between her and Duvall - who are both complex characters to say the least - along with some wonderfully-colorful cinematography, great dance scenes and intrigue about how an assassination plot will turn out,

I found this film and the DVD - which is inexpensive - very pleasing.This is unknown film that isn't fully appreciated.
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Robert Duvall is among the greatest film actors of the last forty years. He fills the screen and it is virtually impossible for any other actor to upstage him. This films reminds me of the time when Richard Burton read off the names in a phone book---and the audience was held spellbound by the late thespian�s ability to make such a normally boring event seem wildly interesting. �Assassination Tango� lacks coherence and is something of a rambling mess. And yet, I found the experience highly rewarding.
Duvall is a director of modest talent. The movie is supposedly about a overage professional killer who must travel to Argentina to assassinate a retired general who is allegedly guilty of crimes against humanity. None of this ever makes any logical sense. But the dancing and the beautiful cinematography are exhilarating. Duvall has the extraordinary talent to turn meandering dialogues into riveting scenes. We are entranced by his character�s adoration of the girlfriend�s daughter. The flirtations between John J. Anderson (Duvall) and the gorgeous and significantly younger tango instructor Manuella (Luciana Pedraza) are poignant and even a bit touching. �Assassination Tango� is definitely not for everyone. I give it four stars, and recommend it only to those who believe that great acting alone can salvage a less than well put together script. In many respects �Assassination Tango� is nothing more than Robert Duvall�s grandiose ego trip. Nonetheless, it still might be well worth an evening of your time.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I had previously reviewed the theatrical production of Assassination Tango when it was shown in theaters. I liked the movie so much that I ordered the DVD. The DVD arrived on Saturday, December 13th. It is obvious that I liked the movie. However, the DVD exceeded my expecations. First of all, the movie is there with picture and sound presentation. It is, of course, available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. In addition, there are subtitles in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French.
In addition to the movie presentation, there is also a presentation of the movie with an audio commentary while the movie is being shown on a scene-by-scene basis by Robert Duvall and Luciana Pedraza. They comment on who the characters (personajes) are in the picture, the actors who played them including some facts about their lives, how the secene was shot and why the scene was shot in that manner, etc. As you know, the whole premise of the movie was to have a movie about Tango. The aspect of assassination and organized crime was just a way to tie an American who was not a tanguero into the action. You already know that Robert Duvall had been in the Godfather movies and that Francis Ford Copolla was involved both with the Godfather and with Assassination Tango. The audio commentary brings together some discussion of the mafia in New York into the development of John J. Minor characters in the movie included Reuben Blades, a Panamanian living in Los Angeles, Julio Oscar Pedroso, a Cuban actor, and Raul Outeada who had been an Argentine boxer (the equivalent of Frankie Gio). General Rojas, the general who was to be assassinated, was played by Elvio Nessier, an Argentine actor who has had a distinguished career in repertory theater.
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