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  #1  
Old 02-21-2013, 09:54 AM
Amateur Barbarian Amateur Barbarian is offline
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What lost film would you most like to see recovered?

Film lovers are mostly aware of the large number of films that are lost - last copies destroyed, sometimes deliberately, or all copies on fragile stock that could not be duplicated. Occasionally a surviving print is found, mislabeled in old film vaults, or in bizarre situations like those found frozen in permafrost in Alaska.

So it's possible that almost any "lost" film could turn up. If it was only one more in your lifetime, what (preferably major) lost film would you pay $100 for a seat at the first-night showing?

I don't have a good reason for it, but Convention City would probably be mine, now that a 99% complete Metropolis has been assembled. (Oh, and the first IMDb trivia item for this film on cracks me up.)

Last edited by Amateur Barbarian; 02-21-2013 at 09:55 AM..
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  #2  
Old 02-21-2013, 10:13 AM
Rollo Tomasi Rollo Tomasi is online now
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For the sake of completeness, Victor Fleming's The Way of All Flesh, which features the only lost Oscar-winning performance (from Emil Jannings, who was awarded on the basis of both this and The Last Command).

But my personal choice would be the first film appearance of Sherlock Holmes, A Study in Scarlet.

Last edited by Rollo Tomasi; 02-21-2013 at 10:13 AM..
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  #3  
Old 02-21-2013, 10:16 AM
randwill randwill is offline
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Chaney's "London After Midnight" (1927).
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  #4  
Old 02-21-2013, 10:21 AM
bup bup is offline
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I don't know a whole lot about what great films are lost, but it saddened me (don't know why), when I learned that the first eight Charlie Chan films are lost. So, although it's probably a terrible pick, I'll pick any one of those - especially the first Werner Oland movie.
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  #5  
Old 02-21-2013, 10:27 AM
Amateur Barbarian Amateur Barbarian is offline
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bup, I'm with you in spirit. These lists tend to run to the great and magnificent, but there are probably thousands of b-movies that would be just as great a pleasure and a treasure to find somewhere.

Having watched all the Charlie Chan films on late-night with a Chinese host may be skewing me here, though.
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  #6  
Old 02-21-2013, 10:38 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randwill View Post
Chaney's "London After Midnight" (1927).
The one I came in to say. It's sad that the last existing print was lost in ca fire in the 1960s. When Forrest J. Ackerman was printing stills from this in Famous Monsters iof Filmland, the film still existed!


Some film buffs complain that people have idolized and puffed this film into something that';s greater than it really is. Nonsense -- we just would like to see the film. I've seen the "restoration" from existing stills, but it really doesn't give the flavor. I've seen the remake -- by the same director -- with Bela Lugosi as the vampire (something both of them had prior experience with), but it feels like a "Dracula" retread.


The original, if it had been more successful, would have made a HUGE difference in the popular perception of vampires. I don't know why it didn't take off. If it had, our image of vampires would have included, besides evening clothes and a cape, the tall Beaver Hat, glasses, and a mouth full of pointed teetrh (trather than just the canines). And those weird eyes.


As it was, London After Midnight started the cinematic tradition of the Dark Female Vampire/Spooky Goth Lady, with Edna Tichenor as the "Bat Girl". I really caught on with Carroll Borland as Luna in the remake, Mark of the Vampire, which doubtless inspired the Charlres Addams character that would become Morticia Addams, and indirectly Maila Nurmi's Vampira (And from there to countless other such characters, from Vampuirella to Elvira and others)
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:42 AM
BrotherCadfael BrotherCadfael is offline
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Originally Posted by randwill View Post
Chaney's "London After Midnight" (1927).
I also came in to post this one. I first came across it in Drake Douglas' Horror!, a compendium of horror movie genres and movies within those genres. An entertaining read, although, being published in the late '60s, it is a bit dated now.

Last edited by BrotherCadfael; 02-21-2013 at 10:45 AM..
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  #8  
Old 02-21-2013, 10:47 AM
teela brown teela brown is offline
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If what I remember reading is true, there existed a silent 1921 Marx Brothers film called Humor Risk, but it was destroyed quickly because it was so "bad". I'd still like to see it, just to see the brothers in their early days.
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  #9  
Old 02-21-2013, 10:58 AM
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker Earl Snake-Hips Tucker is offline
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Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
. . .The original, if it had been more successful, would have made a HUGE difference in the popular perception of vampires. I don't know why it didn't take off. If it had, our image of vampires would have included, besides evening clothes and a cape, the tall Beaver Hat, glasses, and a mouth full of pointed teetrh (trather than just the canines). And those weird eyes. . . .
And that weird, almost Groucho-like, walk.
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  #10  
Old 02-21-2013, 11:07 AM
Mr. Miskatonic Mr. Miskatonic is online now
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Spirit of '76.

Although it apparently was ridiculous
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  #11  
Old 02-21-2013, 11:10 AM
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker Earl Snake-Hips Tucker is offline
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Fall of a Nation (1916) NOT a sequel to "Birth of a Nation," despite being by the same author. He just cribbed his own title for a novel about an invasion of the USA from Europe. It's thought to be lost.
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  #12  
Old 02-21-2013, 11:13 AM
randwill randwill is offline
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Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
The one I came in to say. It's sad that the last existing print was lost in ca fire in the 1960s. When Forrest J. Ackerman was printing stills from this in Famous Monsters iof Filmland, the film still existed!
The issue of Famous Monsters with the Gogos painting of Lon Chaney in his vampire makeup is dated November 1962. According to Wikipedia the last know print was destroyed in the MGM vault fire in 1967. I wonder if Forry saw "London After Midnight" in his youth?
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  #13  
Old 02-21-2013, 11:23 AM
Giles Giles is online now
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I'll nominate the first full-length feature film, The Story of the Kelly Gang. I've seen some of the surviving fragments, and it would be interesting to see the whole film.
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  #14  
Old 02-21-2013, 11:26 AM
bup bup is offline
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Originally Posted by Mr. Miskatonic View Post
Spirit of '76.

Although it apparently was ridiculous
Yeah, Ben Franklin would've kung-fu'd the fuck out of King George III in a real fight.

It may have been great in a Red Dawn kind of way. Or even The Patriot, if Mel Gibson had actually used the American flag to impale the 'boss enemy' at the end of the movie.
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  #15  
Old 02-21-2013, 11:32 AM
Maggie the Ocelot Maggie the Ocelot is offline
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The missing First and Second Doctor episodes of Doctor Who.
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  #16  
Old 02-21-2013, 11:33 AM
Quimby Quimby is offline
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I would like to see the missing Spider Footage form the original King Kong. I know Peter Jackson and WETA tried to recreate it but I would have loved to see the original.
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  #17  
Old 02-21-2013, 12:18 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is online now
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Originally Posted by randwill View Post
The issue of Famous Monsters with the Gogos painting of Lon Chaney in his vampire makeup is dated November 1962. According to Wikipedia the last know print was destroyed in the MGM vault fire in 1967. I wonder if Forry saw "London After Midnight" in his youth?
It wasn't just the cover painting. Ackerman printed LOTS of stills from the film in the pages of FM, before and after that Gogos cover.
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  #18  
Old 02-21-2013, 12:41 PM
kopek kopek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randwill View Post
Chaney's "London After Midnight" (1927).
Yet another person for this. I saw most of a version made from existing stills and if they make that fantastic of a "movie" what would seeing the actual movie be like? I hope someone finds a print - at least a partial - before I die.
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  #19  
Old 02-21-2013, 12:54 PM
FriarTed FriarTed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
It wasn't just the cover painting. Ackerman printed LOTS of stills from the film in the pages of FM, before and after that Gogos cover.
By the time I started reading FMF, I was five, which was 1967, so LAM had always been a lost film from the time I even knew about it. But hey! Edison's Frankenstein showed up as did original Metropolis footage. This still can survive somewhere!

I'd like to see LIFE WITHOUT SOUL, THE MONSTER OF FRANKENSTEIN, and THE DEATH OF DRAKULA.
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  #20  
Old 02-21-2013, 03:11 PM
Agent Foxtrot Agent Foxtrot is offline
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Wait, I came in this thread just to say Metropolis. What does the OP mean by "99% complete"? As in, the whole movie's been remastered so that none of the scenes are noticeably damaged? If so, hallelujah!
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  #21  
Old 02-21-2013, 03:41 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is online now
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Wait, I came in this thread just to say Metropolis. What does the OP mean by "99% complete"? As in, the whole movie's been remastered so that none of the scenes are noticeably damaged? If so, hallelujah!
Pretty much. the print discovered in South America contains not only the remaining lost scenes, but has them in the correct order -- something even the prrevious resstoration , masterful as it was, didn't fully succeed in doing. One of the revelations of this restored version was the structure of the film, like a musical number. I hadn't realized that before.

About the only missing scene was a brief scene showing the priest preaching in the cathedral. It was at the beginning of a reel, and was too damaged to restore.


The 1925 silent version of The Lost World is now virtually complete, as well. In fact, there are two versions -- the Eastman House version (which, inexplicable, you can get as an "extra" on the DVD of the 1960 version of The Lost World) and the film buff-restored version. Virtually every site seems to prefer the Eastman House version. Why, I don't know -- the other restoration seems incomparably superior to me.
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  #22  
Old 02-21-2013, 03:48 PM
Amateur Barbarian Amateur Barbarian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agent Foxtrot View Post
Wait, I came in this thread just to say Metropolis. What does the OP mean by "99% complete"? As in, the whole movie's been remastered so that none of the scenes are noticeably damaged? If so, hallelujah!
No such luck, but the long-missing 35 minutes or so was found in 16mm in South America a few years ago and restores all but one short scene (which is duplicated by another actor in a repeat), and several dozen frames here and there. The 16mm material is fairly poor in quality but enough to restore the complete original cut and give us the sweep and grandeur of the original vision.

I was privileged to see it on the big screen with the Alloy Orchestra performing a modern score. Simply magnificent.
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  #23  
Old 02-21-2013, 03:55 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is online now
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Elysium. It was a short (30-minute) super-8 film we made shortly after high school. It had been edited, and just needed some post-production stuff to be done. My friend (the writer and director) had it in a backpack. He went to his apartment, which has gates; but they're not locked, and left the bag by his open door as he rushed into the toilet to attend to an urgent physiological imperative. When he came out, the backpack had been stolen.
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  #24  
Old 02-21-2013, 04:12 PM
Hottius Maximus Hottius Maximus is offline
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Mark me down also for "London After Midnight." There are several others, like "The Wizard" starring Gustav Von Seyferitz (spelling?) and Hitchcock's second film called "The Mountain Eagle."
I'm sure there are several silent ones that I would enjoy watching. Is "The Monster" starring Lon Chaney Sr. available? Here is one problem to think about: with all the high expectations, would we be disappointed once we finally DID sit through it?
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  #25  
Old 02-21-2013, 05:03 PM
salinqmind salinqmind is online now
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I've always heard rumours of a movie Jerry Lewis made, The Day The Clown Cried. I don't think it was ever released due to legal stuff or sheer badness...and didn't he also appear in a movie based on a Kurt Vonnegut book which also was not released?
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  #26  
Old 02-21-2013, 05:21 PM
Steophan Steophan is offline
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Any of the lost John Ford silent westerns, especially the ones with Harry Carey. All but a handful of Ford's silent films are lost, but given the quality of the surviving ones I've seen, especially The Iron Horse, and his later masterpieces, I'd be amazed if there aren't many lost gems.
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  #27  
Old 02-21-2013, 05:54 PM
stegon66 stegon66 is offline
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Any of the above, really, but (and I know it's a cliche), Orson Welles' cut of The Magnificent Ambersons has priority for me.
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  #28  
Old 02-21-2013, 06:01 PM
Rodgers01 Rodgers01 is offline
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The original, uncut version of Erich von Stroheim's "Greed."
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  #29  
Old 02-21-2013, 07:27 PM
gaffa gaffa is offline
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The 1929 film Married in Hollywood. It's a trifle, but I'd like to see it just to find out if the "first filmed operetta" is any good.
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  #30  
Old 02-21-2013, 08:04 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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The Apostle: An Argentinian film from 1917. An important piece of film history because it was the first feature-length animated movie. A studio fire in 1926 destroyed the only known copies.
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  #31  
Old 02-21-2013, 08:37 PM
Accidental Martyr Accidental Martyr is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salinqmind View Post
I've always heard rumours of a movie Jerry Lewis made, The Day The Clown Cried. I don't think it was ever released due to legal stuff or sheer badness...and didn't he also appear in a movie based on a Kurt Vonnegut book which also was not released?
Slapstick (Of Another Kind). Released in 1984.
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  #32  
Old 02-21-2013, 08:40 PM
Accidental Martyr Accidental Martyr is online now
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Originally Posted by salinqmind View Post
I've always heard rumours of a movie Jerry Lewis made, The Day The Clown Cried. I don't think it was ever released due to legal stuff or sheer badness...and didn't he also appear in a movie based on a Kurt Vonnegut book which also was not released?
Slapstick (Of Another Kind). Released in 1984.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slapstick_(Of_Another_Kind)
The Day The Clown Cried.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_day_the_clown_cried
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  #33  
Old 02-21-2013, 09:05 PM
penultima thule penultima thule is offline
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I'll nominate the first full-length feature film, The Story of the Kelly Gang. I've seen some of the surviving fragments, and it would be interesting to see the whole film.
+1

Made in 1906 and less than 4min of the original 70 minutes running time has been found.
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  #34  
Old 02-22-2013, 05:47 PM
from_a_to_z from_a_to_z is offline
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Conventional behavior

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Originally Posted by Hottius Maximus View Post
Is "The Monster" starring Lon Chaney Sr. available? Here is one problem to think about: with all the high expectations, would we be disappointed once we finally DID sit through it?
Yes specifically and sometimes generally. DVDtalk has a review of The Monster here. And although a print of Convention City is still awaiting rediscovery, its script and photos from it exist. The book Sin in Soft Focus has a detailed description of it.

Various other 1933 Warner Bros. movies are all readily available. Havana Widows, released a month earlier, has several of the same players. So you can get a taste of what CC is like. I'd like to see Paramount's 1926 The American Venus, if only to see more of the young Louise Brooks. (And thank goodness we can depend on sites like IMDb, so that its users can rate the lost films for us.)
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  #35  
Old 02-22-2013, 05:58 PM
etv78 etv78 is offline
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Fall of a Nation (1916) NOT a sequel to "Birth of a Nation," despite being by the same author. He just cribbed his own title for a novel about an invasion of the USA from Europe. It's thought to be lost.
Wiki contradicts you in their 1st sentence. (not disagreeing with you, just noting Wiki's entry)
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  #36  
Old 02-22-2013, 06:00 PM
Amateur Barbarian Amateur Barbarian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by from_a_to_z View Post
And although a print of Convention City is still awaiting rediscovery, its script and photos from it exist. The book Sin in Soft Focus has a detailed description of it.
Why are you talking about my bookshelf?
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  #37  
Old 02-22-2013, 09:17 PM
from_a_to_z from_a_to_z is offline
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“Okay, let’s get some pictures”

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Originally Posted by NitroPress View Post
Why are you talking about my bookshelf?
Great minds gape alike? Mary Astor was also in CC, 4th billed per IMDb and per the teaser linked below, in the days (and nights and early mornings) when the studios were taking full advantage of their employees. In her book A Life on Film, written about 38 years after CC was released, she mentions
Quote:
Convention City was directed by Archie Mayo who had comedy technique in his bones, and some experts around him: Adolphe Menjou, Joan Blondell, Guy Kibbee, Frank McHugh and a lot of others. I don't even remember what I was doing there.
But thanks to pages like "Convention City A Lost Film?", we can imagine.
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  #38  
Old 02-22-2013, 09:50 PM
jack tardiff jack tardiff is offline
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The Magnificent Ambersons would be nice, if the -- whatever the movie equivalent of "masters" in music is -- still exist.

Queen Kelly in the big monster cut.

And I think The Lady From Shanghai probably has some stuff lying around that would be good.

It's a shame Welles got a posthumous deluxe treatment for Mr. Arkadin (there's a disc set with like three separate cuts of the film, all restored) but nothing for those two much better movies (not that Mr. Arkadin isn't a riot -- Akim Tamiroff, Michael Redgrave stand out as superb little charcters/caricatures).
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  #39  
Old 02-23-2013, 06:55 PM
Jim's Son Jim's Son is offline
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D W Griffith's "The Greatest Thing in Life", a WWI film that features an interracial kiss when a black soldier is dying, cries out for his mother and a white officer substitutes kissing him. This from the director who a few years earlier gave us "Birth of a Nation"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Greatest_Thing_in_Life
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  #40  
Old 02-24-2013, 03:06 AM
Jormungandr Jormungandr is offline
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A complete version of 1912's "Oliver Twist," the first American feature film. IMDb states only 4 of 5 reels exists.
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  #41  
Old 02-24-2013, 05:24 AM
StJoan StJoan is offline
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Now that "Metropolis" is nearly complete, and Louise Brook's "Pandora's Box" still survives, I would really like to see Theda Bara's "Cleopatra". For the sake of the costumes, if not for anything else.
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  #42  
Old 02-24-2013, 05:25 AM
Ms Boods Ms Boods is offline
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Wings with its original soundtrack (which won it the Oscar). The original records *do* still exist, but it's a case of a certain type of historical society lady who is in charge of the archive and not allowing anyone near the recordings (if she doesn't downright insist that the records do not exist if you're not the 'right' kind of person.)
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  #43  
Old 02-24-2013, 09:20 AM
FoieGrasIsEvil FoieGrasIsEvil is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by from_a_to_z View Post
Great minds gape alike? Mary Astor was also in CC, 4th billed per IMDb and per the teaser linked below, in the days (and nights and early mornings) when the studios were taking full advantage of their employees. In her book A Life on Film, written about 38 years after CC was released, she mentions But thanks to pages like "Convention City A Lost Film?", we can imagine.
I just wanted to say that this is why I love this place. Here's a poster that's been around eight years, has less than two hundred posts, yet knowledgeably chimes in on a post that piques his or her interest. I find these instances fascinating. Sorry for the hijack.
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  #44  
Old 02-24-2013, 09:40 AM
Beware of Doug Beware of Doug is offline
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I just wanted to say that this is why I love this place. Here's a poster that's been around eight years, has less than two hundred posts, yet knowledgeably chimes in on a post that piques his or her interest. I find these instances fascinating. Sorry for the hijack.
Quite all right. Reclusive people often have very special knowledge.

I'd like to see the newsreel version of NBC's first TV broadcast in 1936. RKO Pathé News filmed it as it was being broadcast live, with a movie camera right beside the TV camera. RKO handed over the reel to their parent RCA, who wanted it for a screening for bigwigs who hadn't been able to make the live show. It was subsequently "lost," but seeing as the show was so top secret that even the press weren't invited, it was probably burned.
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  #45  
Old 02-24-2013, 10:14 AM
Amateur Barbarian Amateur Barbarian is offline
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Originally Posted by Ms Boods View Post
Wings with its original soundtrack (which won it the Oscar). The original records *do* still exist, but it's a case of a certain type of historical society lady who is in charge of the archive and not allowing anyone near the recordings (if she doesn't downright insist that the records do not exist if you're not the 'right' kind of person.)
Hoarders. Hate 'em. It was my great pleasure to demolish a largish and very self-satisfied group of such, a decade or so back.
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  #46  
Old 02-24-2013, 10:37 AM
F. U. Shakespeare F. U. Shakespeare is online now
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Life_of_General_Villa
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  #47  
Old 02-24-2013, 11:43 AM
Kepler1571 Kepler1571 is offline
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The missing First and Second Doctor episodes of Doctor Who.
This.
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  #48  
Old 02-24-2013, 05:04 PM
dalej42 dalej42 is offline
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The Patriot I'm slowly trying to watch all the Best Picture winners and nominees.
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  #49  
Old 02-24-2013, 05:18 PM
Airman Doors, USAF Airman Doors, USAF is offline
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Santo Gold's immortal Blood Circus. I'd love to see it, and if I had a million dollars I'd have Joel and the 'Bots do their thing over top of it.
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  #50  
Old 02-24-2013, 05:55 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is offline
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I'd like to see the dailies, production stills, or read the script to Alejandro Jodorowsky's Dune, which was to star Orson Welles and Salvador Dali, with a score by Pink Floyd. Heck, I'd like to hear the music.

Sadly, the financial backers backed out half way through and we ended up with Alien instead.
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