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The Assassination of Trotsky
The Assassination of Trotsky
Actors: Richard Burton, Alain Delon, Romy Schneider, Valentina Cortese, Enrico Maria Salerno
Director: Joseph Losey
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     2006     1hr 43min

This lost Richard Burton classic chronicles one of the most infamous assassinations of the 20th century - the 1940 murder of Leon Trotsky by Stalin's secret police.


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Movie Details

Actors: Richard Burton, Alain Delon, Romy Schneider, Valentina Cortese, Enrico Maria Salerno
Director: Joseph Losey
Creators: Pasqualino De Santis, Joseph Losey, Alessandro Tasca, Norman Priggen, Franco Solinas, Masolino D'Amico, Nicholas Mosley
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Lance (Koch)
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 09/05/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 43min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, Spanish

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Movie Reviews

Joseph Losey makes an anti-political thriller.
darragh o'donoghue | 08/30/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)

"In the late 1960s and early 70s, there was a remarkable popularity in political thrillers (e.g. 'Z', 'The Day of the Jackal'), in which normally dull subjects like history, politics, civil service procedurals, etc., were given excitement by their being placed in a suspense context. Losey, typically, makes an anti-thriller political movie - even if you don't know your history, the title is a give away: the key sequences that could have been suspenseful (especially the assassination) are deliberately obscured and fragmented. Losey is more interested in historical representation, the way Trotsky in particular, and Marxism in general, was turned from history into myth, symbol and spectacle - his film abounds in books, speeches, films, murals, parades, photographs, all trying to impose their version. Losey's film thrives on paradox - his man-of-action hero spends the movie virtually imprisoned in his home with his family; the reactionary assassin is the real revolutionary, destroying not only Trotsky and his family, but the very notion of 'identity' from which Trotsky (and all Great Men) derives his power (Losey makes brilliant use of Alain Delon and memories of his famous roles like the hitman in 'Le Samourai'). 'Assassination' is more interesting than entertaining: the pace is deadly slow, the colour muddy, and the performances (Delon excepted) poor. The elaborate opening sequence of a May Day parade in Mexico makes the film a must-see."
Ignore Ignorant Diatribes
Christopher Phelps | United States | 08/12/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)

"The film is a psychological study of Trotsky's murderer, Mercader. I just watched the film and noticed nothing of Burton's goatee coming loose, as alleged by another reviewer. It's a little hard to get beyond Trotsky, the Russian, speaking with a U.K. accent, but that dissipates with time. The film is slightly dated in 1970s-era hip cinematic technique (freeze frame, panning to close up, etc.). But so what? It is not a superb film, but it is not catastrophic."
Somewhat ridiculous, I give it a Thumb Down.
Yuli Martov | 08/19/2000
(1 out of 5 stars)

"While Richard Burton has been acknolwledged as a great actor, his performance in "The Assassination of Trotsky" was downright atrocious. His acting compels the viewer to believe that Trotsky was a whimsical old man, who kept on talking about the "Good Ol' Days". For instance, when talking to his fictitious grandson, he calls himself an "Old Revolutionary", Burton forces the less informed to believe that Lev Davidovich Trotsky was a megalomaniac who wanted nothing but attention.In addition, the producers should have had Burton grow a "Real" goatee as opposed to the obviously fake one that the prop guy provided(or they could at least have gotten a goatee that looked like the one Trotsky had), and of course, Burton could have lost a little weight for the role. At no point in the movie was Burton believable in his role as Leon Trotsky, frankly, with Burton in the role of L.D. Trotsky, I couldn't wait until the pic-axe ending. If this were a Sunday night Movie on the Disney channel, with no-name actors, I wouldn't be as dissapointed as I was, because TV Movies are renowned as being mediocrities. To the potential buyer of this movie, I would recommend that you just buy Trotsky's Auto-Bio or something about Trotsky by a historian, because this movie is completely atrocious."
Fine Ensamble Cast makes this Film a Delight to see
Gus Mauro | Brandon,mb | 06/07/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Richard Burton and Alain delon star in this tight well acted thriller about the last days of Leon Trotsky, a former Russian delegate being pursued by a calculating professinal hitman looking to make a name for himself. This film was certainly done with charm and wit, and having Delon cast as the trecherous Frank Jackson was brilliant. Alain Delon has the abilty and the skill to convey an unsculpotus assassin. A well made political thriller for it`s time."