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The Assassination Bureau Limited (a.k.a. The Assassination Bureau in the United States) is a 1969 UK black comedy adventure film in Technicolor, produced by Michael Relph, directed by Basil Dearden, that stars Oliver Reed, Diana Rigg, Telly Savalas, and Curd Jürgens. It is based on an unfinished novel, The Assassination Bureau, Ltd by Jack London. Unlike London's novel, which is set in the United States, the film is set in Europe. The film was released in the U.S. by Paramount Pictures.

The Assassination Bureau Limited
Assassinationbureau poster.jpeg
Directed byBasil Dearden
Produced byMichael Relph
Screenplay byMichael Relph
Wolf Mankowitz
Based onThe Assassination Bureau, Ltd.
1963 novel
by Jack London
Robert L. Fish
StarringOliver Reed
Diana Rigg
Telly Savalas
Curd Jürgens
Music byRon Grainer
CinematographyGeoffrey Unsworth
Edited byTeddy Darvas
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
10 March 1969
Running time
110 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom



In London, during the early 1900s, aspiring journalist and women's rights campaigner Sonia Winter (Diana Rigg) uncovers an organisation that specialises in killing for money, the Assassination Bureau, Limited. To bring about its destruction, she commissions the assassination of the bureau's own chairman, Ivan Dragomiroff (Oliver Reed).

Far from being outraged or angry, Dragomiroff is amused and delighted and decides to put it to his own advantage. The guiding principle of his bureau, founded by his father, has always been that there was a moral reason why their victims should be killed – these have included despots and tyrants. More recently though, his elder colleagues have tended to kill more for financial gain than for moral reasons. Dragomiroff, therefore, decides to accept the commission of his own death and challenge the other board members: Kill him or he will kill them!

With Miss Winter in tow, Dragomiroff sets off on a tour of Edwardian Europe, challenging and systematically purging the bureau's senior members. Little do they realise that this is a plot by Miss Winter's sponsor, newspaper publisher Lord Bostwick (Telly Savalas), to take over the bureau {Bostwick is the bureau's vice-chairman and is bitter for having been passed over in favour of the founder's son}. Bostwick and the other members of the Bureau plan to get rich quick by the "biggest killing" of them all — buying stocks in arms factories and then propelling Europe into war by assassinating all the heads of state of Europe while they attend a secret peace conference where the kings, emperors and prime Ministers of Europe are trying to avoid a possible war caused by a Balkan prince who was killed by a bomb intended for Dragomiroff

Dragomiroff and Miss Winter uncover the plot — dropping a bomb from a hijacked Zeppelin airship onto the castle in Ruthenia where the peace conference is held. Dragomiroff steals aboard the airship and destroys it, killing the remaining members of his board of directors. He is then decorated by the heads of state he has saved. It is implied that Dragomiroff may wed Miss Winter as well.


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Video releasesEdit

This film was issued on LaserDisc in the mid-1990s. It has also been released on VHS and on a Region 1 DVD.

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