Lost silent films found


Long-Lost Silent Films Return to America




 A scene from “Why Husbands Flirt” (1918), one of some 75 silent movies, found in a New Zealand archive, being returned to the United States.


By Dave Kehr
New York Times
June 7, 2010


A late silent feature directed by John Ford, a short comedy directed by Mabel Normand, a period drama starring Clara Bow and a group of early one-reel westerns are among a trove of long-lost American films recently found in the New Zealand Film Archive.


Some 75 of these movies, chosen for their historical and cultural importance, are in the process of being returned to the United States under the auspices of the National Film Preservation Foundation, the nonprofit, charitable affiliate of the Library of Congress’s National Film Preservation Board. (This writer is a member of the board, and has served on grant panels for the foundation, though none related to the current project.) Chris Finlayson, New Zealand’s minister for arts, culture and heritage, is expected to announce the discovery and the repatriation officially this week.


The films came to light early in 2009, when Brian Meacham, a preservationist for the Los Angeles archive of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, dropped in on colleagues at the New Zealand Film Archive in Wellington during a vacation.


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4 Responses to “Lost silent films found”

  1. landman says:

    What a find!! Silent films are so precious, and to think they were out of our hands for so long. Thanks to those who’s efforts will bring them back to the U.S.A. where they belong. It would be wonderful to view them. Thank you NFPF!!!!!!

  2. Jim says:

    Allan, this is why I check your blog twice a day!! What a discovery! Yippee!!!

  3. Tracy says:

    Thanks Allan for always being on top of these kind of articles. Welcome news indeed. We’ll rejoice together at Cinecon

  4. normadesmond says:

    what an amazing discovery! thanks for the post!

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