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The following is a list of notable lost films that are incomplete or partially lost:

Contents

1900s

Year Film Director Cast Notes Ref
1906 The Story of the Kelly Gang Charles Tait Only 17 minutes of this 70-minute feature survive; it is often considered to be the world’s first feature-length motion picture. [1]

1910s

Year Film Director Cast Notes Ref
1911 A Victim of the Mormons August Blom Valdemar Psilander Danish film that initiated a decade of anti-Mormon propaganda films in America. Only about half of the 60-minute feature has been found, a copy of which is preserved at the LDS archive in Salt Lake City. [2]
1913 Raja Harischandra D.G. Phalke D.D. Dabke, P.G. Sane First Indian feature film, of which a fragmentary print still exists. [3]
1914 Neptune's Daughter Herbert Brenon Annette Kellerman A reel of footage exists in Australia's National Film and Sound Archive.
1914 The Perils of Pauline George B. Seitz Pearl White Of the original 20-chapter serial running 410 minutes, only a 90-minute version, released in Europe in 1916, is known to exist.
1915 The Millionaire Paupers Joe De Grasse Lon Chaney, Sr. Only a fragment of the film survives. [4]
1916 The Place Beyond the Winds Joe De Grasse Lon Chaney, Sr. Four of the five reels survive in the film archive of the Library of Congress. [5]
1916 Kiss of Death Victor Sjöström Victor Sjöström Approximately 30 minutes of the film survives in the Cinémathèque Française film archive. [6]
1917 Cleopatra J. Gordon Edwards Theda Bara Approximately 40 seconds exist at George Eastman House. [7]
1917 Nuts in May Robin Williamson Stan Laurel Laurel's first film, with only 60 seconds of footage surviving.
1917 The Red Ace Jacques Jaccard Marie Walcamp Originally a 16-episode serial, only Episode 7 survives in the film archive of the Library of Congress [8]
1917 The Secret Man John Ford Harry Carey Two of the five reels survive at the Library of Congress film archive. [9]
1917 Triumph Joe De Grasse Lon Chaney, Sr. Three of the five reels survive. [10]
1918 The Ghost of Slumber Mountain Willis O'Brien Herbert M. Dawley, Willis O'Brien Only 19 minutes survive.
1918 Riddle Gawne William S. Hart, Lambert Hillyer Lon Chaney, Sr. One of the five reels survives in the film archive of the Library of Congress [11]
1918 The Scarlet Drop John Ford Harry Carey Just over 30 minutes of footage survives in the Getty Images Archive. [12]
1919 A Gun Fightin' Gentleman John Ford Harry Carey,John Ford Only three reels of originally five or six are believed to have survived. [13]
1919 Just Squaw George E. Middleton Beatriz Michelena Four of five reels survive at the Library of Congress. [14]
1919 The Miracle Man George Loane Tucker Thomas Meighan, Lon Chaney, Sr. Two clips exist as part of compilation films released by Paramount, The House That Shadows Built (1931) and Movie Memories (1935).

1920s

Year Film Director Cast Notes Ref
1921 The Centaurs Winsor McCay Animated film, ninety seconds of footage survives.
1921 Devil Dog Dawson Jack Hoxie Jack Hoxie, Helene Rosson, Evelyn Selbie, Wilbur McCaugh, Arthur Mackley 38 seconds of footage from this Western, found in a mislabeled tin, were the subject of an investigation in a 2006 episode of the PBS series History Detectives [15]
1921 The Mechanical Man Andre Deed Gabriel Moreau, Valentina Frascaroli, Fernando Vivas-May Originally around an hour long, only about 26 minutes of surviving footage remain.
1921 The Adventures of Tarzan Robert F. Hill Elmo Lincoln, Louise Lorraine Originally released as a 15-chapter movie serial, the film only survives in the 10-chapter 1928 re-release.
1923 Flaming Youth John Francis Dillon Colleen Moore Only one reel, and a film trailer, exists. [16]
1924 Greed Erich von Stroheim Initially running 9½ hours, the film was cut by Von Stroheim to just under four hours, and then trimmed by the studio to 140 minutes of surviving footage.
1925 Body and Soul Oscar Micheaux Paul Robeson Originally running nine reels, it was cut to five reels to gain approval from New York censors. The surviving copy is based on the censor-approved edited version; the original nine-reel version is considered lost.
1925 The Lost World Wallace Beery, Bessie Love, Lewis Stone It initially had a running time of 104 minutes. Though partially restored, the longest cut runs at approximately 96 minutes.
1926 The American Venus Frank Tuttle Louise Brooks Two trailers and a short color clip are held at the Library of Congress.
1926 The Great Gatsby Herbert Brenon Warner Baxter A one-minute trailer exists.
1927 Now I'll Tell One James Parrott Laurel and Hardy The first reel is missing.
1927 The Enemy Fred Niblo Lillian Gish The last reel is missing.
1927 The Magic Flame Ronald Colman The first five reels out of nine are preserved at George Eastman House.
1927 The Battle of the Century Clyde Bruckman Laurel and Hardy The first reel (featuring a boxing match) was found in the late 1970s, but scenes featuring Eugene Pallette, and a final climatic gag showing a cop receiving a pie in the face are still missing.
1928 Beau Sabreur Gary Cooper A trailer exists with footage from the film.
1928 The Divine Woman Victor Sjöström Greta Garbo One reel was found in a Russian film archive and has been shown on Turner Classic Movies.
1928 My Man Fanny Brice Almost complete set of soundtrack discs plus soundtrack trailer survive.
1928 The Patriot Ernst Lubitsch Emil Jannings A few fragments, and a trailer, survive at the UCLA Film and Television Archive.
1928 The Private Life of Helen of Troy Academy Award nominated film; one reel of film exists in the British Film Institute.
1928 The Terror Roy Del Ruth May McAvoy Soundtrack exists.
1929 Red Hot Rhythm Leo McCarey Alan Hale Sr. One filmed sequence, the title song (Red Hot Rhythm), survives in early Technicolor process.
1929 Fox Movietone Follies of 1929 With Multicolor inserts — partial soundtrack survives.
1929 Gold Diggers of Broadway Roy Del Ruth Winnie Lightner Last ~20 minutes survive, but are missing a bridging sequence and the last minute of the film.
1929 Honky Tonk Sophie Tucker Complete soundtrack survives.
1929 Married In Hollywood J. Harold Murray The final reel survives (in Multicolor) at the UCLA Film and Television Archive
1929 On With the Show First all-Technicolor, all-talking feature. Survives only in black and white, although a very brief clip of color footage was found in a toy projector.
1929 Paris Irene Bordoni Soundtrack discs survive.
1929 Thunder William Nigh Lon Chaney, Sr. Chaney's last silent film; several clips exist.

1930s

Year Film Director Cast Notes Ref
1930 General Crack John Barrymore The silent version of this film exists.
1930 Bright Lights Michael Curtiz Dorothy Mackaill No Technicolor print of this Vitaphone musical has survived.
1930 Good News Nick Grinde Bessie Love Final reel in Technicolor is lost.
1930 No, No Nanette Bernice Claire, Alexander Gray Soundtrack discs survive.
1930 The Rogue Song Lionel Barrymore Lawrence Tibbett A Technicolor film. Soundtrack, two reels, and several clips survive.
1932 Freaks Tod Browning Olga Baclanova Because of disastrous test screenings, 26 minutes of the original 90 were cut out, leading to a final length of 64 minutes. These parts of Browning's second and last big-budget production are considered lost. [17]
1932 Horse Feathers Norman Z. McLeod Marx Brothers The only existing prints of this film are missing several minutes, due to both censorship and damage.
1932 Veiled Aristocrats Oscar Micheaux Lorenzo Tucker All that survives is the trailer and fragments of two reels.
1933 King Kong Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack Fay Wray A famous scene following that in which Kong shakes several sailors off a log into a crevice, showing them eaten alive by a giant spider, a giant crab, a giant lizard, and an octopoid is only available in some stills. After the preview of the film, Cooper was forced to cut the scene, since it caused horror among the test audience. In one of Cooper's notes, however, it is indicated that he might have cut the scene for pacing reasons. [18]
1933 My Lips Betray John Boles The sixth reel is assumed to be lost forever.
1936 Things To Come William Cameron Menzies The most complete existing version of this film runs 96 minutes compared with its original running time of 117 minutes upon submission to the BBFC. A reconstructed version using extant film, production stills, and extracts from the script is available on DVD.
1937 Lost Horizon Frank Capra Ronald Colman Capra's initial 210-minute version was cut down to 131 minutes after a preview screening of the film went badly. In his autobiography, Capra claims to have personally destroyed the first two reels. Subsequent re-releases were further edited to downplay alleged "communist" elements, as well as hints of swinging and various scenes which were felt to present the native children in too positive a light. While a complete soundtrack of the original 131-minute release has survived, no complete 131-minute print is known to exist. In many currently-used versions, still photos and individual frames are used to replace the seven minutes of missing footage that accompanies the soundtrack.
1939 The Wizard of Oz Victor Fleming Judy Garland Originally contained a musical number called "The Jitterbug", which was included in test showings. The musical number was edited for general release, and the footage of this scene has been lost. The soundtrack recording, however, survives, as does behind-the-scenes home movies showing the cast either rehearsing or actually filming the sequence. This footage, edited together with stills, has been edited together to recreate the sequence and this has been included on numerous retrospectives and DVD releases of the film.

1940s

Year Film Director Cast Notes Ref
1942 The Magnificent Ambersons Orson Welles Joseph Cotten 44 minutes were cut by RKO Pictures from Welles' version after an unsuccessful preview. A handful of shots from the original version exist in the film's original trailer, which has survived.
1943 Sanshiro Sugata Akira Kurosawa The film is missing 17 minutes of its running time.
1944 Meet Me in St. Louis Vincente Minnelli Judy Garland The musical number "Boys and Girls Like You and Me", originally deleted from the initial Broadway run of Oklahoma! and replaced with "People Will Say We're In Love", followed "The Trolley Song" but wound up being deleted as well and is presumed lost. The soundtrack alone remains.
1946 Ivan the Terrible, Part III Sergei Eisenstein About 20 minutes were filmed, but the USSR Communist Party disapproved of the production's homosexual and political themes. About 16 minutes were burned following the death of Eisenstein in 1948, leaving the trilogy unfinished. The remaining 4 minutes can be seen as a Special Feature on the The Criterion Collection DVD version.

1950s

Year Film Director Cast Notes Ref
1951 The Idiot Akira Kurosawa Kurosawa's adaptation of the novel of the same name. After one test screening that ended with poor reviews, the studio cut the film from 265 minutes to 165. The 100 minutes that were cut have never been recovered.
1954 A Star Is Born George Cukor Judy Garland Originally premiering at 181 minutes, Warner Bros. cut the film down by about 27 minutes for general release. The 1983 restoration included soundtrack from this cut and a few establishing shots, with stills filling in the rest.
1954 Southwest Passage Joanne Dru Initially released in 3-D, this feature only survives in its flat form.
1954 Top Banana Alfred E. Green Phil Silvers Shot and edited in 3-D, the film was released flat. The film only exists in 16mm, and does not exist in 3-D at all.

1960s

Year Film Director Cast Notes Ref
1961 One-Eyed Jacks Marlon Brando Marlon Brando Brando shot 5 hours of additional footage that was later destroyed. The theatrical cut stands at 141 minutes, while the 300-minute version does not exist.
1963 It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World Stanley Kramer Spencer Tracy Originally premiered at 197 minutes, then edited to 162 for general release. In the late 1980s, 20 minutes of deleted footage were found in a warehouse which had been slated for demolition, and edited back into the film. Kramer was technical adviser on the partial-restoration project, and this 182-minute partial restoration was issued on VHS in the early 1990s. This version is also the one shown on Turner Classic Movies. When the film was released on DVD in the early 2000s, MGM chose to issue the 162-minute general release version and not the 182-minute partial restoration.
1964 Man in the 5th Dimension Dick Ross Billy Graham This short film was originally shot in the 70mm Todd-AO widescreen process. Eleven 70mm prints were created, but none survive. The film exists in a 16mm version only.
1965 Help! Richard Lester The Beatles The Beatles and British comic legend Frankie Howerd failed to click in a scene involving a drama school, hence its removal from the final cut and its disappearance into the abyss.
1968 2001: A Space Odyssey Stanley Kubrick Keir Dullea After the original premiere, Kubrick cut 24 minutes (also adding title cards and a small insertion at the "Dawn of Men" sequence). These trims are considered lost, albeit rumors of the cut sequences being in possession of Kubrick's family.

1970s

Year Film Director Cast Notes Ref
1971 The Big Boss Lo Wei Bruce Lee After the original premiere, Hong Kong censors demanded that some of the footage be trimmed, including more graphic violence, and an explicit "pre-sex" scene, featuring Bruce Lee's only implied nude scene. The missing footage has been rumored to still exist, but hasn't been confirmed.
1971 Bedknobs and Broomsticks Robert Stevenson Angela Lansbury, David Tomlinson Many scenes were cut for theatrical release. Most of these scenes were located, restored, and re-inserted for the 30th anniversary DVD release in 2001. However, several lines of dialogue were lost and had to be redubbed, and one complete musical number, "A Step in the Right Direction," is presumed lost. The original demo recording does exist, however, and is available in a reconstruction using production stills on the DVD.
1973 The Wicker Man Robin Hardy Christopher Lee, Edward Woodward All original elements to the film (camera negative, etc) are thought to be lost after having been destroyed in the late 1970s.
1976 Taxi Driver Martin Scorsese Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster Scorsese was obliged to de-saturate the colors of the infamous climactic shoot-out scene in order to obtain an "R" rating. The original full-color footage has become lost.
1977 Martin George Romero John Amplas The original copy was entirely in monochrome and ran for 165 minutes. To Romero's knowledge, no copy of this version exists.
1979 Caligula Tinto Brass Malcolm McDowell This much-maligned film was originally 210 minutes long.

1980s

Year Film Director Cast Notes Ref
1980 The Blues Brothers John Landis John Belushi Though much footage was restored for the 25th-Anniversary DVD release, an extended car chase and other scenes are lost.
1980 Heaven's Gate Michael Cimino Kris Kristofferson According to Steven Bach's book Final Cut, the version first screened by Cimino for executives at United Artists ran approximately 320 minutes, more than an hour longer than the longest version shown in public.
1980 The Shining Stanley Kubrick Jack Nicholson Kubrick cut a scene at the end, which was a discussion about the disappearance of Jack's frozen body. The scene was cut soon after being released in theaters, and the footage was apparently destroyed by the studio.
1984 Once Upon a Time in America Sergio Leone Robert De Niro Originally six hours in length, Leone was forced to cut it down to four. Though some footage has been restored, Leone's full-length version has never surfaced.
1985 The Breakfast Club John Hughes Molly Ringwald Hughes wrote a script for a film of about 2½ hours, but the film released runs 97 minutes. Many of the cut scenes were filmed and the negatives destroyed. Hughes, who died in 2009, said that he had a copy of the uncut film.
1988 The Land Before Time Don Bluth The film originally featured much darker sequences, including extended footage of Littlefoot's mother fighting the Sharptooth. Around 10 minutes of scenes thought to be too distressing were edited out, and the running time of the final film was cut down to 69 minutes and to avoid a PG rating. According to Bluth, the cut sequences were destroyed.

1990s

Year Film Director Cast Notes Ref
1997 Event Horizon Paul W. S. Anderson Laurence Fishburne The original version, shown to test audiences, had 30 minutes of extra footage including graphic, violent, and orgiastic scenes and several other scenes that were later removed in post-production by order of Paramount Pictures. Most of this footage has been lost, except for a few remaining scenes without sound that were found in an abandoned salt mine; these appear on the 2006 special edition of the film.

See also

References

  1. ^ National Film and Sound Archive. "World's first "feature" film to be digitally restored by National Film and Sound Archive". Press release. http://www.nfsa.afc.gov.au/about_us/media_releases/release.php?id=183. Retrieved 2008-03-25. 
  2. ^ Olmstead, Jacob W. Images from Early Anti-Mormon Silent Films Mormon Historic Sites Foundation, Spring 2004, pg 203-221
  3. ^ "Film Collection: Raja Harischandra". http://nfaipune.nic.in/raja_harishchandra.htm. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 
  4. ^ "Silent Era: The Millionaire Paupers". http://www.silentera.com/PSFL/data/M/MillionairePaupers1915.html. Retrieved 2008-06-24. 
  5. ^ "Silent Era: The Place Beyond the Winds". http://www.silentera.com/PSFL/data/P/PlaceBeyondtheWinds1916.html. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 
  6. ^ "Progressive Silent Film List: Kiss of Death". Silent Era. http://www.silentera.com/PSFL/data/D/Dodskyssen1916.html. Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  7. ^ "Silent Era: Cleopatra". http://www.silentera.com/PSFL/data/C/Cleopatra1917.html. Retrieved 2008-06-30. 
  8. ^ "Progressive Silent Film List: The Red Ace". Silent Era. http://www.silentera.com/PSFL/data/R/ReturnoftheRiddleRider1927.html. Retrieved 2008-11-15. 
  9. ^ "Progressive Silent Film List: The Secret Man". Silent Era. http://www.silentera.com/PSFL/data/S/SecretMan1917.html. Retrieved 2008-02-21. 
  10. ^ "Silent Era: Triumph". http://www.silentera.com/PSFL/data/T/Triumph1917.html. Retrieved 2008-06-26. 
  11. ^ "Riddle Gawne". http://www.silentera.com/PSFL/data/R/RiddleGawne1918.html. Retrieved 2008-06-26. 
  12. ^ "Silent Film List: The Scarlet Drop". http://www.silentera.com/PSFL/data/S/ScarletDrop1918.html. Retrieved 2008-06-26. 
  13. ^ A Gun Fightin' Gentleman at silentera.com
  14. ^ Library of Congress. Motion Picture and Television Reading Room. American Indians in Silent Film. Finding aid compiled by Karen C. Lund
  15. ^ History Detectives. Investigations - Silent Film Reel | PBS
  16. ^ Flaming Youth at IMDB
  17. ^ Freaks at Turner Classic Movies, by Jeff Stafford
  18. ^ A history of the long lost "spider pit scene" from King Kong and Peter Jackson's attempt to recreate it

External links

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