This is topic Lost films in forum General Yak at 8mm Forum.

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Posted by Dominique De Bast (Member # 3798) on May 25, 2015, 05:50 PM:
We all know that a lot of the films from the silent era are lost and it is always a good new when a copy is found somewhere. It also happens with sound films but it seems to be less frequent or less advertised. A French dvd was released of a British film (in French !) with the famous Maurice Chevalier, "Le vagabond bien aimé" (The Beloved Vagabond). The film is dated 1936 and, following the dvd, was lost until a laboratory copy was found. There is, indeed, few informations on the net but still a comment dated 2006, so before the dvd was released. I Wonder how you can check if a film is really lost. Is there a kind of database of lost films ?
Posted by Panayotis A. Carayannis (Member # 1220) on May 26, 2015, 05:15 AM:
I guess any missing film is potentially "lost" until it is found ! [Smile]
Posted by Steve Carter (Member # 4821) on May 26, 2015, 06:21 AM:
I have the DVD collection 'Harry Langdon Lost & Found'I love Langdon, since seeing him in the Youngson Comps, and Monkhouse's 'Mad Movies', Mad Movies ran here in the mid to late 60's on Sunday afternoon. I also have the Weiss brothers 'Weiss-O-Rama' silents taken from 35mm negs Ben Turpin,Snub Pollard, Jimmy Aubrey, and Poodles Hanneford, the quality is excellent...
Posted by Paul Mason (Member # 4015) on May 26, 2015, 07:23 AM:
There is a database for British Films. This is "the Most Wanted Films" webpages by the British Film Institute:
Posted by Dominique De Bast (Member # 3798) on May 26, 2015, 07:40 AM:
Thank you very much, Paul !
Posted by Maurice Leakey (Member # 916) on May 26, 2015, 11:19 AM:
I have a very interesting set of 14 volumes of "The Ealing Studios Rarities Collection." Each set has two DVDs, with two films on each.
Volume 5 include "The Beloved Vagabond".
The sets have many very interesting old films some of which were thought lost, one title is from the only known surviving print.
There are plenty of extras, including trailers.
Posted by Dominique De Bast (Member # 3798) on May 26, 2015, 12:45 PM:
Great link, Maurice. Maybe the comment I saw dated 2006 was for this film was for the version in English. At the early talkies era, it was common to shoot several versions of a film at the same time in different languages. Maurice Chevalier and Betty Stockfield played in the English and in the French version. The version of this film in French may have been found later than the one in English.
Posted by Maurice Leakey (Member # 916) on May 26, 2015, 02:43 PM:
Here's a link to a great book which I bought a few years ago at the British Film Institute Bookshop. It has 100 British features which the National Film Archive would most like to find.
It's a large book with plenty of stills and information.
Posted by Dominique De Bast (Member # 3798) on May 26, 2015, 05:23 PM:
This book is dated 1992. It would be intersting to know how many of the films listed in it were found since it has been published. Once again, you gave a good reference, Maurice !
Posted by Robert Crewdson (Member # 3790) on May 27, 2015, 08:54 AM:
There is also a list on Wikipedia. Back in 1970 a publication by The Times claimed that 'The Tunnel' a 1935 film starring Richard Dix, was a Lost Film. It's available to view at, and about a year ago a 16mm copy was offered on Ebay
Posted by Dominique De Bast (Member # 3798) on May 27, 2015, 09:15 AM:
Fantastic !
Posted by Clay Smith (Member # 4122) on May 27, 2015, 09:08 PM:
That is an interesting list of lost films. Would love to be able to view the 1936 Italian animation of The Adventures of Pinocchio. Great? Maybe not great? Sad that there are so many lost to the ages. Many films on this list I would love to see.
I was able to obtain a Super 8 copy The Tunnel a few years back on Ebay (plain boxes -not sure who released it)
Posted by Panayotis A. Carayannis (Member # 1220) on May 28, 2015, 04:59 AM:
I also have a Super 8 copy of THE TUNNEL (THE TRANSATLANTIC TUNNEL).It comes from Niles and is a good copy. I have a std 8 Charley (sic) Chaplin cartoon (CHARLEY ON THE FARM),that was undistinguishedly among the releases of the Atlas Chaplin comedies. I have about six feet of a std 8 silent Our Gang comedy, listed as "unavailable" by Maltin and Bann in their book. (This was used as leader for an amateur travelogue bought by a friend )(!) etc etc
Posted by Dominique De Bast (Member # 3798) on May 28, 2015, 05:28 AM:
I hope, one day, to find a lost film. It must be great to make such a finding.
Posted by Dominique De Bast (Member # 3798) on September 21, 2015, 03:04 AM:
In a documentary about the silent film "Tartuffe" from Murnau, they say it is regarded as a lost film because the original negative is lost. There are only four (known) copies left in the world but none of them is the original German version. Interesting to hear that a "lost" film can sometimes still be viewed (like Tartuffe) even if it is not in its original version. Sadly, I guess most of the "lost" films are completely lost.
Posted by Douglas Meltzer (Member # 28) on September 22, 2015, 08:40 AM:
The previously lost 1916 Sherlock Holmes film is due out on DVD in a month. Here's an article about its rediscovery.

Posted by Joe Caruso (Member # 11) on September 22, 2015, 09:47 AM:
and how about the recently discovered BATTLE OF THE CENTURY reel...
Posted by Osi Osgood (Member # 424) on September 22, 2015, 01:10 PM:
Was that a joke, or have they actually discovered the full "Battle of the Century" comedy? That would be great news for all of us fans of the "Lads" out there!
Posted by David M. Ballew (Member # 1818) on September 22, 2015, 03:39 PM:
Serious as a heart attack, Osi.

The man who announced the discovery (Jon Mirsalis, I think) did so offhandedly, at a gathering of film restoration and archival professionals. He didn't realize what a bombshell he'd dropped-- a showstopper, really. Apparently one great, big, audible gasp went up from the room, very understandably.
Posted by Panayotis A. Carayannis (Member # 1220) on September 22, 2015, 03:50 PM:
I also have a std 8, 5 reel copy of TARTUFFE !
Posted by Dominique De Bast (Member # 3798) on September 22, 2015, 04:21 PM:
Panayotis, where does that copy come from ? That's more than interesting. There is no mention on the documentary about Tartuffe of a standard 8 copy. It is probably the American version. The American version is the one used for the restoration of the film (available on dvd). It suffered from censorship. I didn't understand why Tartuffe didn't take care the second time a trap was set for him as he should have been suspicious after the first experience. The explanation comes from a scene uncut in the Swiss (incomplete) version : he asked Orgon if his wife was aware he was spiying and orgon said no.
Posted by Panayotis A. Carayannis (Member # 1220) on September 23, 2015, 01:17 AM:
Yes ,mine is the American version.
Posted by Dominique De Bast (Member # 3798) on September 23, 2015, 06:04 AM:
You're lucky to own it !
Posted by Joe Caruso (Member # 11) on September 23, 2015, 08:35 AM:
He's lucky to own so much, incredible collection (library), and I've been also singularly fortunate to have purchased from him now and again - Top man in our profession is Pan - Cheers, Shorty
Posted by Panayotis A. Carayannis (Member # 1220) on September 23, 2015, 10:33 AM:
Thank you both for your kind words!
Posted by Osi Osgood (Member # 424) on September 23, 2015, 12:12 PM:
Wow! That just makes my day! I would LOVE to see that complete film!! (and ... even better if super 8 prints could be struck of it, eh Shorty?
Posted by Joe Caruso (Member # 11) on September 24, 2015, 06:24 AM:
Won't happen, 16 maybe - We'll see it only on a DVD or Blu-Ray, which is just as good, considering - The days of manufacturing film on film, darn little if any
Posted by Joseph Randall (Member # 4906) on September 24, 2015, 04:31 PM:
Regarding BATTLE -- has it been mentioned here on the board before? This is news to me. And great news it is. I'm surprised it hasn't been talked about more.

Now can HATS OFF be far behind? I've read "proof" that it is impossible for HATS OFF to turn up in 16mm. Nonsense. If BATTLE was now found in 16mm, why not HATS OFF?
Posted by Joe Caruso (Member # 11) on September 25, 2015, 08:44 AM:
Show me the proof about an impossible 16 HATS, as a 'Son', I gotta know - Youngson's first documentary (1958) used what footage he could salvage for BATTLE, probably the remaining parts were not going to see the light of day, who knows...Then, Blackhawk released the scored pie-fight in 1980, then in 1984 the newly found reel-one prizefight was discovered and made into a Super 8 Scored release - Going back to HATS, many silent films were released, albeit in truncated form, even in 8mm - Fragments might turn up in that format, likely too a 16 clip or 2, so don't count it out yet - WC Fields' films, some were found along the way, I think RUNNING WILD - I search constantly, Shorty
Posted by Joseph Randall (Member # 4906) on September 25, 2015, 06:16 PM:
"proof", by Richard w. Bann:

8th paragraph

I'd like to know the proof of the liquor Bann was drinking when he wrote that, since his theory is now shot to you-know-where now that BATTLE has been found in 16mm.
Posted by David M. Ballew (Member # 1818) on September 26, 2015, 01:12 AM:
It's not really fair to criticize Bann too harshly. In the item you link to, he is saying that there exist no vintage, commercial 16mm prints of M-G-M silents to speak of. The recently discovered 16mm print of Battle of the Century appears to have been a one-off reference copy made especially for Robert Youngson, something no one else in the world knew anything about until earlier this year.
Posted by Joe Caruso (Member # 11) on September 27, 2015, 08:29 AM:
Times yield new information, sometimes for the better - Many USA films are being located overseas, I feel our "lost" items will likely be found there, and we still have to remain vigiliant and search whenever we come across a selection of films located in someone's home or such - One never knows...Shorty
Posted by Brian Fretwell (Member # 4302) on September 27, 2015, 03:24 PM:
In the UK we feel the same about exported TV shows that had the masters here wiped. We all hope for them to be found in a private collection or overseas TV station vaults.
Posted by Dominique De Bast (Member # 3798) on September 28, 2015, 01:43 AM:
French television did a good job about keeping archives. They have almost all the transmissions from the beginning. That's not the case with the Belgian tv and there are live youth transmissions I used to watch as a kid that no longer exist.
Posted by Joe Caruso (Member # 11) on September 28, 2015, 08:28 AM:
On the 16mm forum, about a year ago I guess, someone messaged an article about workmen who, while excavating a building near the WPIX-Channel 11 area, unearthed a room with master atpes and materials
Posted by Joseph Randall (Member # 4906) on September 28, 2015, 03:20 PM:
My tongue was planted firmly in-cheek when I wrote that comment about Bann's theory. [Smile]
Bann states, defiantly, "No complete, vintage 16mm print of either title will ever surface because they were never printed in 16mm."

OK, so it technically wasn't complete, but BATTLE DID surface in 16mm.

I'm confused why we don't have the whole film of BATTLE now. So reel 1 that was found 30+ years ago was not complete?

Bann also states: "HATS OFF, [...] will never be found on 16mm"
Posted by Joseph Randall (Member # 4906) on January 11, 2016, 10:52 PM:
Anyone know when BATTLE OF THE CENTURY with Laurel and Hardy, with the newly discovered footage, will be available for viewing by the public on DVD? There have been at least 2 public showings to small groups in the U.K.
Posted by Joseph Randall (Member # 4906) on January 23, 2016, 07:55 PM:
Any updates on BATTLE?

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