Lost Hollywood Films Found in New Zealand

Silent-era gems will be shipped back home
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 8, 2010 1:22 AM CDT
Director John Ford's long-lost Upstream will be getting another premiere this fall, 83 years after the first.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Films Hollywood thought had been lost forever have been discovered buried deep in New Zealand's national archives. The 75 rare silent films are like a "time capsule of American film production from the 1910s and 1920s," said a statement from the US National Film Preservation Foundation. The finds include the 1927 film Upstream from legendary Western director John Ford and an early Clara Bow drama, the Telegraph reports. Only some 15% of Ford's 60 silent-era films are believed to have survived.

The movies—all on highly volatile nitrate film, and some of them over a century old—are being shipped back to the US in special steel barrels. American silent films were distributed worldwide, and many prints survived abroad where they were kept after their runs. "There are some real treasures in the collection," an Academy of Motion Picture Arts official told New Zealand radio. "New Zealand and Australia were the end of line from Hollywood. They end up being home to fabulous collections that, through benign neglect, can survive for years and years."

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