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Metropolisforever

Totally OBSCURE Movies - Films that NOBODY Has Seen!

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This is a discussion thread for totally obscure movies.

 

Some of these movies deserve more attention.

 

Some of these movies are best left forgotten.

 

There is a whole world of film that, just a few short years ago, was considered lost or worthless. The industry that produced and distributed these films had long since vanished and there was no sign of the men who actually created these bottom of the barrel celluloid wonders. That is until now.

 

Message was edited by: Metropolisforever

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Just Imagine (1930) A rerely seen science fiction musical from 1930 that portrays a fantasy vision of the future in the year 1980! There are some great sets and a side trip to Mars! (On DVD from Cryptflicks)

 

King of Jazz (1930) a musical filmed entirely in early two strip technicolor, featuring Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra. There are some very psychedelic style shots and art design! 1930's tripping. Quite a film! (On VHS only)

 

Chandu the Magician (1932) with Bela Lugosi, made by FOX. Not to be confused with "Return of Chandu" or the low budget serial. Fox spent some money on this one and the visuals and sets are fantastic. A great film in the adventure/fantasy genre. (On DVD by Cryptflicks)

 

If I Had a Million (1932) Paramount production with WC Fields. This is one of the forgotten classics that never got released on video in any format, and never shown on TV. What a shame!

 

Murder at the Vanities (1934) Paramount at it's naughty best! Real pre-code stuff! How about topless chorus women done up to be cactus flowers and singing "Sweet Marihuana" (spelled with an "H" in the 30's). Available on VHS. Don't ever count on this film appearing on TV!

 

The films of Josephine Baker, made in France. Check out Zou Zou (1934) and the fantastic Princess Tam Tam (1935) The latter film is very influenced by Hollywood musicals, and showed that the French could imitate Hollywood when they really wanted to. (On DVD from Kino)

 

There is a lot of fun stuff out there! It's great that we could share info this way.

 

Thelma

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London After Midnight...im talking the whole movie without using still shots..

Monster Wangmagwi is Korean monster movie that no one has seen outside of Korea

Ship of Monsters - a Mexican horror movie very obscure

Betrayed

Nora Prentiss (?)

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There are a lot of movies that no one has seen in years and years. One that I want to mention is called:

 

Young Eagles 1930--directed by William Wellman and starring Jean Arthur this film follows the movie Wings from 1927. It is about WWI flyers. A nitrate print of this film survives in the UCLA Film and Television Archives, and is not listed for preservation. I actually contacted the people at the Archives and asked them what it would take for this movie to be preserved and they said that someone needs to sponsor it. I wish I could. I would do it in a second. But if you live in LA near the Archives, you can schedule appointments to view that film and more in their archives. I highly recommend contacting the people there if you live in the area. There is an amusement park of films to watch there. I would be like a kid in a candy store if I ever got to go and watch films there.

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I don?t understand this. If they have one nitrate print that they show by appointment, why haven?t they had a local lab dub the film over to tape or to non-nitrate film? A dubbing process is very common and easy and with not as much damage to a film as much as projecting it by appointment will do. A 35mm to tape dub of the film should cost only a few hundred dollars.

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Nora Prentiss has been shown on TCM many times. It's far from obscure.

Here are a few "newer" film that seem to have become obscure...

GAL YOUNG'UN (MID EIGHTIES INDIE. GREAT REVENGE FILM )

LES VIOLONS DU BAL (EARLY EIGHTIES FRENCH FILM WITHIN A FILM...EXCELLENT)

ORPHANS (EARLY EIGHTIES TEAR JERKER WITH ALBERT FINNEY

GARE DU NORD (ONE OF SIMONE SIGNORET'S FINAL FILMS)

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They should already have enough "sponsors" -- just from the rich actors, directors, and studio heads in Hollywood -- to be able to afford basic video dubs or safety-film dubs of all their films. A full "restoration" probably requires some time to clean up the original negatives or nitrate prints. Forbes magazine says Steven Spielberg is worth 2.7 billion. Ted Turner has two or three billion. George Lucas has 3.5 billion.

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"They should already have enough "sponsors" -- just from the rich actors, directors, and studio heads in Hollywood ".

 

So you'd think, right? Kind of reminds me of young ballplayers not understanding fully who Jackie Robinson was. They all know he was first, but have no real comprehension of what it was like to be first.

In other words, these entertainment types often say all the right things, but live in a reality of "not my problem".

Btw, whoever put up that UCLA link....thanx.

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Mr Dobbs brings up a good point about places like the film archive. Years ago I found out that the public library in Kansas City was upon someone's passing, left a large collection of early jazz and blues greats performing on film. There were several hundred titles! So I called them and asked about their plans to release this material on video. They had no plans, nor any interest!

 

One has to be careful bequething historically valuable property to impersonal, not for profit organizations. It often gets filed away in the "letters to Santa" dept! The staff have no interest or incentive to develop such properties. They often have to be coerced into doing anything.

 

Our America is ruled by an interest in sports and current pop culture; there is no leadership when it comes to talking about saving our film heritage. We are just beggars who have to get in line behind ballet, performance artists, muralists and other marginal artistic interests when it comes to funding.

 

It sounds like your film archive wants $ towards the restoration of the film; fair enough. Good luck getting it in the City of Angles. Someone in the film business really should step up to the plate!

 

Thelma

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Often times what happens when someone donates to an archive, library, etc. is that they include specific instructions on how the material can be used. This can keep the archive from making the material available to the public.

 

Another problem is money. Many libraries and archives simply do not have the funds available to process and restore all the material that they receive. Tightening budgets and budget crisis always bring more cuts and often that includes places like libraries and archives.

 

As for "London After Midnight", that is not an obscure film so much as a lost film. The negative was destroyed in the MGM vault fire in the mid-1960s.

 

As for UCLA, they have thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of feet of film footage. They are also a non-profit organization connected to a major university and the State of California and the City of Los Angeles are both in budget crisis and education funds are always being cut.

 

That is one reason why UCLA Archives looks to sponsors to fund the transfer and restoration of films because they simply do not have the budget to pay for it themselves.

 

Marty Scorsese and others have been banging the drum for film preservation for over thirty years now. Some people in Hollywood like Hugh Hefner understand the need and have spent thousands and thousands of dollars to help preserve our film heritage. He is one of the biggest angels that pre-code films has as he has helped restore a fair number of them over the last few years.

 

David Packard of Hewlitt-Parckard fame is another who understands the need for preservation.

 

But the sad fact remains that funding for the Arts (of which film falls under when most people think of it) has been on steady decline for years.

 

Could Hollywood do more to help preserve our film heritage? Yes, of course, they could and they should.

 

But preserving our film heritage vs starving children in Africa. Given those choices, artists in Hollywood will almost always choose the humanitarian efforts or the arts.

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I have a small list of film I've seen that seem to have vanished into the mist of time

 

 

January Man (1988)

Those Lips Those Eyes (1980)

A Man A Woman And A Bank (1979)

Rampage (1987)

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Your welcome mickeeteeze! The people at the archive are really good about emailing people back. I heard back from them almost right away when I emailed them about Young Eagles. Also in order to view the movies they have in their vault you have to be doing something constructive that has to do with the film or classic films in general. Basically the general public cannot just go there and view films. But-all you have to do is say you are a classic film historian working on a book or article about the film. As Fred says putting the films through the projector is wear and tear. I am not sure the exact rules that the Archive has put forth, but as long as you are a passionate classic film fan, I am sure you can get through the door.

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Universal talkies 1929-35 are quite rare. How many of these have been seen since their original release?...THE CAT CREEPS; MADAME SPY; COUNTESS OF MONTE CRISTO; CHEATING CHEATERS; STRANGE WIVES; ONE EXCITING ADVENTURE; EMBARRASSING MOMENTS; LET'S TALK IT OVER; I LIKE IT THAT WAY; NIGHT LIFE OF THE GODS; SHE GETS HER MAN; GLAMOUR; et al.

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I WILL JUST REPEAT MYSELF:

 

A totall OBSCURE Movie that NOBODY Has Seen:

 

Letty Lynton from MGM (1932)

 

Letty is not widely available today because of a court case that MGM lost in 1936. Explains Mark Litwak on the filmmaking.com site:

 

In Sheldon v. Metro-Goldwyn Pictures Corp., MGM attempted to secure the movie rights to Edward Sheldon's copyrighted play ?Dishonored Lady.? The play was based, in part, on a true historical incident in the public domain. When MGM was unsuccessful in negotiating to obtain the rights to the play, the studio produced a movie of its own, ?Letty Lynton,? based on the same historical incidents that were the basis for Sheldon?s play. Although much of this movie was original, certain details and sequences of events were identical to those expressed in Sheldon?s play. The lower court held for MGM on the grounds that the material borrowed only involved general themes or ideas.

 

The appellate court disagreed concluding that there was an infringement. The court found that MGM?s work was identical in details and sequence of events to Sheldon?s work in matters unrelated to the underlying true story. The court reasoned that this borrowing was more than merely appropriating an idea or a theme. Some of the details and sequences of events in Sheldon?s play that were not historical facts in the public domain were also present in MGM?s movie. The court concluded that it didn?t matter that the plagiarized material comprised only a small portion of the film because it is not acceptable to steal a little bit.

 

Also:

 

Inchon W./Laurence Olivier & Jacqueline Bisset!

The history of the film is interesting!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inchon_%28film%29

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I don't know how obscure it is but I had never heard of it. "Gun Crazy" from 1949. Jon Dall and Peggy Cummins.

 

Terrific noir of Bonnie nad Clyde type couple. Interesting "B" look to intense film about couple on the run. Psychological issues and lack of steady jobs drive couple to crime spree where they spend the rest of the movie dodging authorities.

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In general response to various posts, I've seen IF I HAD A MILLION on TV. Not for a long time. But it's been around. GUN CRAZY turned up on video a while back. I think there was a remake that sparked some interest. And I went out of my way to see GAL YOUNG'N at a theatre in Chicago. A friend of mine was in it!

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Redriver, I don't know from what part of the country you hail, but any TV station that would show "If I had A Million" with WC Fields sounds like it has a very classic film savvy program director! Such a station deserves our emails and phone calls of support! Let us know which one it is, so we can all give them some encouragement. Do they still show such classics?

 

Thelma

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It's been so long, I don't remember. One of the Chicago stations. Late night, of course. Almost thirty years ago. As you can imagine, programming has changed, and not for the better. If you see black and white today, you better adjust the controls!

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IF I HAD A MILLION used to be shown regularly on my local tv stations, along with other Paramount titles, about 30 years ago. I think it was also because W.C. Fields, along with the Marx Brothers, at that time had a huge "cult" following with college kids of that era. The other obscure film title I recall seeing around that time, and have not seen since, is AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY the original film version of A PLACE IN THE SUN.

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Thanks for your replies Jezebel and Redriver. Few people have seen If I Had a Million. I think it must be stuck in some kind of legal or ownership dispute, something not unheard of with old films. WC Fields was obsessed with certain pet peeves, and high on his list were bad drivers. He used this film to vent his rage with "roadhogs"!

 

Thelma

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"If I Had A Million" along with other Paramount features used to air on a fairly regular basis on channel 5 in New York City (used to be WNEW TV.) That was throughout the 1960's into the early 1970's. Times have changed.

 

Other films I haven't seen on television in decades:

The Phantom President (1932) .. a musical with George M. Cohan

The Big Pond (1930) .. with Maurice Chevalier

Voodoo Man (1944) .. with Bela Lugosi

Chartroose Caboose (1960) .. all I can recall is seeing the title listing in the TV guide in the mid 1960's

Highway Dragnet (1954) .. with Joan Bennett (CBN used to air this in the mid 1980's)

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I don't know if this film is considered obscure or not but WHITE BANNERS (1938). I saw it for the first time on TCM about a year and a half ago and haven't seen it since. A woman, played by Fay Bainter, comes back to her hometown and inspires the family she works for. Without pay if memory serves me right. Claude Rains is the patriarch.

 

Being the classic film lover that I am, it surprised me to never have heard of this film until it aired on TCM.

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I have a list of films I would love to see again...

ALIAS NICK BEAL...Ray Miland gives a superb performance as Satan ..with Thomas Mitchell

and Audrey Totter..saw this only once and it made an impression because of Milland's command

of the character...his Satan isn't evil..just misunderstood..

DEAD OF NIGHT... a true classic, a film like none other due to the fact it has no ending, and contains a bravua performance by Michael Redgrave as a ventriloquist, living a nightmare...

GUEST IN THE HOUSE..Anne Baxter's tour- de- force, as a houseguest who never leaves the house because she is terrified of birds...

ANGEL ON THE AMAZON...beautiful fantasy, with an original story, and a great performance by Vera Ralston...

MOSS ROSE,,with the great Ethel Barrymore going against type as a mother, whose son is taken away from her and comes back grown, with the underrated Peggy Cummins...

HANGOVER SQUARE,,, Laird Cregar's obsession with Linda Darnell is something to see

plus the fact that he can't hear any loud noise, or he suffers a personality change, and his choice of fuel for the bonfire now seems creepy...

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"Nora Prentiss has been shown on TCM many times. It's far from obscure."

thats why I put a ? next to it..I wasnt certain

I remember when I was younger 2 horror movies were so obscure when they wound up on eBay they sold for $$$

Hand of Death & Sting of Death

Sting of Death is now available & has been from Something Weird Video

Hand of Death is owned by 20th Century Fox, but no real DVD has turned up from them, but the Fox Movie channel played it, people recorded it and auctioned copies..Luckily ebay caught on to this and stopped it...

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