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30s film "A MAN TO REMEMBER"


DownGoesFrazier
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Did anyone see this film on TCM on Thanksgiving morning? The dialogue was in English, and it was obviously an American film, but there were subtitles in a foreign language, possibly Swedish? Does anyone know why? Did TCM only have access to the Swedish (or whatever) release? Has this happened with other TCM films?

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It was one of the lost RKO films. A few years ago, TCM discovered that there were six films missing from the RKO library. The films went with Merien C. Cooper, who had produced them, when he left the studio.

 

A search for the films began and they were found. In the case of *A Man to Remember* the only print is the one that has the subtitles.

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Right after TCM last aired the film ?Metropolis?, they ran an interesting documentary made in Argentina, about how some film buff in an Argentina film library discovered they had the only full, original, and complete print of the movie. They got in touch with German archivists, and both cooperated to restore the new print. This was the first time I saw the new version, and it makes a little more sense with all the footage in it.

 

So, apparently now, there are film buffs and librarians and archivists all around the world, and they keep in touch with each other. They keep on the look-out for rare prints of ?lost? films, which occasionally turn up in old film cans in warehouses in their vast international archive system.

 

Turns out that the film buyer for a distributor in Argentina was in Germany when ?Metropolis? was first released, and he bought a pristine copy of the original long-version of the film for distribution in Argentina.

 

The documentary said that each country had to change all the title cards of the silent films for their own local language. The documentary also said that big silent films often had several slightly different edited versions, for different international audiences, depending on local censorship rules and different interests. Also, some countries had to take out certain scenes for local censorship reasons.

 

So, with sound films it was the same, but they had to add local-language subtitles to their prints. Apparently, no original negative copy of ?The Man to Remember? can be found, so they had to use the print with the foreign subtitles.

 

There are still hundreds of ?lost? films like this in library archives all around the world, and gradually they are being discovered. Also, researchers are tracking down family members of actors and directors, trying to find rare copies of old films. There might still be some in Japan or China or even Africa. Russia has been a good source, and Latin America too.

 

There was a big Buster Keaton festival I saw in San Francisco in the 1970s. The local newspaper said it was traveling from city to city. It said that some of the copies were from pints that Keaton had stored in his own garage at home. One guy decided to collect some of his films, and he went to Keaton in Los Angeles, and Keaton showed him a garage filled with old cans of film. Some of his films we see on TCM now might have come from that collection.

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> {quote:title=FredCDobbs wrote:}{quote} > So, apparently now, there are film buffs and librarians and archivists all around the world, and they keep in touch with each other. They keep on the look-out for rare prints of lost films, which occasionally turn up in old film cans in warehouses in their vast international archive system.

 

Actually, that's nothing new. Film archivists have always been a very close-knit group that work together with a mutual goal of finding and preserving the world's film treasures. The same can be said for many serious film collectors who also play an important role in tracking down "lost" films.

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*>>FredCDobbs wrote: > So, apparently now, there are film buffs and librarians and archivists all around the world, and they keep in touch with each other. They keep on the look-out for rare prints of ?lost? films, which occasionally turn up in old film cans in warehouses in their vast international archive system.*

 

*Actually, that's nothing new. Film archivists have always been a very close-knit group that work together with a mutual goal of finding and preserving the world's film treasures. The same can be said for many serious film collectors who also play an important role in tracking down "lost" films.*

Indeed it isn't. The last restoration of METROPOLIS, in 2002 or thereabouts, was the result of cooperation between a number of film archives to get the most complete version & the best materials. At that time even the people in Argentina didn't know what they had. I interviewed Martin Korber for FILMFAX back then & he stated categorically that the 2002 restoration was absolutely, positively all we would ever see of METROPOLIS. Somehow this print went to Argentina & no record of its sale was entered in Ufa's ledgers.

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http://www.fipresci.org/undercurrent/issue_0609/pena_metropolis.htm

 

"The film was finally found by a persistent man, who insisted on having the containers opened so that he could examine their contents. The finding of the original version of Fritz Lang's Metropolis at the Film Museum Pablo Ducr?s Hicken follows a similar path. It was stored with its title and inventory number in two consecutive public archives for forty years, but nobody even tried to check if this was the original version."

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