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Directed by Niels Mueller
Reviewed by Cardinal Cox


DVD of this film available from

DVD of this film available from

Write Dope on Pnuk part 4 

Sean Penn (in an outstanding performance) stars as Sam Bicke, a man to whom life has not been good. Surrounded by the disgrace of Watergate and the aspirations of the Black Panthers, he decides to strike back at the personification of everything gone wrong with the American Dream. His chosen method is to hijack an internal flight and fly it into the White House. That last bit sound familiar? This then is a study of why an apparently average bloke might go off the rails.

Unsurprisingly, the death of John F. Kennedy has attracted a number of interpretations, from 'The Parallax View' and 'Winter Kills', through to 'JFK', 'Ruby', and oblique references such as 'Lone Star'. All of these dwell upon the conspiracy aspect. In this movie there is no conspiracy, just an unknown man, who doesn't even read the copy of 'How To Win Friends And Influence People' he is given. A book that it is alleged that Charles Manson did read.

At times, the film reminded me (and I'm not sure why) of 'Taxi Driver'. Perhaps it was only the Sam Bicke/Travis Bickle name-alike. And then again, 'Taxi Driver' is claimed as an inspiration for the attempt on Reagan's life in the early 'eighties.

For a light hearted psychological test on the film's website, go to


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