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.)

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.

Chaney’s “London After Midnight” (1927).

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.

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.

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)

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.

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.

And that weird, almost Groucho-like, walk.

Spirit of '76.

Although it apparently was ridiculous

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.

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?

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.

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.

The missing First and Second Doctor episodes of Doctor Who.

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.

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.

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.

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!


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!