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The Assassination of Trotsky (1972)

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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Cast overview, first billed only:
Frank Jackson
Enrico Maria Salerno ...
Luigi Vannucchi ...
Alfred Rosmer
Simone Valère ...
Marguerite Rosmer (as Simone Valere)
Duilio Del Prete ...
Peter Chatel ...
Lou (as Hunt Powers)
Jim (as Mike Forrest)
Carlos Miranda ...
Sam (as Gianni Loffredo)
Pierangelo Civera ...


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 Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


For one moment, they hold history in their hands. With one terrible blow, they make it See more »


R | See all certifications »



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Release Date:

30 March 1972 (France)  »

Also Known As:

El asesinato de Trotsky  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$2,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


Leon Trotsky: It's hard living with an old revolutionary. You should have been with us when we stormed the Winter Palace! With Lenin in Moscow in the early days! What happiness to be alive- to be fighting then!
See more »

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User Reviews

Much better than vote indicates
10 June 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I saw this film when it came out, in 1972, and it made such an impression on me that I have a clear recollection of it now. I just visited the Trotsky Museum in Mexico City, the house where he was assassinated. He was in fact killed with an ax--there are photos in the museum of the actual murder weapon that is exactly like the one depicted in the film. So the commentator who makes such a big point about it being an ice pick is uninformed. This commentator may also be unaware that Joseph Losey was one of the great British filmmakers of his generation, so it's perfectly natural that he make films in English.

What is good about the film? Richard Burton's ability to convey the charisma of Trotsky, the combination of visionary and pragmatic politician who had the misfortune to be outmaneuvered by two equally powerful men with far fewer scruples, Lenin and Stalin. Alain Delon's portrayal of the ice-cold assassin, motivated not by ideology nor even by money, nor in fact any discernible force other than his own profound emptiness. One of Delon's best roles ever.

The cinematography is extremely powerful. As I say, 30 years later, the images are clear in my mind.

Time to rehabilitate this film, folks. There's a lot of trash out there with higher ratings than this 4.6, so if you've seen it, add your vote. If you haven't, try to see it, and vote what you think it's merit is.

29 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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