Quantcast
Connect with us

70 percent of Hollywood’s silent films lost forever, Library of Congress confirms

Published

on

Studios failed to archive early films properly leading to huge losses due to fire and deterioration

Most of the feature-length films made by Hollywood during the golden age of silent movies have been lost forever, according to a new study by the US Library of Congress.

Only 14 per cent of a total of around 11,000 movies made between 1912 and 1930 exist in their original format, with a further 11 per cent available to view in foreign language versions or in a lower quality format. Around 70 per cent are completely lost. The failure of the early studios, in most cases, to maintain silent era archives has been described as an “alarming and irretrievable loss” to America’s cultural record by officials.

ADVERTISEMENT

Historian and archivist David Pierce, who conducted the extensive two-year study, said the silent art form retained a rare resonance. “It’s a lost style of storytelling, and the best of the films are as effective with audiences today as they were when they were initially released,” he told ABC News. “When you take away dialogue from a narrative story, it actually puts quite a challenge upon the creative people involved to tell the story entirely in a visual fashion. And it’s that limitation, I think, which makes the films so effective.”

Many of the lost film prints fell victim to fire or deterioration. Others were neglected or destroyed, according to the common practices of the time. Of the major studios of the era, only MGM kept a decent library of silent fare, with early 20th century giant Paramount considered one of the most neglectful. The latter did not begin preserving titles until the 1980s and has reportedly lost more than two thirds of its once huge library of more than 1,000 silent films.

Famous titles now considered lost forever include the 1917 version of Cleopatra, a 1926 take on F Scott Fitzgerald’s much-adapted The Great Gatsby, Lon Chaney’s 1927 film London After Midnight and 1928’s The Patriot. The library’s next aim is to contact foreign preservation groups and private collectors in the hope that some of the missing examples can be tracked down.

• Top 10 silent films• Alfred Hitchcock silent films added to Unesco register

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2013

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘Comparing yourself to terrorists?’ Internet cracks up at Trump saying dead 9-11 hijackers got more justice than him

Published

on

President Donald Trump quoted Fox News host Mark Levin that left many scratching their heads. Levin, who has a show on Sunday evenings, claimed that the terrorists from Sept. 11 got more due process than the president.

The claim was a curious one because, as many on Twitter noted, it's not often that the president of the United States compares himself to a terrorist. Secondly, the 9-11 hijackers all died in the attack, as they were on the planes that crashed into the buildings and into a Pennsylvania field.

Trump is known to quote Levin frequently, though the citations often make the president look worse.

Continue Reading

CNN

If people of color showed up to a Capitol protest heavily armed — Trump would call them terrorists: commentator

Published

on

Legal analyst Areva Martin explained in a CNN panel discussion Sunday that the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday has historically been a day in which white supremacists rear their ugly heads with racist protests and other public displays of bigotry. Monday's expected rally of racist gun nuts expected at the Virginia capitol is no different.

Colorblind author Tim Wise said that it's a whole different level with pro-gun activists. He noted that there was a message from the NRA that former President Barack Obama was going to take everyone's guns away. Of course, that never happened, but it was part of the narrative to scare sensible gun owners. Now, President Donald Trump is employing the same idea, saying that the rally of racists in Virginia is being spun by the president as another Democratic power-grab. Wise called it a kind of "front-lash" instead of "backlash."

Continue Reading
 

Facebook

Farmers refuse to cheer for Trump as he lies that he’s fighting for them to keep their land

Published

on

President Donald Trump appeared in Texas Sunday to speak to the Farm Bureau conference. Among the things he promised was that he was fighting for them to have their water rights and rights to control their own land usage.

As one viewer noted, there was noticeable silence when Trump mentioned land usage. It could be due to the fact that Trump is suing in court to take the land of farmers and ranches so he can build his border wall. For some, the land has been in their family since the founding of the state of Texas.

https://twitter.com/TheClearCider/status/1219050816084029442

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image