ⓘ The Assassination of Trotsky

The Assassination of Trotsky

ⓘ The Assassination of Trotsky

The Assassination of Trotsky is a 1972 British historical drama film, directed by Joseph Losey with a screenplay by Nicholas Mosley. It stars Richard Burton as Leon Trotsky, as well as Romy Schneider and Alain Delon.


1. Plot

Exiled from the Soviet Union in 1929, Leon Trotsky travels from Turkey to France to Norway, before arriving in Mexico in January 1937. The film begins in Mexico City in 1940, during a May Day celebration. Trotsky has not escaped the attention of the Soviet dictator of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin, who sends out an assassin named Frank Jacson. The killer decides to infiltrate Trotskys house by befriending one of the young communists in Trotskys circle.


2. Cast

  • Simone Valere as Marguerite Rosmer
  • Duilio Del Prete as Felipe
  • Joshua Sinclair as Sam
  • Valentina Cortese as Natalia Sedowa Trotsky
  • Michael Forest as Jim
  • Richard Burton as Leon Trotsky
  • Jean Desailly as Alfred Rosmer
  • Giorgio Albertazzi as Commissioner
  • Claudio Brook as Roberto
  • Romy Schneider as Gita Samuels
  • Jack Betts as Lou as Hunt Powers
  • Luigi Vannucchi as Ruiz
  • Alain Delon as Frank Jacson

3. Production

In 1965, Josef Shaftel optioned the novel The Great Prince Died by Bernard Wolfe. The film was a co-production between the French Valoria Company and Dino De Laurentiis. It was originally to be shot in England, but was eventually filmed in Mexico. The movie used Isaac Don Levines book The Mind of an Assassin as a source.

According to author Melvin Bragg, the director Joseph Losey was so drunk and tired that he relied on long monologues by Burton to carry the film, in some cases even forgetting what was in the script. Burton himself wrote that he, or the continuity girl, would have to remind Losey of things that would have caused continuity gaffes.

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