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Farewell, Mr. President (1987)

Jäähyväiset presidentille (original title)
Asko Mertanen is a waiter who is very interested in shooting. He gets fed up how the things are run in Finland, so he thinks that the best way to change them is to shoot the Finnish president.


Matti Kassila
1 win. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Hannu Lauri Hannu Lauri ... Asko Mertanen
Laila Räikkä Laila Räikkä ... Eeva-Maria Kilpinen
Antti Litja ... Detective Sergeant Hanhivaara
Esa Saario Esa Saario ... Detective Lieutenant Kairamo
Aake Kalliala Aake Kalliala ... Detective Siika
Markku Huhtamo Markku Huhtamo ... Detective Huhtanen
Markku Nieminen Markku Nieminen ... Detective Rimpiaho
Tarmo Manni ... President of the Republic
Martti Pennanen Martti Pennanen ... Ollila
Lauri Väärä Lauri Väärä ... President's Adjutant
Rauha Puntti Rauha Puntti ... Elsa Maijala
Pentti Järventie Pentti Järventie ... Olavi Maijala
Esko Nikkari Esko Nikkari ... Businessman at the Restaurant
Olavi Ahonen Olavi Ahonen ... Väinö Kuuppa
Aarre Karén Aarre Karén ... Older Man at the Shooting Track


Asko Mertanen is a waiter who is very interested in shooting. He gets fed up how the things are run in Finland, so he thinks that the best way to change them is to shoot the Finnish president.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Thriller


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Release Date:

16 January 1987 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Farewell, Mr. President See more »

Filming Locations:

Helsinki, Finland See more »


Box Office


FIM3,395,021 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Skandia Filmi See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


The president's name in the film is never mentioned, but the actor Tarmo Manni who plays him is made up to look exactly like the former Finnish president Urho Kekkonen. See more »


[first lines]
Older Man at the Shooting Track: Magnum 357, the most famous handgun in the world.
See more »


Follows Jäähyväiset lasihevoselle (1985) See more »


Written by Arvo Koskimaa
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User Reviews

Director Matti Kassila does it again.
28 February 2003 | by TsingiskaSee all my reviews

Matti Kassila, the director of another critically acclaimed thriller, "Kaasua, Komisario Palmu" (1961), is one of the few Finnish directors who have a natural eye for establishing a spine-tingling and admittably sometimes scary mood simply with carefully selected angles and a soundtrack to match.

"Jäähyväiset presidentille" tells the story of a disgruntled weapons expert who has reached a conclusion: someone has to assassinate the president, in order to make a political and ethical statement. And since no one else will, it's up to him to do it. But first he will have to take out some general public, to prepare for the main event.

What sets this movie apart from many other films that deal with the assassination of a president, is not only the fact that the president being portrayed here is not a fictitious one, but Urho Kekkonen, a brilliant politics strategist who led the country for a quarter of a century, and still remains as the most remembered, respected and admired head of state Finland has known. Also, the events take place in a country where no one has, to date, ever tried to actually assassinate the president.

It is difficult to take a natural and realistic setting, and combine it with a string of events which would be very unlikely to take place in that setting - and still make it work. This is where Kassila, however, perfectly succeeds. Hannu Lauri makes a brilliant performance as the cold-hearted, on-edge sociopath - and yet he is the opposite of the typical Hollywood-style assassin; he doesn't have a background in Secret Service or Special Forces, he seems nothing more than a regular joe from the street who gives the credit for his bitterness to the government.

This movie is the first of its kind in Finland, and has ever since been the last. Not many would have the nerve to try and pull this off in Finland and not have it seem a ridiculously unrealistic movie. But in the hands of Kassila, it seems, anything can turn into gold.

Enjoy the movie.

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