The Public Domain Review

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Live footage of King Alexander’s Assassination (1934)

Tuesday 9 October 2012 at 18:02

One of the most notable newsreel films in existence – footage showing the assassination of King Alexander of Yugoslavia on 9th October, 1934. While the exact moment of shooting was not captured on film, the events leading to the assassination and the immediate aftermath were. The body of the chauffeur (who had been killed instantly) became jammed against the brakes of the car, allowing the cameraman to continue filming from within inches of the King for a number of minutes afterwards. The film was later revealed to have been manipulated slightly in order to give the audience the impression that the assassination had been captured on film. Three identical gunshot sounds were added to the film afterwards, when in reality Chernozemski shot over ten times, killing or wounding a total of 15 people. The exact moment of assassination was never filmed. On Tuesday 9 October 1934 the King Alexander arrived in Marseilles to start a state visit to the Third French Republic, to strengthen the two countries’ alliance in the Little Entente. While Alexander was being driven in a car through the streets along with French Foreign Minister Louis Barthou, a gunman, Vlado Chernozemski, stepped from the street and shot [...]