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 starred Richard Burton as Leon Trotsky, as well as Romy Schneider and Alain Delon.

The Assassination of Trotsky
Film poster
Directed byJoseph Losey
Produced byNorman Priggen
Josef Shaftel (executive producer)
Written byNicholas Mosley
StarringRichard Burton
Alain Delon
Romy Schneider
Valentina Cortese
Jean Desailly
Music byEgisto Macchi
CinematographyPasqualino De Santis
Edited byReginald Beck
Dino de Laurentiis Cinematografica
Compagnia Internazionale Alessandra Cinematografica
Distributed byCinerama Releasing Corporation
Release date
20 April 1972
Running time
103 minutes
United Kingdom
Budget$2.5 million
Box office561,109 admissions (France)[1]


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 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 originally to be shot in England,[2] but was eventually filmed in Mexico. The movie used Isaac Don Levine's book The Mind of an Assassin as a source.[3]


The Assassination of Trotsky was included as one of the choices in the book The Fifty Worst Films of All Time.[4]


  1. Box office information for film at Box Office Story
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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