List of lost or partially lost movies?

Discussion in 'Movies' started by todd s, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

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    I just read about the rediscovery of the lost scenes from Metropolis. Just wondering what other movies are completely or partially lost? Also, with regards to the longer version of Metropolis. I am surprised no longer versions survived in Germany...Unless they were destroyed during the war.
     
  2. Dale MA

    Dale MA Screenwriter

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    Hitchcock's The Mountain Eagle is the first that springs to mind.
     
  3. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

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    What happened to it?

    Also, if anyone lists a movie. Try to give a bit of a background as to why it was lost..lf you can.
     
  4. Dale MA

    Dale MA Screenwriter

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  5. DavidPla

    DavidPla Cinematographer

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    The spider/bug attack in King Kong 1933.
     
  6. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    I doubt there is anything like a comprehensive list of "lost films". It would be easier to compile a list of films that haven't been lost. The Film Preservation Foundation (Martin Scorcese's outfit) estimates that as many as 80 percent of the films produced between 1890s and 1930s, the silent and early talkie periods, have been lost.

    The vast majority weren't "lost", strictly speaking. Far from being misplaced, they were deliberately destroyed by studios in need of vault space. Films were viewed as being as disposable as magazines or newspapers. Most films were not re-released after their original runs and there were no secondary markets like television, airlines or home video to sell them to.

    Wiki has a good article on the subject (including a quotation from Robert Harris [​IMG]) Film Threat has a - well, less good article. [​IMG] Actually Film Threat's is a list of 50 lost films and isn't so much bad as eccentric. Some of the films they list are extremely obscure, while they omit better-known examples. But the descriptions are interesting.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  7. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Just continuing on Joe's post, it is difficult for us to imagine films being lost, but the reality is that until the late 80s, a market for films after their initial theatrical run hadn't even much been imagined. It's a wonder anything has survived.
     
  8. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    In fairness, that is more a lost piece of film or a lost sequence. The OP clearly was more interested in films that are entirely lost or which exist only in fragments. A sequence like the spider attack, which was deliberately removed from the film before its release as a matter of editorial judgment, is a very different thing than a film that was released intact and which no longer exists. It is even different than a sequence that was included in the original release prints of a film but later removed either by the studio or by local censorship boards and which is therefore missing from all surviving prints of a film. (The child-drowning sequence from the Karloff Frankenstein was long believed lost for this reason, if memory serves. It is more like the "Jitterbug" number from The Wizard of Oz or the Eric Stoltz footage from Back to the Future - a left-over production curiosity, not something integral to the film as released.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  9. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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  10. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Well, it wasn't quite that bad. By the 1950s television was already providing a secondary market for films. That and the introduction of 35mm safety stock in 1959 (replacing the unstable and sometimes dangerous nitrate stocks previously used) was a great boon to preservation. Schools also began to provide a market for theatrical films by the mid-60s, with many colleges equipped to show both 35mm and 16mm prints, and most high schools able to show 16mm films. (I first saw Johnny Tremaine in a junior high school history class on 16mm, and spent 1 morning a week in my senior year of high school learning social studies through the prism of films like Wait Until Dark and Stalag 17.)

    We tend to think of home video as being the decisive thing, but the fact is that television, airlines, special hotel packages, premium cable and pay-per-view had already given studios a reason to preserve films before Beta, VHS and laserdisc - much less DVD and Blu Ray - had arrived on the scene.

    Brandon:

    I guess great minds really do think alike. [​IMG]

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  11. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

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    Joe,

    I don't mind hearing about the lost scenes (ala King Kong) too. Its very interesting.
     
  12. Lenny Rakes

    Lenny Rakes Stunt Coordinator

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    A smal list of movies with lost scenes.
    -The Lost World(20's)
    -The Lost Horizon
    -A Star Is Born(50's)
    -Greed

    The TCM website would probably be a good place to go for more information on the above movies.
     
  13. MielR

    MielR Advanced Member

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    "Eighty percent of all Western-made films produced before World War I are considered lost, while 15 percent of the films made from 1930 to 1950 are also missing." (Amazon)

    There's an A-Z list of lost silents here:
    Silent Era : Presumed Lost

    Not complete of course, but a good start.

    A couple that I'd really love to see discovered are the 1917 version of Cleopatra starring Theda Bara, and Lon Chaney's London After Midnight (1927).
     
  14. Joseph J.D

    Joseph J.D Cinematographer

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    Ditto on London After Midnight....Lon Chaney just looks so creepy in the vampire role and the story sounds intriguing. I hope that someday soon, someone finds this one just sitting around on a shelf somewhere.
     
  15. dillion stone

    dillion stone Auditioning

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    All though it seems beyond hope, it would be great to see The Wizard Of Oz from 1939 as it previewed before general release. It was around 27 minutes longer than what we have today. Scenes that frightened children in the preview were cut as well as anything that made the movie seem to long. An extended cut of "If I Only Had a Brain" was discovered several years ago misplaced in a film can. In the theatrical trailer a brass band in the Emerald City can be briefly seen welcoming back Dorothy after her visit to the wicked witch of the wests castle. Is there any possibility more of the cut footage surviving somewhere?
     
  16. Rex Bachmann

    Rex Bachmann Screenwriter

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    todd s wrote (post #1):


    I have not seen the DVD of the film, so I do not know whether any of this has been restored/removed.
     
  17. KevinGress

    KevinGress Supporting Actor

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    "Buckaroo Banzai vs. The World Crime League". Try as I might, I've never been able to catch this one. [​IMG]
     
  18. Abby_B

    Abby_B Supporting Actor

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    I would do lots of illegal and crazy things to get my hands on a full version of Greed. Sadly, I'm afraid none exists.
     

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