After having been forced to leave the Soviet Union 1929 Trotsky has ended up in Mexico 1940. He is still busy with politics, promoting socialism to the world. Stalin has sent out an ... See full summary »
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After having been forced to leave the Soviet Union 1929 Trotsky has ended up in Mexico 1940. He is still busy with politics, promoting socialism to the world. Stalin has sent out an assassin, Frank Jackson. Jackson befriends a young communist and gets an invitation to Trotsky's house. Written by
Joseph Losey originally offered the part of Leon Trotsky to Dirk Bogarde, with whom he had made five other films. Losey admitted that the script was terrible, but told Bogarde that it would be revised. Bogarde turned the role down, embittering Losey, who felt that Bogarde didn't trust him. Richard Burton, who had worked with Losey on Boom! (1968) did trust Losey enough to take the part, even though he was shown the same script. See more »
A character passes a wall with a graffiti-image of Woody Woodpecker. The first appearance of Woody Woodpecker was in the cartoon "Knock Knock" which was released 25th of November 1940, two months after Trotski was assassinated. See more »
You're in a fine state! God, has someone cut your tongue off? Why do you get like this? Is it the altitude you're in- or is it something you've eaten?
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Doubtless, one of the greatest tragedies ever inflicted upon mankind was the rise and spread of communism in the 20th century. For the ideology to control the masses, millions were killed and large segments of the population were imprisoned or sent to labor camps. Several countries were destroyed and the hatred among classes became the basis of the "International movement" for world domination.
A big mess like that should never be forgotten and that's why I encourage everybody, especially young people, to be well informed on all matters pertaining to the communist horrors. Now for the film review I must start mentioning that "The Assassination of Trosky" is not an anti-communist film, nor is it anti-Soviet or anti-Stalin or anti-anything. I can't even vouch for its historical accuracy but I still recommend it for the importance of the subject matter. In short for those who totally ignore who Trosky was and his place on the Soviet debacle this could be a good place to start.
The 1972 film boasts a prestigious cast of actors and an intelligent director but somehow those ingredients don't add up to a good movie. I can't place my finger on it but it could be the sometimes vague script, the slow moving start or even some of the performances. I may get grief for saying this but I found Richard Burton totally miscast as the Russian revolutionary and you can tell he's wearing a fake goatee a mile away. As the movie progresses there are some moments in which he shines but overall he comes through too Shakespearean to be credible.
Meanwhile the character of the assassin, as played by the great Alain Delon, is never given the opportunity to be for real. Mr. Delon plays it full of nervous ticks like he doesn't understand what motivated Mercader, the real killer, to embark in such a gruesome mission. Maybe there was no research that could inform him that his character was the son of Caridad, a Cuban lady who has gone down in history as the ultimate mother from hell. The lady, who after her marriage to a Spanish rich guy, showed signs of mental instability, raised all her sons to be servants of the communist international movement. (For an excellent presentation of the Mercader character and the whole Trosky affair try to see the 1996 award winning documentary "Storm The Skies", a real gem.)
As much as I love Romy Schneiner, I have to guess that her character is a total fabrication in order to pair her again with real life ex-amour Delon and to show them again loving and fighting. The producers must have thought that including her would give the film an extra boost at the box office and maybe it did. Although she gets briefs chances to display her histrionics as Delon's lover and Burton's secretary she seems to belong in a different movie. Of the actors only Valentina Cortese seems credible as the devoted Trosky wife.
In short I recommend this film with reservations. Some of you might even like the scene where Trosky gets killed and the premonition at the bull ring with all its cinematic gore but I really hope that it will turn you on into a deeper understanding of Soviet cruelty and the horrible things that happened not to long ago. It could happen again, you know?
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