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List of lost or partially lost movies?


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#1 of 18 todd s

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Posted July 03 2008 - 01:54 AM

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.
Bring back John Doe! Or at least resolve the cliff-hanger with a 2hr movie or as an extra on a dvd release.

#2 of 18 Dale MA

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Posted July 03 2008 - 01:57 AM

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

#3 of 18 todd s

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Posted July 03 2008 - 02:02 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale MA
Hitchcock's The Mountain Eagle is the first that springs to mind.

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.
Bring back John Doe! Or at least resolve the cliff-hanger with a 2hr movie or as an extra on a dvd release.

#4 of 18 Dale MA

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Posted July 03 2008 - 03:02 AM

From wiki:

Quote:

This Hitchcock directed feature is considered lost as no prints are known to survive.

The Mountain Eagle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lost to the sands of time...

#5 of 18 DavidPla

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Posted July 03 2008 - 03:17 AM

The spider/bug attack in King Kong 1933.

#6 of 18 Joseph DeMartino

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Posted July 03 2008 - 03:26 AM

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 Posted Image) Film Threat has a - well, less good article. Posted Image 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.

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#7 of 18 JohnRice

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Posted July 03 2008 - 03:51 AM

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.

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#8 of 18 Joseph DeMartino

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Posted July 03 2008 - 03:55 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidPla
The spider/bug attack in King Kong 1933.

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 of 18 Brandon Conway

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Posted July 03 2008 - 03:59 AM

Wikipedia has good lists going, though hardly all inclusive.

List of lost films - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
List of incomplete or partially lost films - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#10 of 18 Joseph DeMartino

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Posted July 03 2008 - 04:06 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRice
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.

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. Posted Image

Regards,

Joe

#11 of 18 todd s

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Posted July 03 2008 - 05:55 AM

Joe,

I don't mind hearing about the lost scenes (ala King Kong) too. Its very interesting.
Bring back John Doe! Or at least resolve the cliff-hanger with a 2hr movie or as an extra on a dvd release.

#12 of 18 Lenny Rakes

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Posted July 03 2008 - 08:40 AM

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 of 18 MielR

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Posted July 03 2008 - 03:02 PM

"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).
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#14 of 18 Joseph J.D

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Posted July 04 2008 - 01:25 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MielR
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).

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.
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#15 of 18 dillion stone

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Posted September 27 2008 - 04:09 AM

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 of 18 Rex Bachmann

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Posted September 27 2008 - 12:29 PM

todd s wrote (post #1):

Quote:
I just read about the rediscovery of the lost scenes from Metropolis. Just wondering what other movies are completely or partially lost?

Tod Browning's Freaks (1932)???


According to the trivia page for this movie at IMDB.com:

Quote:
The film's original ending showed Hercules singing soprano in Madame Tetralini's new sideshow because he has been castrated by the freaks. After intensely negative reaction by preview audiences, this scene was cut.

. . . . Several variations on the ending are still in existence. However, the footage of Hercules singing soprano was not included in any of the foreign versions and is now regarded as lost."

Numerous other bits of dialog were removed that depicted the "normal" humans as disgusting creatures and the "freaks" as gentle and sympathetic (destroying the social critique of intolerance Tod Browning was attempting to construct). While the circus awaits word on Hans's declining health, one of the Rollo Brothers coldly remarks, "You'd think the world was coming to an end -- just because a mangy freak's got a hangover." In another scene, Madame Tetrallini responds to the Rollos' taunts by defending the humanity of her "children," "Augh, you cochons -- you beasts... They are better than you -- all of them -- you two dogs!"


But also this addendum:

Quote:
SPOILER: The reunion of Hans and Frieda, seen at the end of most prints, was not part of Tod Browning's original cut. It was added during the re-editing to give the film a happier ending.

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

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#17 of 18 KevinGress

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Posted September 29 2008 - 06:10 AM

"Buckaroo Banzai vs. The World Crime League". Try as I might, I've never been able to catch this one. Posted Image

#18 of 18 Abby_B

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Posted October 03 2008 - 07:14 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenny Rakes
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.
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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