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I Once Was Lost, But Now I'm Found


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I seriously doubt most "lost" films are really lost. As the Metropolis discovery proves, most people don't even bother to report these "lost" films to film preservation societies. I'll bet you a million bucks that 4 Devils is sitting in some guy's barn in God-knows-where... I mean, how does TV Guide have a [review|http://movies.tvguide.com/devils/review/123655] of it? And numerous people have reported its alleged whereabouts.

 

Numerous films have been lost and found... A Page of Madness (1926) (in the director's own garden shed), Richard III (1912) (in a projectionist's collection), In Nacht Und Eis (1912) (in a private German film library), Frankenstein (1910) (in a film collector's possession), Metropolis (1927) (in a museum in Argentina), The Passion of Joan of Arc (in the janitor's closet of a Norwegian mental asylum(!?)), ect. The list goes on and on. If they can find the original 1957 version of Shadows (1959), they can find anything.

 

Message was edited by: Metropolisforever_0

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Metropolisforever_0,

 

 

Colleen Moore's FLAMING YOUTH (First National, 1923) with Milton Sills is one of the defining films of the 1920's. It still existed in the late 60's when Colleen dedicated a pristine nitrate print to a Museum for safe keeping. But they lost it! Today only a Single reel is know to exist at the Library of Congress. This is a crucial Silent that simply must be found and hopefully restored! But are they even looking for other lost Colleen Moore features like WE MODERNS, or THE DESERT FLOWER? What about the two missing reels of Frank Borzage's THE NTH COMMANDMENT with Colleen in a rare dramatic roll?

 

A few years ago three of Colleen's long lost Silent features turned up HER WILD OAT (1927) which has bee digitally restored was lost for decades. It has seen a handful of live screenings. It has not however been shown on TCM yet despite being a Warner Brothers property. Rather disappointing.

 

And Colleen's final two Silent features SYNTHETIC SIN (FN, 1928), and WHY BE GOOD? (1929) also turned up and are scheduled to be restored by Warner Brothers this year. Or at least that is what I was told last year? The project has been pushed back for three years already. Meantime, both movies are still exclusively on Nitrate stock, and the longer that Warner's sits around twiddling their thumbs the more endangered they become by the day! I would feel allot better if they would at least transfer these to modern film stock.

 

Colleen's great rival at First National the beautiful Corinne Griffith is an even greater tragedy. Only about 10 of her Silents are known to exist, and only 4 or 5 of those are features. There have to be more of her movies out there somewhere! I could go on and on. Why for instance is King Vidor's HIS HOUR (1924) the film that made John Gilbert a Mega-Star still stuck at the Museum Of modern art with Czech title-cards? They have never been transferred to English. Even though this film was found over a decade ago!

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> {quote:title=Metropolisforever_0 wrote:}{quote}

> I seriously doubt most "lost" films are really lost. As the Metropolis discovery proves, most people don't even bother to report these "lost" films to film preservation societies. I'll bet you a million bucks that 4 Devils is sitting in some guy's barn in God-knows-where... I mean, how does TV Guide have a [review|http://movies.tvguide.com/devils/review/123655] of it? And numerous people have reported its alleged whereabouts.

>

> Numerous films have been lost and found... A Page of Madness (1926) (in the director's own garden shed), Richard III (1912) (in a projectionist's collection), In Nacht Und Eis (1912) (in a private German film library), Frankenstein (1910) (in a film collector's possession), Metropolis (1927) (in a museum in Argentina), The Passion of Joan of Arc (in the janitor's closet of a Norwegian mental asylum(!?)), ect. The list goes on and on. If they can find the original 1957 version of Shadows (1959), they can find anything.

>

> Message was edited by: Metropolisforever_0

 

That is SO optimistic, Metropolisforever_0. The ratio of what survives from the silent era to what has been lost is insignificant -- it's like less than a tenth. Sure, things do continue to turn up, and we should be thankful that they still do at such a late date. But we'll never have anything approaching what would be comprehensive for the silent era, and its been a long, long time since we've seen a new Selig film turn up for example -- the output of whole studios have been lost.

 

spadeneal

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