Cinema: Character Assassination

THE ASSASSINATION OF TROTSKY Directed by JOSEPH LOSEY Screenplay by NICHOLAS MOSLEY

"Maybe it's the altitude," Romy Schneider suggests, none too helpfully, to Alain Delon, who plays the assassin Jacson. He has certainly known strange fits of passion since his arrival in Mexico City to murder Trotsky (Richard Burton). Suffering from a kind of ambulatory catatonia, Delon lurches about, subjecting his paramour Romy to his sexual vagaries and incoherent political outbursts. Romy, who plays a young friend of Trotsky's, grows testy at times, but endures nevertheless. She knows nothing of Jacson's murderous plans, yet senses, perhaps, that he is meant for...