Complete loss of any "talkies"?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by PaulBigelow, Dec 10, 2003.

  1. PaulBigelow

    PaulBigelow Stunt Coordinator

    Nov 5, 2002
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    Much has been written about the loss and impending losses of many silent-era films. However, it seems that I don't hear much about the loss of non-silent films. Have any major or semi-major non-silent films been completely lost? That is, of which we have no existant copy?
  2. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Screenwriter

    Nov 14, 2000
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    Unfortunately there are a great many films that are lost forever. I think I remember reading that almost 50% of all films made before 1950 are lost. Most of this is due to a few factors:

    1. Prior to the 1950's films were shot on nitrate film stock. While it gave the films a lovely silver quality, it was also HIGHLY flammable. I mean the stuff goes up in a flash and will even burn underwater because it makes its own oxygen. No kidding. I used to volunteer at the Library of Congress Film Preservation Center in Dayton and the Vault Leader there burned a small strip for me to demonstrate. (Don't worry. Just leader.) When you had a fire in a theater or in a film fault filled with nitrate film, you could pretty much kiss everything in the general vicinity goodbye. Nitrate film also decomposes over time. Even proper storage in a cool, low-humidity environment won't completely stop deterioration and until fairly recently, most of these films were stored in less-than-optimal conditions. So, you lose quite a few that way. Even modern polyester film stocks are not impervious to time.

    2. Until the advent of television and, more recently and more importantly, home video, studios viewed their films as disposible product for the most part. They would play their run in the theaters, but unless they were terribly successful and seen as having potential for re-releases they would often be trashed. During the nitrate era some studios would even burn the films to reclaim the trace amounts of silver that were in the film stock.

    So the short answer to your question is YES! There are many, many films that are gone forever. I've opened cans of film only to discover nothing but rusty dust. That's why it's so important to let the studios and THE GOVERNMENT know that preserving our film history is important. It's expensive to preserve films and even more expensive to restore them. Every year, funding from the government for the wonderful work that the Library of Congress does to preserve and restore film is cut. Right now they have to be very selective about the projects they take on because of a lack of funding; and every day another piece of our history and culture turns to dust. The studios have gotten better about saving their catalogs, but they are still quite hesitant to fund the preservation or restoration of films that they don't view as possessing the ability to make that money back.

    Sorry for the bad news, but if more people realized how quickly we are losing films they might do something about it.
    Richard M S likes this.
  3. Bill Williams

    Bill Williams Screenwriter

    May 28, 2003
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    I know we don't have the complete 134-minute print of Superman IV anymore, only the slipshod 90-minute U.S. edit from Warner Home Video and the 93-minute international version from Cannon Films. Some people say good riddance, because it was a cheapjack project. I don't.

    Likewise for the bulk of Richard Donner's original version of Superman II, though the television broadcasts restored some of Donner's original footage back into the film. Except for the TV broadcasts, the original footage has remain unreleased to date.

    But you never know. They said the same thing in thinking that Ridley Scott's original cut of Legend was lost forever. Thank goodness we now have the DVD of his 113-minute print of the film. Ditto for the original 138-minute version of Supergirl, despite its cheesiness.
  4. Richard Carnahan

    Richard Carnahan Stunt Coordinator

    Jun 24, 2001
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    The pre-Code Warner bros. movie CONVENTION CITY (1933)--with Joan Blondell, Dick Powell, and Mary Astor--is a lost film.
    I believe there are several British films from the 1930s that are considered lost.
  5. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

    Feb 15, 2002
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    I've heard that 90% of all silent films and 50% of all films before 1950 are lost. I don't know how many of them would be considered "major" films. I'll try and find the source for this information.

    I know that Hitchcock's second feature, THE MOUNTAIN EAGLE, is lost.
  6. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Supporting Actor

    Aug 3, 2003
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    New York
    Real Name:
    Jack Theakston
    I have to disagree on a couple of things. I wouldn't say 50% of films before 1950. I think that number refers to how many negatives exist still. CONVENTION CITY and THE ROGUE SONG are probably the most famous examples of lost soundies, but a bulk of them are poverty row numbers or schlock b-westerns, so not much is missing. And while a lot of them crumbled to dust, they did so in vaults where they were forgotten.

    Small, independent companies like Pathe, Tiffany, and Mascot went bankrupt or out of buisness at some point, and beyond the nitrate factor, things were just junked. In the late 1940s-early 1950s, a lot of the stuff was junked for storage space more than anything else. So those are the factors that make the percentage rate of lost films so high

    Here's a somewhat incomplete list of before 1940 (with some is rather old):

    After the Fog (1930, BEACN)
    Age for Love, The (1931, CADDO)
    Along Came Love (1936, PAR)
    Argyle Case, The (1929, WARNR)
    Arizona Cyclone (1934, IMPER)
    Arizona Mahoney (1936, PAR)
    Arizona Nights (1934, RLIBL)
    Arizona Trails (1935, MIXA)
    Arm of the Law (1932, MONO)
    Avenger, The (1933, MONO)
    Aviator, The (1929, WARNR)
    Awful Truth, The (1929, PATHE)
    Bachelor Mother (1933, GLDSM)
    Bar L Ranch (1930, DOUGF)
    Bargain With Bullets (1937, MLDPR)
    Bargain, The (1931, FRNTL)
    Beast of Borneo (1934, DUWRL)
    Beauty Parlor (1932, CHEST)
    Behind the Green Lights (1935, MASCT)
    Beyond the Caribbean (1938, RSVTA)
    Beyond the Law (1930, RAYTN)
    Beyond the Law (1934, COLUM)
    Beyond the Rio Grande (1930, BILTM)
    Big Brain, The (1933, KBSPR)
    Big Fight (1930, CRUZE)
    Big Money (1930, RIDEK)
    Big Party, The (1930, FOX)
    Black Waters (1929, SONO)
    Blaze O' Glory (1930, SONO)
    Bondman, The (1929, SONO)
    Border Guns (1934, AYWON)
    Border Vengeance (1935, KENTW)
    Born to Gamble (1935, LBRTY)
    Born to Hang (1934, GLDSM)
    Break Up, The (1930, ROBTS)
    Breed of the West (1930, BIG4)
    Bride of the Desert (1929, CARR)
    Bride of the Regiment (1930, FRNTL)
    Brides of Sulu (1934, EXPLR)
    Brilliant Marriage (1936, INVIN)
    Call of the Circus, The (1930, PICKW)
    Cameo Kirby (1930, FOX)
    Canyon Hawks (1930, BIG4)
    Careless Age, The (1930, FRNTL)
    Carnival Lady (1933, GLDSM)
    Case of Sergeant Grischa, The (1930, RKO)
    Cat Creeps, The (1930, UNIV)
    Charlie Chan's Chance (1932, FOX)
    Charlie Chan's Courage (1934, FOX)
    Charlie Chan's Greatest Case (1933, FOX)
    Cheyenne Kid (1931, WSTCO)
    Cheyenne Tornado (1935, KENTW)
    Children of Dreams (1931, WARNR)
    Children of Lonelines (1937, JEWEL)
    City Park (1934, CHEST)
    Climax, The (1930, UNIV)
    Clipped Wings (1938, NATPC)
    Cock o' the Walk (1930, CRUZE)
    Code of Honor (1930, DURLM)
    College Love (1929, UNIV)
    College Lovers (1930, FRNTL)
    Compromised (1931, FRNTL)
    Conquest (1928, WARNR)
    Convention City (1933, FRNTL)
    Convict's Code, The (1930, JONST)
    Corruption (1933, IMPER)
    Courage (1930, WARNR)
    Crazy That Way (1930, FOX)
    Cross Streets (1934, INVIN)
    Crusade Against Rackets (1937, PRNCP)
    Curtain At Eight (1933, MAJES)
    Cyclone Kid, The (1931, BIG4)
    Damaged Love (1930, SUPOR)
    Dance Hall Hostess (1933, MAYFR)
    Dancing Dynamite (1931, TLMDR)
    Dancing Vienna (1929, FRNTL)
    Dark Skies (1929, BILTM)
    Dark Streets (1929, FRNTL)
    Dead March, The (1937, IMPER)
    Defying the Law (1935, AMFC)
    Desert Guns (1936, BEAUM)
    Desert Mesa (1935, MIXA)
    Devil Monster (1935, EXCLS)
    Devil on Deck, The (1932, SONO)
    Devil Plays, The (1931, CHEST)
    Devil's Canyon (1935, SUNST)
    Devil's Mate (1933, MONO)
    Divorce Racket, The (1932, PARDS)
    Dizzy Dames (1936, LBRTY)
    Docks of San Francisco (1932, ACTIN)
    Doctor's Secret, The (1929, PAR)
    Drag (1929, FRNTL)
    Drums o' Voodoo (1934, INTSP)
    Dude Wrangler, The (1930, SONO)
    Dugan of the Badlands (1931, MONO)
    Dumbbells in Ermine (1930, WARNR)
    Dynamite Delaney (1938, IMPER)
    Dynamite Denny (1932, MAYFR)
    Easy Millions (1933, FREUL)
    Easy Street (1930, MCHUX)
    Enemies of the Law (1931, REGAL)
    Evidence (1929, WARNR)
    Ex-Bad Boy (1931, UNIV)
    Ex-Flame (1930, LBRTY)
    Exposed (1932, EAGLE)
    Eyes of the World, The (1930, INSPR)
    Face in the Fog, A (1936, VCTRY)
    Fanny Hawthorne (1929, EXCEL)
    Fast Companions (1932, UNIV)
    Fast Life (1929, FRNTL)
    Ferocious Pal, The (1934, LESSR)
    Fifty Fathoms Deep (1931, COLUM)
    Fighting for the Fatherland (1930, SONO)
    Fighting Through (1934, KENTW)
    Fighting to Live (1934, PRNCP)
    File 113 (1932, ALIED)
    Firebrand Jordan (1930, BIG4)
    First Aid (1931, SONO)
    Five and Ten Cent Annie (1928, WARNR)
    Flames (1932, MONO)
    Footlights and Fools (1929, FRNTL)
    For Love or Money (1939, UNIV)
    Forbidden Company (1932, INVIN)
    Forgotten (1933, INVIN)
    Forgotten Faces (1936, PAR)
    Forgotten Men (1933, JEWEL)
    Forgotten Women (1931, MONO)
    Forgotten Women (1936, IMPER)
    45 Calibre Echo (1932, HORNR)
    Forward Pass, The (1929, FRNTL)
    Fourth Alarm (1930, CONTP)
    Fourth Horseman, The (1932, UNIV)
    Fox Movietone Follies of 1929 (1929, FOX)
    Freckles (1935, RKO)
    From Now On (1937, GE)
    Frozen Justice (1929, FOX)
    Furies, The (1930, FRNTL)
    Fury Below (1938, MERGP)
    Galloping Kid (1932, IMPER)
    Galloping Thru (1931, MONO)
    Gamblers, The (1929, WARNR)
    Gambling (1934, FRNKH)
    Gang Smashers (1939, MLDPR)
    Gentleman from Arizona (1939, MONO)
    Georgia Rose (1930, ARSTA)
    Ghost Talks, The (1929, FOX)
    Girl from Havana, The (1929, FOX)
    Girl from Woolworth's, The (1929, FRNTL)
    Girl in the Case (1934, DUWRL)
    Girl of the Golden West, The (1930, FRNTL)
    Girls for Sale! (1934, POLRD)
    Glad Rag Doll, The (1929, WARNR)
    Golden Calf, The (1930, FOX)
    Gone Harlem (1938, SACKA)
    Gorilla, The (1930, FRNTL)
    Grand Parade, The (1930, PATHE)
    Great Power, The (1930, WRNRF)
    Green Eyes (1934, CHEST)
    Guilty or Not Guilty (1932, MONO)
    Gun Grit (1936, BE-PE)
    Gunners and Guns (1935, H&HPR)
    Handcuffed (1929, CARR)
    Hard to Get (1929, FRNTL)
    Harlem After Midnight (1934, MCHUX)
    Harlem on the Prairie (1938, ASSFE)
    Harvester, The (1936, REPUB)
    Headin' for Trouble (1931, BIG4)
    Headleys at Home, The (1938, STNDR)
    Hearts in Exile (1929, WARNR)
    Hell Bent for Frisco (1931, SONO)
    Hell's Valley (1931, BIG4)
    Her Private Life (1929, FRNTL)
    Hide Out (1930, UNIV)
    Highway Patrol (1938, COLUM)
    Hit the Deck (1930, RKO)
    Hitch Hike to Heaven (1936, INVIN)
    Hits and Bits of 1938 (1938, INRDS)
    Hold Everything (1930, WARNR)
    Hollywood Hoodlum (1934, REGAL)
    Hollywood Speaks (1932, COLUM)
    Home Towners, The (1928, WARNR)
    Honky Tonk (1929, WARNR)
    Honor of the Family (1931, FRNTL)
    Honor of the Mounted (1932, MONO)
    Horror, The (1933, FPPRO)
    Hot for Paris (1929, FOX)
    Hotel Variety (1933, SCRNC)
    Hottentot, The (1929, WARNR)
    House of Secrets, The (1929, CHEST)
    Human Targets (1932, BIG4)
    I Demand Payment (1938, IMPER)
    In Line of Duty (1931, MONO)
    In Paris A.W.O.L. (1936, RO-WA)
    In the Headlines (1929, WARNR)
    In the Next Room (1929, FRNTL)
    India Speaks (1933, FUTTR)
    Iron Master (1932, ALIED)
    Is Everybody Happy? (1929, WARNR)
    Is There Justice? (1931, SONO)
    Ned McCobb's Daughter (1929, PATHE)
    Night Nurse (1938, ADVPI)
    Night Work (1930, PATHE)
    Nix on Dames (1929, FOX)
    No Living Witness (1932, MAYFR)
    No Ransom (1935, LBRTY)
    No, No, Nanette (1930, FRNTL)
    Obeah (1935, ARCTS)
    Oklahoma Frontier (1939, UNIV)
    On Trial (1928, WARNR)
    Once a Gentleman (1930, CRUZE)
    One Dark Night (1939, SACKA)
    One Hysterical Night (1929, UNIV)
    Oregon Trail, The (1936, REPUB)
    Other Tomorrow, The (1930, FRNTL)
    Out of the Crimson Fog (1932, PARGN)
    Overland Bound (1929, PRSDO)
    Painted Angel, The (1929, FRNTL)
    Paris (1929, FRNTL)
    Paris Bound (1929, PATHE)
    Paroled from the Big House (1938, JDKP)
    Partners of the Trail (1931, MONO)
    Passport to Paradise (1932, ACTIN)
    Pawns of Passion (1929, SONO)
    Pecos Dandy, The (1934, MIXA)
    Phantom of Death Valley (1936, CONN)
    Playthings of Hollywood (1931, PINCL)
    Pleasure Crazed (1929, FOX)
    Policy Man (1938, SACKA)
    Polygamy (1937, UNUSL)
    Primrose Path (1931, KENTW)
    Prince and the Dancer (1929, SONO)
    Pueblo Terror, The (1931, WSTCO)
    Queen of the Night Clubs (1929, WARNR)
    Quitter, The (1934, CHEST)
    Racetrack (1931, CRUZE)
    Racing Strain, The (1932, KENTW)
    Racketeer Round-Up (1934, H&HPR)
    Rampant Age, The (1930, CONTP)
    Ranger's Code, The (1933, MONO)
    Reckless Living (1938, UNIV)
    Red Fork Range (1931, BIG4)
    Redhead (1934, MONO)
    Reform School (1939, MLDPR)
    Reformatory (1938, COLUM)
    Revenge at Monte Carlo (1933, ROYER)
    Rich People (1930, PATHE)
    Rich Relations (1936, CAMEO)
    Rider of the Plains, A (1931, SYNDI)
    Riders of Golden Gulch (1932, WSTCO)
    Riders of the Cactus (1931, BIG4)
    Riders of the Rio (1931, ROUND)
    Ridin' Law (1930, BILTM)
    Riding Kid, The (1931, IRWIN)
    Riot Squad (1933, MERIT)
    Robin Hood, Jr. (1936, AMBAS)
    Romance of the Limberlost (1938, MONO)
    Roses of Picardy (1930, EXCEL)
    Rough Waters (1930, WARNR)
    Royal Box, The (1929, WARNR)
    Sacred Flame, The (1929, WARNR)
    Safety in Numbers (1938, TCFOX)
    Sagebrush Politics (1930, DIXON)
    Sailor's Holiday (1929, PATHE)
    Salvation Nell (1931, CRUZE)
    Sap, The (1929, WARNR)
    Scandal (1933, LINCN)
    Scarlet Weekend, A (1932, KENTW)
    Sea Fury (1929, WHTET)
    Second Choice (1930, WARNR)
    Secret Menace (1931, IMPER)
    Self Defense (1932, MONO)
    Seven Faces (1929, FOX)
    Seventh Commandment, The (1932, HLWPP)
    Shanghai Lady (1929, UNIV)
    Shanghaied Love (1931, COLUM)
    Shannons of Broadway, The (1929, UNIV)
    She Got What She Wanted (1930, CRUZE)
    Sheer Luck (1931, BIG4)
    Sheriff's Secret, The (1931, HORNR)
    Ships of Hate (1931, MONO)
    Sin's Pay Day (1932, ACTIN)
    Single-Handed Sanders (1932, MONO)
    Sinister Hands (1932, KENTW)
    Skin Deep (1929, WARNR)
    Slightly Married (1932, INVIN)
    Smiling Irish Eyes (1929, FRNTL)
    So This is Arizona (1931, BIG4)
    Song of Kentucky (1929, FOX)
    Song of the Flame (1930, FRNTL)
    Song of the West (1930, WARNR)
    Sonny Boy (1929, WARNR)
    Sons of the Saddle (1930, UNIV)
    Sophomore, The (1929, PATHE)
    Souls for Sale (1937, GLOBF)
    South of Sonora (1930, WSTCO)
    South Sea Rose (1929, FOX)
    Speakeasy (1929, FOX)
    Speed Demon (1933, COLUM)
    Speed Madness (1932, TLMDR)
    St. Louis Woman (1934, SCNSC)
    Stark Mad (1929, WARNR)
    Strange Cargo (1929, PATHE)
    Strictly Modern (1930, FRNTL)
    Sugar Hill Baby (1938, CRECC)
    Suspicious Mothers (1933, HIART)
    Swanee River (1931, SONO)
    Sweetheart of Sigma Chi, The (1933, MONO)
    Swellhead, The (1930, TIFNY)
    Take the Stand (1934, LBRTY)
    Temptation (1936, MCHUX)
    Terror, The (1928, WARNR)
    Tex Takes a Holiday (1932, FRDIV)
    Texan's Honor, A (1929, DAVIS)
    These Thirty Years (1934, CARVL)
    Thirteen Steps (1932, CONGR)
    This Thing Called Love (1929, PATHE)
    Three Women (1935, SOUND)
    Timberesque (1937, GUIDC)
    Time, the Place and the Girl, The (1929, WARNR)
    Today (1930, MAJES)
    Tonight at Twelve (1929, UNIV)
    Topa Topa (1938, PENNT)
    Trails of Adventure (1935, HORNR)
    Trails of Peril (1930, BIG4)
    Trails of the Golden West (1931, WSTCO)
    Trapped (1931, BIG4)
    Troopers Three (1930, TIFNY)
    Twin Beds (1929, FRNTL)
    Two Gun Caballero (1931, IMPER)
    Two O'Clock in the Morning (1929, BELLP)
    Unborn Souls (1939, FRAZR)
    Unguarded Girls (1929, CRCLE)
    Unmasked (1929, WEISS)
    Unwritten Law, The (1932, MAJES)
    Valley of Bad Men (1931, IRWIN)
    Vanishing Men (1932, MONO)
    Veiled Woman, The (1929, FOX)
    Venus (1929, MRCNT)
    Victims of Persecution (1933, POLRD)
    Voice of Syama, The (1934, IMPER)
    War is a Racket (1934, EURKA)
    Way of all Men, The (1930, FRNTL)
    Wedding on the Volga, The (1929, HLWDP)
    Wedding Rings (1929, FRNTL)
    West of Singapore (1933, MONO)
    West of the Pecos (1935, RKO)
    West of the Rockies (1929, DAVIS)
    Western Limited (1932, MONO)
    What a Widow! (1930, SWNSN)
    What Price Decency? (1933, MAJES)
    When Strangers Meet (1934, LBRTY)
    White Renegade, The (1931, ARTCL)
    White Shoulders (1931, RKO)
    Why Leave Home? (1929, FOX)
    Wild West Whoopee (1931, HORNR)
    Within the Rock (1935, SHOWM)
    Wolf of Wall Street (1929, PAR)
    Woman Hungry (1931, FRNTL)
    Woman in the Night (1929, WLDWD)
    Woman Who Dared, The (1934, IMPER)
    Women Go On Forever (1931, CRUZE)
    Women Men Marry (1931, HUTTC)
    Women Won't Tell (1933, CHEST)
    Words and Music (1929, FOX)
    Worldly Goods (1930, CARR)
    Young Nowheres (1929, FRNTL)

    Incomplete Sound Films Made Before 1940

    Adventures of Chico, The (1938, WOODW)
    Aloha (1931, TIFNY)
    Annabelle's Affairs (1931, FOX)
    Apache Kid's Escape, The (1930, HORNR)
    Bars of Hate (1935, VCTRY)
    Below the Deadline (1936, CHEST)
    Big News (1929, PATHE)
    Birthright (1938, MCHUX)
    Breach of Promise (1932, WLDWD)
    Confessions of a Co-Ed (1931, PAR)
    Dames Ahoy! (1930, UNIV)
    Dangerously Yours (1933, FOX)
    Deception (1932, COLUM)
    Derelict (1930, PAR)
    Donovan Affair, The (1929, COLUM) track lost
    Drake Case, The (1929, UNIV)
    Embarrassing Moments (1930, UNIV)
    Extortion (1938, COLUM)
    Fugitive Road (1934, INVIN)
    God's Step Children (1938, MCHUX)
    Gold Diggers of Broadway (1929,WARNR) only clip
    Good News (1930, MGM) last reel lost
    Her Resale Value (1933, MAYFR)
    Her Unborn Child (1930, WNDSR)
    High Hat (1936, IMPER)
    His Glorious Night (1929, MGM)
    Hold Your Man (1929, UNIV)
    Hot Off the Press (1935, VCTRY)
    Hurricane (1930, COLUM)
    I'll Tell the World (1934, UNIV)
    In Old California (1929, AUDBL)
    Innocents of Paris (1929, PAR)
    Interference (1929, PAR)
    Jaws of the Jungle (1936, JDKP)
    Ladies of the Big House (1931, PAR)
    Lady from Nowhere (1931, CHEST)
    Land of Missing Men, The (1930, CARR)
    Little Accident, The (1930, UNIV)
    Mamba (1930, TIFNY)
    Man from Blankley's, The (1930, WARNR)
    Midnight Lady (1932, CHEST)
    Mister Antonio (1929, TF-ST)
    Monkey's Paw, The (1933, RKO) only fragments
    Mysterious Island, The (1929, MGM) color lost
    Night Ride (1930, UNIV)
    Nothing But the Truth (1929, PAR)
    Paddy O'Day (1935, TCFOX)
    Painted Faces (1929, TF-ST)
    Parade of the West (1930, UNIV)
    Paramount on Parade (1930, PAR) no color footage
    Pride of the Legion (1933, MASCT)
    Reckless Living (1931, UNIV)
    Red Hot Rhythm (1929, PATHE)color fragment exists
    Return of the Cisco Kid, The (1939, TCFOX)
    Rogue Song, The (1929, MGM) only clip survives
    Runaround, The (1931, RKO)
    She Made Her Bed (1934, PAR)
    Sunny Skies (1930, TIFNY)
    Swing High (1930, PATHE)
    Three Live Ghosts (1929, ARTCC)
    Unfaithful (1931, PAR)
    Veiled Aristocrats (1932, MCHUX)
    When Tomorrow Comes (1939, UNIV)
    Wings of Adventure (1930, TIFNY)
  7. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

    May 16, 2001
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    Georgia (the state)
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    Patrick McCart
    Actually, a small clip of The Cat Creeps still exists.

    A 1932 short subject, "Boo!" includes it. (This is on the out of print Frankenstein DVD from Universal)
  8. Scott Leopold

    Scott Leopold Supporting Actor

    Nov 21, 2001
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    I read somewhere that all the film elements for The Front Page (1931) have been lost, and it now only exists in videotape form, which is one of the reasons a decent home video/DVD release has been so elusive. Does anyone know for sure about this? I bought a Madacy tape of it for $1 a while back, and I feel I was overcharged by at least two bucks. I did manage to tape it off TCM, which provided a decent copy of it. Still, this is one for which I'd like to see a decent DVD release.
  9. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Screenwriter

    Nov 14, 2000
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    Well Jack, regardless of how so many films were lost, it is still vitally important to raise awareness of the fight to save ALL films; not just A pictures. B pictures, shorts, and newsreels are almost more important than their more-expensive counterparts because they offer a clearer picture of the times in which they were produced and were often the starting points for people who went on to have significant careers.
  10. Paul Drake

    Paul Drake Stunt Coordinator

    Jan 5, 2003
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    Numerous people have searched in years in vain for 4 of Warner Oland's Charlie Chan films ("Chance", "Carries On", "Greatest Case", "Courage"). They've yet to be rediscovered, although rumors persist that they're in the hands of a collector somewhere.

    Perhaps the best Chan film ("The Black Camel") which also features a major role by Bela Lugosi does exist but only in a poor quality 16mm print. American Movie Classics did show a somewhat decent print of this in the early '80s and the VCR recordings of this showing is what circulates among collectors today.

    Another of Oland's early efforts ("Paris") was considered lost until discovered in a foreign archive in the 1980's. It was rescued and made available for others to watch.
  11. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

    Apr 19, 2000
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    Salinas, CA
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    Any "lost" films from 1940 onwards you know of?
  12. Joseph Goodman

    Joseph Goodman Stunt Coordinator

    Feb 4, 2001
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    The situation is worse in other countries, especially those that have faced the war and destruction that North America never has. In the Republic of Korea, for example, *no* films from before 1945 survive in complete form, and only five films made between 1945-1950 survive.
  13. MielR

    MielR Advanced Member

    Jun 14, 2006
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    This is an interesting thread-

    I think Orson Welles' original version of The Magnificent Ambersons DEFINITELY qualifies as a "lost talkie" (not completely lost, of course, but a goodly amount).
  14. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer

    Apr 24, 2006
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    Charlotte, NC
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    Matt Hough
    There are several missing musical films of the early talkie period. Richard Barrios' outstanding book A SONG IN THE DARK details the entire period's output including information on those missing films.
  15. mike kaminski

    mike kaminski Second Unit

    Jul 11, 2006
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    Well, you might want to put Jerry Lewis' infamous 1972 (?) project The Day The Clown Cried up there. The film was supposed to be Lewis' serious dramatic opus, the poignant story of a clown who leads children to the gas chambers in concentration camps. During production in Sweeden the financing dried up and director Lewis was forced to pay for it himself. When the final cut was complete the film was revealed to be so awful and misconstructed that it was never released and only has been seen by a select few people. At times it has thought to be completely destroyed or lost but at least one copy exists, Jerry Lewis' own personal copy which he supposedly vowed never to see the light of day. Some have said the film is actually quite beautiful and was simply misunderstood, while others have said that the material was indeed grossly mishandled by Lewis. As such it remains as one of the most notorious "lost films" that has never been viewed by more than a handful of people, and may remain that way unfortunately.
  16. Todd_W_Zimmrman

    Todd_W_Zimmrman Stunt Coordinator

    Apr 2, 2005
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    I remember reading where a treasure trove of old movies was found in Australia. According to the story, the last distribution stop for many old movies was Australia (and possibly New Zealand). And since the cost of shipping the movies back to the States was too high, the movies stayed Down Under. Maybe some of these lost movies are somewhere in a vault in those countries. Let's hope that continues to be true ...
  17. CameronMcC

    CameronMcC Second Unit

    Oct 23, 2005
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  18. James LM

    James LM Extra

    Nov 10, 2005
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    Squadron Leader X (1943), written by Emeric Pressburger, starring Eric Portman and US actress Ann Dvorak, is a highly sought British lost film.
  19. James LM

    James LM Extra

    Nov 10, 2005
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    Squadron Leader X (1943) wriiten by Emeric Pressburger and starring Eric Portman and Ann Dvorak is a highly sought lost British film.
  20. Dan McW

    Dan McW Second Unit

    Aug 12, 2004
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