Lost Part of Film History Found in Barn
Important Mary Pickford movie found, restored
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2013 7:59 AM CDT
Canadian-born American actress Mary Pickford is photographed on Aug. 29, 1922.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Just before tearing down an old barn in New Hampshire, a contractor did one last check and discovered a treasure: seven reels of film that he donated to the Keene State College Film Archives, reports the college. It has since determined that at least four of those films were ones thought to have been lost. One of those, Their First Misunderstanding, is the 1911 silent short film that features silent movie star Mary Pickford appearing in her first credited role. Prior to that, Pickford, then 18, had been known only as "Little Mary" in films. The Library of Congress is funding the film's restoration (it hadn't even been stored in a can), and it will be screened at the New Hampshire college on Oct. 11.

"It's a big deal," says a Pickford scholar of the film's discovery seven years ago. Another expert says the movie "fills an important gap," because Pickford had a "short-lived association" with Carl Laemmle's Independent Moving Picture Co. Their First Misunderstanding was the first movie she made for IMP. It's about a newlywed couple's first fight, and also stars Pickford's then-husband Owen Moore, the Los Angeles Times reports. The nitrate reel was stuck to another, and had to be carefully separated. Though there are slight "jumps in action," the Pickford expert says "no significant amount of footage" was lost. See a clip here.

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Showing 3 of 16 comments
Sep 21, 2013 8:26 PM CDT
How sad that the clip shows use of the devastating tobacco drug, which should be eliminated from ALL movies!
Sep 21, 2013 8:25 PM CDT
Ahhh, the last of the Exceptional Canadians. Born of alcoholics, her family died alcoholics. With many lovers in between. She owed her fame to America.
Sep 21, 2013 5:27 PM CDT
Male Legends: 1. Humphrey Bogart 2. Cary Grant 3. James Stewart 4. Marlon Brando 5. Fred Astaire 6. Henry Fonda 7. Clark Gable 8. James Cagney 9. Spencer Tracy 10. Charlie Chaplin 11. Gary Cooper 12. Gregory Peck 13. John Wayne 14. Laurence Olivier 15. Gene Kelly 16. Orson Welles 17. Kirk Douglas 18. James Dean 19. Burt Lancaster 20. The Marx Brothers 21. Buster Keaton 22. Sidney Poitier 23. Robert Mitchum 24. Edward G. Robinson 25. William Holden Female Legends: 1. Katharine Hepburn 2. Bette Davis 3. Audrey Hepburn 4. Ingrid Bergman 5. Greta Garbo 6. Marilyn Monroe 7. Elizabeth Taylor 8. Judy Garland 9. Marlene Dietrich 10. Joan Crawford 11. Barbara Stanwyck 12. Claudette Colbert 13. Grace Kelly 14. Ginger Rogers 15. Mae West 16. Vivien Leigh 17. Lillian Gish 18. Shirley Temple 19. Rita Hayworth 20. Lauren Bacall 21. Sophia Loren 22. Jean Harlow 23. Carole Lombard 24. Mary Pickford 25. Ava Gardner