Category Archives: Cinema

Lost behind-the-scenes James Bond footage comes in from the cold

LOST BEHIND-THE-SCENES footage from the making of James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me has been found in time for the secret agent’s 50th anniversary.

The rare footage comes from a recently recovered edition of children’s TV show Clapperboard — “ Behind the Scenes on The Spy Who Loved Me” — dedicated to the making of the film.

The 25-minute programme (Tx 17/1/77) also includes a lost interview with famed Bond set designer Ken Adam, who was nominated for a BAFTA for his work on the movie.

Notably, the 1977 film starring Sir Roger Moore as 007 featured a supertanker set which was the largest sound stage in the world at the time it was built.

The show is one of two editions of ITV’s Clapperboard passed on to classic TV organisation Kaleidoscope by a contact involved in the making of a new James Bond documentary being produced for the film franchise’s 50th anniversary.

The other, from 14/2/77, also features Adam — who made his name with his innovative, semi-futuristic sets for the James Bond films of the 1960s and ’70s — but looks more at his other work such as “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” and “Sleuth” with Michael Caine and Laurence Oliver.

Both episodes come from 91-year-old Adam’s personal collection and have now been transferred from the original U-Matic broadcast tapes to digital format.

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17 Minutes Of Lost Footage From 2001: A Space Odyssey Found In Salt Mine

2001: A Space Odyssey

SEVENTEEN MINUTES’ of missing footage from Stanley Kubrick‘s seminal sci-fi film 2001: A Space Odyssey has been found in an underground archive.

Material believed to be among the footage include additional scenes from the Dawn of Man opening sequence; more footage of the Jupiter Expedition astronauts onboard the Discovery; a scene showing HAL breaking off contact with Earth before the computer alerts the crew that the AE-35 antenna has “malfunctioned”; and more footage of Frank Poole outside Discovery trying to fix the damaged antenna.

The discovery was announced by 2001‘s effects supervisor Douglas Trumbull during a talk before a movie audience in Toronto, Canada.

The visual effects legend, who was presenting a 70mm print of Kubrick’s 1968 masterpiece, revealed Warner Bros. had discovered the complete and perfectly preserved component negatives of the lost footage in a Kansas salt mine, where it had been stored and forgotten for the last four decades.

Warner Bros. is said to be considering how best to use the footage.

According to Wikipedia, Kubrick filmed several scenes that were deleted from the final film.

These include a schoolroom on the moon base (a painting class that included Kubrick’s daughters); additional scenes of life on the base; Floyd buying a bush baby from a department store via videophone for his daughter; details about the daily life on Discovery; additional space walks; astronaut Bowman retrieving a spare part from an octagonal corridor; a number of cuts from the Poole murder sequence including the entire space walk preparation and shots of HAL turning off radio contact with Poole – (explaining the non sequitur of HAL’s response to Bowman’s question); and notably a close-up shot of Bowman picking up a slipper during his walk in the alien room – the slipper can still be seen behind him in what was then the next shot.

The most notable cut was a 10-minute black-and-white opening sequence featuring interviews with actual scientists, including Freeman Dyson, discussing extraterrestrial life, which Kubrick removed after an early screening for MGM executives. The text survives in the book The Making of Kubrick’s 2001 by Jerome Agel.

If the music intro and outro are included, 29 minutes’ worth of film were excised from the theatrical version.

Kubrick’s decision to cut the film was to tighten the narrative. Contemporary reviews suggested the film suffered too much by the radical departure from traditional cinema story-telling conventions.

Regarding the cuts, Kubrick stated: “I didn’t believe that the trims made a critical difference. The people who like it, like it no matter what its length, and the same holds true for the people who hate it”.

According to Kubrick biographer Jan Harlan, the director was adamant the trims were never to be seen, and that he “even burned the negatives” – which he had kept in his garage – shortly before his death.

Former Kubrick assistant Leon Vitalli confirmed the destruction not only of the 2001 footage, but also that of material from a number of his other films

Speaking to DVDTalk.com, he said: “I’ll tell you right now, okay, on Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Barry Lyndon, some little parts of 2001, we had thousands of cans of negative outtakes and print, which we had stored in an area at his house where we worked out of, which he personally supervised the loading of it to a truck and then I went down to a big industrial waste lot and burned it. That’s what he wanted.”

Douglas Trumbull was one of four special effects advisers on 2001 and helped create the realistic and immersive effects that give the film a sense of realism and scale befitting Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke’s epic screenplay.

He had been working on a new documentary with David Larson about the film, 2001: Behind the Infinite – The Making of a Masterpiece, but confirmed at the Toronto screening that Warner Bros. had “pulled the plug” on the project.

The duo are now putting together a book featuring Trumbull’s recollections of working on the movie, plus a number of behind-the-scenes photos.

READ ON: Coming Attractions 17/12/10 – 17 minutes of lost 2001: A Space Odyssey footage found. Ain’t It Cool News 17/12/10 – Warner Bros. Just Found 17 New Kubrick-Edited Minutes of 2001 In A Salt Mine!! What??

complete and perfectly preserved component negatives of the lost footage

source: http://www.obsessedwithfilm.com/movie-news/17-minutes-of-lost-2001-a-space-odyssey-footage-found.php#ixzz18aoytxVR

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Top Ten Lost Horror Films

WITH Halloween just around the corner, one of my favourite sites – Cinemassacre – has posted a video countdown of the top 10 lost horror films.

Chosen by the Angry Video Game Nerd himself, James Rolfe, the list features some interesting choices among the usual suspects.

Click the image below to see the vid, hosted over on Spike.com.

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Newsnight on new cut of sci-fi epic Metropolis

IN advance of the UK-wide cinema re-release of restored silent sci-fi epic Metropolis later this month, BBC’s Newsnight has reported on how Fritz Lang’s masterpiece came to be reunited with 30 minutes’ of long-lost footage found in an Argentinian film archive:

BBC News – Newsnight – What makes sci-fi epic Metropolis so influential?.

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Unknown Chaplin Film Discovered

A LOST Charlie Chaplin film has been discovered at an antiques show in America.

A Thief Catcher

Early Days: A still from "A Thief Catcher".

The 10-minute silent film – a Keystone comedy called A Thief Catcher – features the English comic actor in a cameo role. It is reckoned to be one of the first, if not the first, cinematic outing for his famed ‘Tramp’ character.

The 16mm print was found last year in Michigan by internationally respected film historian and collector Paul Gierucki.

Gierucki says he didn’t get round to viewing the print until March this year – thinking it was just another old Keystone comedy.

But when he did, he spotted an unmistakable moustached Keystone Kop and realised he was watching a previously unknown Chaplin film.

He confirmed his find with fellow collector Richard Roberts, sending along a frame grab.

Though Chaplin’s Tramp character was first presented to the public in Kid Auto Races at Venice (released Feb 7, 1914), it was filmed AFTER Mabel’s Strange Predicament, which hit cinemas two days later, on Feb 9.

A Thief Catcher, though, began production on January 5, 1914 – one day before Mabel’s Strange Predicament started shooting.

Roberts said: “It’s either his second moustache picture or his first. It cements the concept that he had the character before he came to Keystone and didn’t slap it together on the way to the shooting stage one day.

“Even when he’s doing a minor part he’s doing that character. It’s a new brick in the Chaplin biography. And this opens up the door to other unknown Chaplin appearances at Keystone.”

A Thief Catcher stars Ford Sterling, Mack Swain and Edgar Kennedy. It was the 36th film Chaplin made and he appears on-screen for around three minutes.

It was filmed about a month after Chaplin started work at Keystone Studios, in Edendale, California, and was released by the Mutual Film Corporation on February 19, 1914.

According to Roberts, the film “fell through the cracks pretty quickly” and was not included in a Chaplin filmography compiled by the British Film Institute in the late 1930s.

Until its discovery, the short – which is said to be in “decent” condition – was thought to be among the estimated 75 per cent of all silent films that have not survived to the present day.

  • A Thief Catcher will get its first showing in over 90 years at Slapstickon, a comedy film convention in Rosslyn, Virginia, on July 17. You can read more about the discovery on the Washington Post website.

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Trove of Long-Lost Silent Films Discovered

YOU wait for one, then 75 come along at once…

A trove of 75 ‘lost’ silent American films – including an early movie from acclaimed director John Ford – has been discovered in New Zealand.

The New Zealand Film Archive and the National Film Preservation Foundation announced today (June 7) a partnership to preserve and make available the astonishing collection –  that have been unseen anywhere in decades.

Heading the list is John Ford’s full-length feature Upstream (1927), a backstage romance involving an aspiring Shakespearian actor and the daring target girl from a knife-throwing act.

Strong Boy

Silence Is Golden: A still from the recovered trailer for John Ford's "Strong Boy".

Only about 15% of silent-era films by the four-time Academy Award-winning director are thought to survive. The collection also includes another important Ford find—a trailer for the director’s lost feature Strong Boy (1929), starring Victor McLaglen.

“Upstream is a major discovery that illuminates a previously lost page of John Ford’s early years at Fox,” said Matthew Bernstein, Chairman of the Emory University’s Film Studies Department and co-editor of John Ford Made Westerns.

“Who would believe that it would be found complete, in good condition, and with original color tints? And that is only the tip of the iceberg of this amazing New Zealand collection.”

Among the other important finds are Maytime (1923), an early feature with Clara Bow; the first surviving film directed by and starring Mabel Normand; an episode of the popular serial The Active Life of Dolly of the Dailies, starring Mary Fuller as the unstoppable woman reporter; Westerns made in Tucson, San Antonio, and Yosemite; the only known narrative feature showcasing the Miller Brothers Wild West Show; comic shorts starring Charles Puffy, Snub Pollard, and Joe Murphy; an industrial film about the making of Stetson hats; and a number of documentaries and newsreels.

The films date from as early as 1898. About 70% of the nitrate prints are virtually complete, and more than two-thirds have color tinting. Taken together, the films are a time capsule of American film production from the 1910s and 1920s.

The “lost” films will be preserved over the next three years and accessed through the five major American silent film archives: the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, George Eastman House, the Library of Congress, the Museum of Modern Art, and the UCLA Film & Television Archive, which are collaborating with the NFPF on this project.

Copies of the complete films will also be publicly available in New Zealand and viewable on the NFPF Web site (filmpreservation.org).

Only a fraction of the American films created during the first four decades of the motion picture still survive in the United States—probably fewer than 20%.

American silent films, however, had a worldwide popularity, and many works discarded in the United States survive abroad as distribution prints that were salvaged decades ago at the end of theatrical runs.

The Library of Congress has estimated that roughly one-third of American silent-era features that survive in complete form exist only in archives in other countries.

“We are delighted to collaborate with the NFPF to preserve and make available these notable films,” said Jamie Lean, Division Director, the New Zealand Film Archive.

“Hundreds of American motion pictures from the silent era exist in archives outside the United States. We hope that our example will encourage other international partners who have safeguarded “lost” American films for decades to share their long-unseen treasures with the world community.”

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Weekly Round-Up – 09/05/10

PHOTO FIND SHEDS LIGHT ON THE WICKER MAN

A CACHE of previously unseen photographs from the filming of seminal ’70s horror movie The Wicker Man have solved a long-standing movie mystery.

The rare images, hidden away in a suitcase for almost 40 years, confirm the existence and substance of missing scenes from the acclaimed cult horror.

Following the film’s release in 1973, Christopher Lee, who played sinister Pagan devotee Lord Summerisle, claimed several scenes had been cut.

The contents of that missing footage and its eventual fate have never been solved, though it has been suggested the negatives were used as landfill during the building of the M3.

With the discovery of the pictures, in the attic of photographer John Brown, some gaps at least can be filled – namely, that the scenes were indeed filmed as Lee stated.

Brown was employed to document the film and the images, including stills from missing scenes, are to be published for the first time in a revised edition of Inside the Wicker Man, by Allan Brown.

They include a scene in which Sgt. Howie (Edward Woodward) closes a mainland pub that is open after-hours and another where the policeman receives a massage from Willow McGregor (Britt Ekland). Also captured on the contact sheets is a drinking contest in The Green Man pub

There’s a highly informative story on the discovery over on The Times website.

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Weekly Round-up – 02/05/10

FRAGMENTS OF HOLLYWOOD

SNIPPETS from missing silent-era movies were screened as part of the first TCM Film Festival, held in Hollywood, last Sunday (April 25).

The program “Fragments (1916 – 1929)” featured a rare collection of scenes, reels and segments from lost silent films restored by the Academy Film Archive and the UCLA Film and Television Archive.

Included in the line-up were tantalizing clips from Clara Bow silents Red Hair and Three Weekends, early John Ford film The Village, Colleen Moore comedy Happiness Ahead, and Roman Novarro romance A lover’s Oath.

Trailers for 1928’s The Patriot, directed by Ernst Lubitsch and particularly notable for being the only best picture Oscar nominee that no longer exists as a complete or near-complete print, and Beau Sabreur, starring a young Gary Cooper, were also screened.

There’s a story on “Fragments” over at The Los Angeles Times.

MORE OUT OF THE UNKNOWN ON YOUTUBE

Last week’s round-up featured a link to the only surviving clips from Out of the Unknown episode Liar!, this week’s features a link to what’s left of Satisfaction Guaranteed.

YouTube user ‘snhbuk’ has uploaded the only extant footage from the series 2 episode, broadcast 29/12/66. The Isaac Asimov story was adapted for the small screen by High Leonard.

The clip lasts for 1’22” and is a scene featuring Wendy Craig (Claire Belmont) being introduced to her new domestic robot TN-3 or Tony (Hal Hamilton). Basic audio restoration work has been on the soundtrack:

http://www.youtube.com/snhbuk#p/a/u/1/zhqrdxooOd0

Also, ‘snhbuk’ has updated his video containing the remaining footage from ‘The Caves of Steel’ (tx 4/5/64), a BBC adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s novel of the same name broadcast as part of BBC2′s anthology strand Story Parade. We now get to hear star Peter Cushing speak:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3HXyJhXpPo

RARE COMPUTER GAME ON EBAY

ONE OF only three copies of PlayStation 1 game NBA 2 Ball still in existence has come to light and is being auctioned on eBay.

Between 500 – 1,000 copies of the PSP game were given away at the 1998 NBA All Star Game at Madison Square Garden, New York, but almost all have been lost.

As Multiplayer Games.com posts, only two others are left, “one in the hands of the original programmer, and the other in the hands of a writer at Game-rave, his copy now unfortunately cracked in two.”

The third copy was bought at the time by an NBA fan for $5 from a friend, whose father had won two copies of the ultra-rare demo at the event.

It is now being sold on auctioning site eBay, with a starting bid of $300.

DOCTOR WHO HOAX

There was a minor flurry of excitement this week among Doctor Who fans after a poster on forum Gallifrey Base claimed to have footage from two missing TV adventures.

Writing on the Shada section of the forum, ‘Jethryk’ asserted that he had come into possession of 8mm home recordings of episodes of Patrick Troughton stories “The Abominable Snowmen” and “The Ice Warriors”, following the death of his grandfather.

It later emerged ‘Jethryk’ was a hoaxer. The thread on OG has now been deleted.

Looking back, the signs that this was another Who hoax (there are many, unfortunately), were clear:

  1. The poster claimed not to have much knowledge of Doctor Who, but at the same time knew enough to name himself after an item mentioned in Tom Baker story “The Ribos Operation”, one specifically concerned with a confidence trick.
  2. The poster said he would have access to the material shortly and would update the forum accordingly. In other words, dangling a carrot and making the gullible drool in anticipation.
  3. When the day came to prove his claim, the poster failed to provide clear evidence.
  4. He then tried to back out by further claiming the footage had gone to a private buyer – a trick to keep the flame of hope burning regardless of the current outcome.

This is a cruel deception but the lesson is clear: don’t be lured in by stories of discoveries until confirmed by a member of The Doctor Who Restoration Team. The best procedure is to point the poster in the direction of the RT, who have strong links with the BBC, and then wait for things to take their course.

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Weekly Round-Up – 25/04/10

EACH WEEK Wiped will be bringing you the best of the rest: smaller stories that might have passed you by, but are worth checking out all the same.

So to begin…

OPRHANED OUT OF THE UNKNOWN CLIPS ON YOUTUBE

The only remaining clips from an otherwise-missing episode of 1960s’ BBC sci-fi anthology series Out of the Unknown have been uploaded to YouTube for our viewing pleasure:

Clips from ‘LIAR!’ (tx 14/01/69) TX.14 14th January 1969TX. 14th January 1969

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFJAMiJCQkg

Also posted are the few remaining clips from ‘The Caves of Steel’ (tx 4/5/64), a BBC adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s novel of the same name. Broadcast as part of BBC2’s anthology strand Story Parade, this 75-minute production was adapted by Terry Nation and starred Peter Cushing. It’s success led story editor Irene Shubik to devise Out of the Unknown.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nleL8IJxyUU

For a full list of surviving OOTU material, visit this highly informative Out of the Unknown Clips Guide.

RARE TV PLAY FEATURING JAMES DEAN AND RONALD REAGAN ‘DISCOVERED’

Last week, news sites were awash with a story concerning the ‘discovery’ of a 1950s’ American TV show featuring tragic Hollywood icon James Dean and future American president Ronald Reagan.

To cut to the chase, this is a non-news story. The “newly discovered” 23-minute drama ‘The Dark, Dark Hours (broadcast on CBS network’s General Electric Theatre on Dec 12, 1954 is already available on DVD! (see this post on excellent forum Britmovie.co.uk).

I guess it boils down to the same old story of semantics and strong headlines getting in the way of the facts. Still, if you bear that in mind, it is a good yarn.

You can read The Telegraph news story (22/4/10) here:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/film-news/7620342/Tape-of-James-Dean-and-Ronald-Reagan-brawling-found.html

…and see a condensed (six-minute) version of ‘The Dark, Dark Hour’ over at The Huffington Post here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/21/the-dark-dark-hours-rare_n_546170.html

WEBSITE FOR THE COMPLETE METROPOLIS GOES LIVE

Kino International has launched a website for The Complete Metropolis, which is coming to theatres in the US this summer ahead of home release.

The newly extended version of Fritz Lang’s seminal 1927 sci-fi film follows the discovery, in 2008, of 25 minutes’ worth of lost footage in a film museum in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Kino’s comprehensive site includes restoration clips and trailers for The Complete Metropolis along with articles on the long journey to reconstruct the silent masterpiece.

You can find the site here: http://www.kino.com/metropolis/

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Long-Lost Lincoln Film Gets Premiere

A LONG-LOST silent movie about President Lincoln is to get its first screening in over 90 years after being discovered in a clear out.

When Lincoln Paid was among seven fragile reels of nitrate film found by a contractor cleaning out an old barn in Nelson, New Hampshire, destined for demolition.

The 30-minute movie is particularly notable for starring and being directed by Francis Ford – older brother of celebrated film director John Ford.

Movie buff Peter Massie, who discovered the reels alongside a 35mm Monarch projector, said:

“I was up in the attic space, and shoved away over in a corner was the film and a silent movie projector, as well. I thought it was really cool.”

Massie found the film canisters in summer 2006 and temporarily stored them in his basement, before contacting a film society at nearby Keene State College.

The George Eastman House film preservation museum in Rochester, N.Y., became involved after Keene State Film professor Larry Benaquist recognised the historical and cultural significance of the material.

The college determined that the film did not exist in film archives and furthermore was the only one of eight silent films starring Ford as Lincoln to survive.

“The vast majority of silent films, particularly from the early period — the first decade of the 20th century — are gone,” said Caroline Frick Page, curator of motion pictures at George Eastman House.

“That’s what makes these stories so incredibly special.”

With a grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation, the college was able to restore the two-reel film in a Colorado lab – a delicate process which took a year to complete.

The images themselves were well-preserved, likely due to cold New Hampshire winters and the sheltered location of the barn, said Benaquist.

But the 35mm nitrate film, phased out of Hollywood during the 1950s due to its volatile, flammable nature, was shrunken, brittle and damaged, with the sprocket holes (used on projectors) shredded.

“What the laboratory had to do was remanufacture the sprocket holes to a new dimension, make it in strips, adhere it to the image, and then run it through a printing process where they would print it, frame by frame,” Benaquist said.

When Lincoln Paid – about the mother of a dead Union soldier asking President Lincoln to pardon a Confederate soldier she had turned in — stars the brother of John Ford, the legendary director of classics such as The Searchers, The Grapes of Wrath and The Quiet Man.

Benaquist thinks the film was discovered in Nelson because the town is on Granite Lake, the site of many past summer camps. He explained that a boys’ camp was in the area of the barn and that he believes the films were once shown to entertain the children before being shelved and forgotten.

Helping the restoration was Mark Reinhart, author of Abraham Lincoln on Screen. He had a poor video copy of the film made from an 8mm copy that included a few scenes missing from the 35mm print.

The college combined a DVD of the restored film with another of Reinhart’s film to make its final version, to be screened on April 20th.

Released in 1913, the film was praised by Moving Picture World – a weekly trade publication for film distributors – as “a great war drama” with vivid battle scenes.

Director and main star Francis Ford, who died in 1953, aged 72, is better known for minor, mostly comic roles in at least 30 of his younger brother’s films, “often playing a coonskin drunk who can spit across the room,” said Tag Gallagher, author of the book John Ford.

“If you’re into these things, you quickly recognize him and it becomes a kind of cult thing to finding him, and he’s quite delightful,” said Gallagher.

“But if you go back to the teens, he was a very big and important director.”

According to Gallagher, Francis Ford had an important influence on John, whose fame soon overshadowed his.

During the silent-era, Francis Ford was one of many actors who portrayed Lincoln on film.

“He’s not a particularly good Lincoln, he’s kind of short and stocky,” said Reinhart, who prefers the portrayals of Ford’s contemporaries, Frank McGlynn and Benjamin Chapin.

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