The last days (1940) in the life of the Russian revolutionary figure, Leon Trotsky, are traced in this fairly cryptic film.
Intended as a sort of political thriller, the film remains cloudy vis-a-vis the Stalin menance though it works up dread, and the foreshadowed (pickaxe, skull-shattering) death. But there is too much forced symbolism, diffuse characterization and a sort of schematic feel sans enough interplay of people, historical perspective, or new insights into this political or psychological murder.
Richard Burton sometimes catches a cantankerous and surface aspect of the aging revolutionary, once almost as popular as Lenin in Russia.
The film rarely transcends a sort of banal look at the murder. It has little to say about political hatred and fanaticism.