When he wasn’t massacring sailors of the Baltic Fleet Leon Trotsky appears to have enjoyed a brief sideline as a movie extra. The goateed mass murderer ironically seems to crop up as one of a crowd of nihilists in the 1914 espionage pot-boiler’THE OFFICIAL WIFE’ He reputedly even provided the studio with a stage name, Mr Brown, for payment purposes.
Annoyingly, though, there are some who dismiss Trotsky’s film career as a fiction. According to Winstanley director and silent cinema historian Kevin Brownlow, Trotsky did indeed spend time exiled in New York editing Russian language journal Novy Mir (New World) – but that was two years after this film was made. The extra in an oft-produced still who is the spitting image of the future revolutionary and ice-pick caddy is, he says, merely that. Print the legend, Isay. Some counter-revolutionaries even allege the existence of a silent movie with Trotsky getting a custard pie in the face……anyone want to lend me a copy?
Here’s the film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JZfla3dWmM