The Assassination of Trotsky

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The Assassination of Trotsky
The Assassination of Trotsky.jpg
Directed by Joseph Losey
Produced by Norman Priggen
Josef Shaftel (executive producer)
Written by Nicholas Mosley
Starring Richard Burton
Alain Delon
Romy Schneider
Valentina Cortese
Jean Desailly
Music by Egisto Macchi
Cinematography Pasqualino De Santis
Edited by Reginald Beck
Dino de Laurentiis Cinematografica
Compagnia Internazionale Alessandra Cinematografica
Distributed by Cinerama Releasing Corporation
Release dates
20 April 1972
Running time
103 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $2,500,000
Box office 561,109 admissions (France)[1]

The Assassination of Trotsky is a 1972 British film directed by Joseph Losey with a screenplay by Nicholas Mosley. It starred Richard Burton as Leon Trotsky, as well as Romy Schneider and Alain Delon. A few years after release, The Assassination of Trotsky was included as one of the choices in the book The Fifty Worst Films of All Time.[2]


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 ruler of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin, who sends out an assassin named Frank Jacson. The killer decides to infiltrate Trotsky's house by befriending one of the young communists in Trotsky's circle.



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 to be shot in England[3] but was eventually filmed in Mexico. The movie used the Isaac Don Levine's book, The Mind of an Assassin as a source.[4]


  1. ^ Box office information for film at Box Office Story
  2. ^ Medved, Harry; Dreyfuss, Randy (1978). The Fifty Worst Films of All Time (And How They Got That Way). Popular Library. p. 31. ISBN 0-445-04139-0. 
  3. ^ Joseph Losey Looks at Trotsky: Joseph Losey By A. H. WEILER. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 27 June 1971: D17.
  4. ^ Is It Worth a Trip to See?: Personalities From staff reports and news dispatches. The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973) [Washington, D.C] 3 September 1971: B3.

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