List of rediscovered films

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This is a list of rediscovered films that, once thought lost, have since been discovered, in whole or in part.

Silent era[edit]

Many films of the silent era have been lost.[1]

1890s[edit]

Year Film Director Cast Notes Ref
1896 Défense d'afficher Georges Méliès Georges Méliès France. The film was recovered in 2004. [2]
1897 The X-Rays George Albert Smith Tom Green, Laura Bayley Great Britain. [3]

1900s[edit]

Year Film Director Cast Notes Ref
1900 Sherlock Holmes Baffled Arthur Marvin Identities of Holmes and his assailant were not recorded. United States. Running only 30 seconds, this is the first recorded detective film and the first to feature Sherlock Holmes. A paper copy was identified in 1968 in the Library of Congress Paper Print archive by Michael Pointer, a historian of Sherlock Holmes films. It was transferred to 16 mm film in the Library of Congress collection. [4]
1901 The Death of Poor Joe George Albert Smith Laura Bayley Made in Great Britain and lost since 1954, the film was rediscovered in 2012 and is the oldest surviving film that features a Charles Dickens character. [5]
1907 Katsudō Shashin Unknown animation The oldest animated film in Japan, lasting only three seconds long. The piece of film was discovered in Kyoto on 31 July 2005. [6]
1908 El hotel eléctrico Segundo de Chomón Segundo de Chomón, Julienne Mathieu Spain, thought to be lost but was later recovered. Now in Filmoteca Española film archive. [7]
1909 Jephtah's Daughter: A Biblical Tragedy Unknown Annette Kellerman, Maurice Costello The short film exists in the British Film Institute archive. [3]
1909 La Tosca André Calmettes, Charles le Bargy Cécile Sorel Currently in the BFI National Archive. [3]

1910s[edit]

Year Film Director Cast Notes Ref
1910 Frankenstein J. Searle Dawley Charles Ogle A print was bought by a film collector in the 1950s, who was not aware of its rarity until decades later. United States [8]
1911 At the Duke's Command Thomas H. Ince United States [3]
1911 Their First Misunderstanding Thomas H. Ince, George Loane Tucker Mary Pickford The first film that credited Pickford by name. Found in 2006 in a New Hampshire barn.[9] United States
1911 Karađorđe Ilija Stanojević-Čiča The first Serbian feature film, thought lost since 1928. Material from this movie was found in Austrian Film Archives in 2003. Yugoslavia (now Serbia)
1911 Maid or Man Thomas H. Ince United States [3]
1911 A Manly Man Thomas H. Ince United States [3]
1911 The Mirror Thomas H. Ince United States [3]
1911 In the Sultan's Garden Thomas H. Ince United States [3]
1912 A Fool and His Money Alice Guy-Blaché William Haines United States [3]
1912 In Nacht und Eis Mime Misu The second Titanic movie, was presumed lost around 1914, but was found in a private film library in Germany in 1998. Germany.
1912 Richard III André Calmettes, James Keane Robert Gemp, Frederick Warde The first known full-length William Shakespeare film was returned in 1996 by Oregon projectionist William Buffum, who admitted that he stole it and kept it for over thirty years. [10][11]
1912 En Stærkere magt Hjalmar Davidsen, Eduard Schnedler-Sørensen Valda Valkyrien Preserved by the Danish Film Institute. Denmark. [12]
1912 Under Two Flags United States [3]
1913 Poor Jake's Demise Allen Curtis Lon Chaney, Sr., Louise Fazenda Chaney's first credited role. A fragment was discovered in 2006 among several hundred other reels of film in an English collection. United States.
1913 The Prisoner of Zenda Edwin S. Porter, Hugh Ford James K. Hackett, Beatrice Beckley, David Torrence Prints survive in the Library of Congress, and a partial print in the International Museum of Photography and Film at George Eastman House. [3]
1913 A Sister to Carmen Charles Gaskill Helen Gardner Silver nitrate positive print recovered in 1996. England, UK. [13]
1913 When Lincoln Paid Francis Ford Recovered in 2006. United States. Was found in a barn in New Hampshire that was going to be demolished.
1914 The Active Life of Dolly of the Dailies Walter Edwin Mary Fuller, Yale Boss Discovered in 2009 in the New Zealand Film Archive. [14]
1914 Cruel, Cruel Love George Nichols Charlie Chaplin
Minta Durfee
Complete nitrate copy found in South America. United States.
1914 The Girl Stage Driver Webster Cullison Norbert A. Myles, Edna Payne, Will E. Sheerer An incomplete 35mm positive print was discovered in 2009 in the New Zealand Film Archive. [15][16]
1914 Der Hund von Baskerville (The Hound of the Baskervilles) Rudolf Meinert [17]
1914 Pirates of the Plains Otis Thayer Discovered in 1993 in a private collection in Antigo, Wisconsin. It is thought to be the only film made by the Colorado Motion Picture Company to have survived. [14]
1914 Salomy Jane William Nigh, Lucius Henderson Beatriz Michelena, House Peters Complete nitrate copy found in Australia in 1996. [18]
1914 The Stain Frank Powell Edward José, Theda Bara A print of the film was discovered in Australia in the 1990s. [19]
1914 A Thief Catcher Charlie Chaplin (bit part) A print was discovered in 2010 at a Michigan antique sale. [20]
1914 Won in a Closet Mabel Normand Mabel Normand Discovered in 2009 in the New Zealand Film Archive. [14]
1915 Double Trouble William Christy Cabanne [3]
1915 His Lordship's Dilemma W. C. Fields Found in a Belgian film archive. [3]
1915 Peculiar Patients' Pranks Hal Roach Harold Lloyd Found in Australia's National Film and Sound Archive.
1915 Youth Harry Handworth Film exists in the British Film Institute archive. [3]
1916 Als ich tot war Ernst Lubitsch Found in 1994 in a Slovenian archive.
1916 East Lynne Bertram Bracken Theda Bara One of Bara's six surviving films. [3]
1916 Gretchen the Greenhorn Chester M. Franklin, Sidney Franklin Dorothy Gish Recovered in 1991.
1916 The Moment Before Robert G. Vignola Pauline Frederick A nearly complete print, lacking only the opening scene, was found in an archive in Rome. [21][22]
1916 Mysteriet natten till den 25:e Georg af Klercker
1916 Purity Rae Berger The Centre Nation de la Cinematographie film archive has a print. [3]
1916 Snow White Inspired Walt Disney to make films.
1916 Zepped Charlie Chaplin A copy of this propaganda short film was found in 2009; and a second turned up in 2011.
1916 Sherlock Holmes Arthur Berthelet William Gillette, Marjorie Kay A copy was discovered in 2014 in the Cinematheque Francaise archive. This is the only film made by Gillette, a famed stage actor best known for his portrayal of Holmes. [23]
1917 Beatrice Fairfax Olive Thomas All but the first of 15 episodes of this series survive in the Library of Congress archive. [3]
1917 Bucking Broadway John Ford Found in 2002 in a French archive. [3]
1917 His Wedding Night Roscoe Arbuckle Roscoe Arbuckle, Buster Keaton [3]
1917 The Image Maker Eugene Moore Film survives in a private collection. [3]
1917 A Reckless Romeo Roscoe Arbuckle Roscoe Arbuckle, Al St. John Found in an unmarked canister at the Norwegian Film Institute in 1998, alongside The Cook.
1917 The Rough House Roscoe Arbuckle Roscoe Arbuckle, Buster Keaton [3]
1918 The Cook Roscoe Arbuckle Roscoe Arbuckle, Buster Keaton Found in an unmarked canister at the Norwegian Film Institute in 1998, alongside A Reckless Romeo.
1918 Hell Bent John Ford A print exists in the Czechoslovak Film Archive. [3]
1918 Mr. Fix-It Allan Dwan Douglas Fairbanks Restored by George Eastman House and shown at San Francisco Silent Film Festival in July 2011.
1918 Oh Baby! James Ard Held in a private collection in England. [3]
1919 Back Stage Roscoe Arbuckle Roscoe Arbuckle, Buster Keaton [3]
1919 Back to God's Country David Hartford Nell Shipman Print discovered in Europe and restored in the 1990s. Scenario by Nell Shipman and novelist James Oliver Curwood. [24]
1919 Camping Out Roscoe Arbuckle Roscoe Arbuckle, Al St. John Reconstructed from reels found in the Nederlands Filmmuseum and Cineteca Nazionale (Rome) storage vaults in 2002.
1919 Different from the Others Richard Oswald Conrad Veidt German copies destroyed by the Nazis in 1933 and thought lost since then. A copy was found in the Ukraine in the late 1970s and restored by the Stadtmuseum München. One of the earliest known sympathetic depictions of homosexuality in film. [25]
1919 Scarlet Days D. W. Griffith
1919 The Spiders (1st of 2) Fritz Lang Restored in 1978 from a newly discovered original print, 1st of 2-part series.
1919 The Valley of the Giants James Cruze Wallace Reid Found in Gosfilmofond Russian state archives, Moscow. Digital copy given to the Library of Congress in 2010. [26]
1919 When Bearcat Went Dry Oliver L. Sellers Lon Chaney, Sr. Found in a projectionist's collection.
1919 The Wicked Darling Tod Browning Lon Chaney, Sr. A copy was found in Europe in the 1990s, and now resides in the Nederlands Filmmuseum. [27]
1919 The Witness for the Defense George Fitzmaurice Elsie Ferguson Print discovered in Gosfilmofond. Screened at Univ. of North Dakota. Ferguson's only surviving silent film. [28][29]
1919 You're Fired James Cruze Wallace Reid Found in Russian state archives Gosfilmofond, Moscow. Digital copy given to the Library of Congress in 2010. [26]

1920s[edit]

Year Film Director Cast Notes Ref
1920 Algol Hans Werckmeister Emil Jannings, John Gottowt, Käthe Haack, Hanna Ralph Recovered and screened by Museum of Modern Art on November 29, 2010 as part of their film exhibition Weimar Cinema, 1919–1933: Daydreams and Nightmares. [30][31]
1920 Aimsir Padraig Norman Whitten Vernon Whitten, Gilbert Greene, Ira Allen Also known as "In the Days of St. Patrick", exists in the British Film Institute. [32]
1920 The Daughter of Dawn Norbert Myles (writer) White Parker, Wanada Parker, Esther LeBarre, Jack Sankadoty Bought and restored by the Oklahoma Historical Society in 2007. [33]
1920 Genuine Robert Wiene Fern Andra, Hans Heinrich von Twardowski Complete copy was discovered in the Berlin film archive. [34]
1920 Helen of Four Gates Cecil Hepworth Alma Taylor
James Carew
Found in a film vault in Quebec, Canada in 2008. However, footage from the film had been excepted in the 1995 documentary Cinema Europe: The Other Hollywood. [35]
1920 If I Were King J. Gordon Edwards William Farnum, Betty Ross Clarke, Fritz Leiber, Sr. Print is held by the Library of Congress. [36]
1920 The Spiders (2nd of 2) Fritz Lang Carl de Vogt, Ressel Orla, Georg John Restored in 1978 from a newly discovered original print, 2nd of 2-part series. [37]
1920 Der Wildtöter und Chingachgook Arthur Wellin Bela Lugosi Recovered in the 1990s, exists in private film collection. [38]
1920 Within Our Gates Oscar Micheaux Evelyn Preer, Flo Clements. James D. Ruffin Lost for decades, a single print of the film, entitled La Negra (The Black Woman), was discovered in Spain in the 1970s. In 1993, the Library of Congress Motion Picture Conservation Center restored the film as closely as possible to the original.[39] [39][40]
1921 The Blue Fox Duke Worne Ann Little, J. Morris Foster Portions of the first 12 chapters of this serial exist in UCLA Film and Television Archive; parts 13-15 are believed lost. [41]
1921 Brownie's Little Venus Fred Hibbard Baby Peggy Rediscovered in Switzerland in 2010. [42]
1921 The Conquest of Canaan Roy William Neill Thomas Meighan, Doris Kenyon Found in Russian state archives Gosfilmofond Moscow. Digital copy given to the Library of Congress in 2010. [26]
1921 The Devil Ferenc Molnár George Arliss Exists in the Library of Congress film archive. [43]
1921 Hard Luck Edward F. Cline
Buster Keaton
Buster Keaton Long considered Keaton's major lost film until partially reconstructed in 1987. The climactic final scene was later recovered in a Russian archive. [44]
1921 Molly O' F. Richard Jones Mabel Normand Prints exist in the Library of Congress film archive, UCLA Film and Television Archive and Gosfilmofond Russian Film Archive. [45][46]
1921 Der Tanz auf dem Vulkan Richard Eichberg Bela Lugosi Found in a film archive in the 1990s, albeit in its American release version.
1922 For the Defense Paul Powell Ethel Clayton, Zasu Pitts Rediscovered in 2014 in the archive of EYE Filmmuseum in Amsterdam. [47]
1922 Beyond the Rocks Sam Wood Gloria Swanson, Rudolph Valentino Donated by collector Joop Van Liempd (1913–2002) to Nederlands Filmmuseum and restored by them in 2005. [48]
1922 Kick In George Fitzmaurice Betty Compson
Bert Lytell
Found in Russian state archives; Gosfilmofond (Moscow). Digital copy given to the Library of Congress in 2010. [26]
1922 Little Red Riding Hood Walt Disney animation One of the first theatrical animated cartoons from Walt Disney. Found in a London film library in 1998 and restored the same year. [49][50]
1922 The Loves of Pharaoh Ernst Lubitsch Emil Jannings Long thought lost, it has been restored from various sources, though it still lacks 10 minutes of the roughly one hour and 50 minute original running time. [51]
1922 Oliver Twist Frank Lloyd Jackie Coogan, Lon Chaney Thought lost for half a century until found in Yugoslavia in the 1970s. Exists in
  • Cineteca Del Friuli (Gemona, Italy)
  • Gosfilmofond Of Russia (Moscow, Russia)
  • Library of Congress (Washington USA)
  • UCLA Film And Television Archive (Los Angeles, USA)
  • Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive (Jerusalem, Israel)
  • BFI/National Film And Television Archive (London, United Kingdom).
[52][53]
[54][55]
1922 Phantom F. W. Murnau Alfred Abel, Grete Berger, Lil Dagover Prints exist in the Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv film archive. [56]
1922 Sherlock Holmes Albert Parker John Barrymore, Roland Young, William Powell Film was restored over a thirty-year period from the original camera negatives at the George Eastman House. [57]
1922 The Young Rajah Phil Rosen Rudolph Valentino Film partially found, surviving footage and still pictures were merged to make an incomplete film. [58]
1923 The Call of the Canyon Victor Fleming Richard Dix Found in Russian state archives; Gosfilmofond (Moscow). Digital copy given to the Library of Congress in 2010. [26]
1923 Canyon of the Fools Val Paul Harry Carey, Marguerite Clayton, Jack Curtis Found in Russian state archives; Gosfilmofond (Moscow). Digital copy given to the Library of Congress in 2010. [26]
1923 Circus Days Edward F. Cline Jackie Coogan Found in Russian state archives; Gosfilmofond (Moscow). Digital copy given to the Library of Congress in 2010. [26]
1923 The Eternal Struggle Reginald Barker Renée Adorée Found in Russian state archives; Gosfilmofond (Moscow). Digital copy given to the Library of Congress in 2010. [26]
1923 Love, Life and Laughter George Pearson Betty Balfour Found in a small cinema in the Netherlands in 2014. [59]
1923 Maytime Louis J. Gasnier Clara Bow, Ethel Shannon, Harrison Ford Found in the New Zealand Film Archive in 2009; undergoing restoration. [15]
1923 Souls for Sale Rupert Hughes Eleanor Boardman Discovered and restored in 2006 by Turner Classic Movies and MGM. [60]
1923 The White Shadow Graham Cutts Betty Compson, Clive Brook, Henry Victor, A.B. Imeson The first three of six reels were found in the New Zealand Film Archive in August 2011. [61]
1924 $20 A Week Harmon F. Weight George Arliss, Taylor Holmes, Edith Roberts Held in the Library of Congress Film Archive and New Zealand Film Archive. [62][63]
1924 The Arab Rex Ingram Ramón Novarro, Alice Terry Found in Russian state archives; Gosfilmofond (Moscow). Digital copy given to the Library of Congress in 2010. [26]
1924 The Breaking Point Herbert Brenon Nita Naldi, Patsy Ruth Miller, George Fawcett Exists in the Library of Congress Film Archive. [64]
1924 Empty Hearts Alfred Santell John Bowers, Clara Bow Held by UCLA Film and Television Archive. [65]
1924 Peg o' the Mounted Alfred J. Goulding Baby Peggy A print was discovered amongst the holdings of the Nederlands Filmmuseum. [66]
1924 Pied Piper Malone Alfred E. Green Thomas Meighan, Lois Wilson, Emma Dunn Discovered in a Russian film archive by historians Mark Tiedje and John Coles. It was screened in 2007 in Georgetown, South Carolina, where it was filmed. Now stored in National Film Foundation of Russian Federation Archive. [67][68][69]
1924 Venus of the South Seas James R. Sullivan Annette Kellerman, Roland Purdu, Norman French Restored by Library of Congress in 2004. Last reel of 55-minute film is in Prizmacolor. Held by New Zealand Film Archive and British Film Institute [70][71]
1925 Clash of the Wolves Noel M. Smith Rin Tin Tin, Charles Farrell, June Marlowe, Heinie Conklin A 35mm projection print was uncovered in South Africa and repatriated to the United States. It underwent restoration and preservation in 2003. Exists in
  • George Eastman House (Rochester,New York)
  • Library of Congress (Washington USA)
  • National Archives Of Canada (Ottawa)
  • Filmmuseum (Amsterdam)
  • UCLA Film And Television Archive (Los Angeles, USA)
[72][73]
1925 Keep Smiling Albert Austin, Gilbert Pratt Monty Banks Found in Russian state archives. Digital copy given to the Library of Congress in 2010. [26]
1925 The Last Edition Emory Johnson Ralph Lewis Rediscovered at the Dutch EYE Film Institute. [74]
1926 Bardelys the Magnificent King Vidor John Gilbert Restored in 2008 from a nearly-complete print discovered in France in 1998. [75]
1926 The Bat Roland West Tullio Carminati Print exists at UCLA Film And Television Archive. [76]
1926 The Boob William Wellman Joan Crawford, George K. Arthur
1926 Camille Fred Niblo Norma Talmadge
1926 Exquisite Sinner Josef von Sternberg Conrad Nagel, Renée Adorée, George K. Arthur, Myrna Loy
1926 The Flaming Frontier Edward Sedgwick Hoot Gibson, Dustin Farnum
1926 His Busy Hour J. P. McGowan James Pierce Thought lost until a print was discovered in the closet of a French asylum in the 1990s. [77]
1926 Ko-Ko's Queen Dave Fleischer Koko the Clown (animation) Rediscovered in 2014 in the archive of EYE Filmmuseum in Amsterdam. It is an Out of the Inkwell cartoon, in which Koko the Clown designs his ideal woman. [47]
1926 Mare Nostrum Rex Ingram Antonio Moreno, Alice Terry
1926 A Page of Madness Teinosuke Kinugasa Masao Inoue, Yoshie Nakagawa Found by the director in his garden shed in 1970; he had buried it during World War II and forgotten it, but a third of the original footage is still missing. [78][79]
1927 Garras de oro P. P. Jambrina The restoration of the extant footage was screened in New York City in 2008. The film has since been referred to as the first anti-imperialist film. [80]
1927 The Cave of the Silken Web Dan Duyu Yin Mingzhu Thought lost until a copy surfaced in 2013 in the National Library of Norway in Mo i Rana.
1927 A Diary of Chuji's Travels Daisuke Itō Denjirō Ōkōchi Originally released in three parts, all of which were long thought to be lost until portions of the second part and much of the third part were discovered and restored in 1991. [47]
1927 Duck Soup Fred Guiol Laurel & Hardy Thought lost until a copy surfaced in 1974.
1927 Empty Socks Walt Disney Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Cartoon film made by Disney recovered in Norway in 2014. [81]
1927 Her Wild Oat Marshall Neilan Colleen Moore, Larry Kent, Hallam Cooley Found by Hugh Neely in the Czech National Film Archive in Prague in 2001 and subsequently restored by the Academy Film Archive.
1927 It Clarence G. Badger Clara Bow Believed lost until a print surfaced in Prague in the 1960s.
1927 The Magic Flame Henry King Ronald Colman, Vilma Bánky
1927 Metropolis Fritz Lang Gustav FröhlichBrigitte Helm In 2008, two different versions of the film were found: one by Museo del Cine from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and another in the National Film Archive of New Zealand. Both versions were then edited into one cut to get as near the original version as possible. [82][83]
1927 Mickey's Circus Albert Herman Mickey Rooney Rediscovered in 2014 in the archive of EYE Filmmuseum in Amsterdam. This was Rooney's first starring role. [47]
1927 Mockery Benjamin Christensen Lon Chaney, Barbara Bedford, Ricardo Cortez Rediscovered in the mid-1970s, it is available on DVD from Warner Bros.
1927 Napoléon Abel Gance Albert Dieudonné, Gina Manès, Antonin Artaud Edmond Van Daële Gance destroyed the original uncut negatives that lasted 6 hours in the 1950s, but film historian Kevin Brownlow tracked down various prints of the film and made a final cut lasting 5 hours.[84]
1927 The Ridin' Rowdy Richard Thorpe Jay Wilsey, Olive Hasbrouck, Al Hart
1927 The Rough Riders Victor Fleming Charles Farrell, Mary Astor, Noah Beery, George Bancroft
1927 Senorita Alfred E. Green Bebe Daniels
1927 The Show Tod Browning John Gilbert, Renée Adorée, Lionel Barrymore
1927 Sorrell and Son Herbert Brenon H. B. Warner, Anna Q. Nilsson, Carmel Myers, Nils Asther, Louis Wolheim, Mary Nolan
1927 Tarzan and the Golden Lion J. P. McGowan James Pierce Thought lost until a print was discovered in the closet of a French asylum in the 1990s.
1927 Upstream John Ford Nancy Nash, Earle Foxe, Grant Withers Discovered in New Zealand in 2010 among 75 silent films being returned to the US, many of which were thought lost. [85]
1927 Wings William A. Wellman Clara Bow, Charles 'Buddy' Rogers, Richard Arlen, Gary Cooper Found in the Cinémathèque Française film archive in Paris. Winner of the first Academy Award for Best Picture. [86]
1927 Why Girls Love Sailors Fred Guiol Laurel & Hardy Thought lost for many years, but then officially surfaced in 1985.
1928 The Cameraman Edward Sedgwick, Buster Keaton Buster Keaton, Marceline Day, Harold Goodwin A complete print was discovered in Paris in 1968. A second, incomplete (but better-quality) print surfaced in 1991.
1928 The Constant Nymph Adrian Brunel Ivor Novello, Benita Hume [87]
1928 The Crimson City Archie Mayo Myrna Loy, Conrad Nagel, Anna May Wong A complete print was discovered in Argentina in 2008. [88]
1928 Forbidden Hours Harry Beaumont Ramon Novarro, Renee Adore A complete print has survived, as well as a 16 mm reduction positive trailer. [89]
1928 Hungry Hoboes Walt Disney Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Peg-Leg Pete Cartoon film made by Disney recovered in 2011 in the Huntley Film Archives. [90]
1928 The Mating Call James Cruze Thomas Meighan, Evelyn Brent, Renée Adorée Produced by Howard Hughes, and long thought lost until a print was found in his vault after his death. [91]
1928 The Passion of Joan of Arc Carl Theodor Dreyer Maria Falconetti The truncated reissue was thought all that remained until it was found in 1981, in the closet of a Norwegian mental institution. [92]
1928 The Racket Lewis Milestone Thomas Meighan, Marie Prevost, Louis Wolheim Produced by Howard Hughes, and discovered following his death in his private collection.
1928 Ramona Edwin Carewe Dolores del Río Recovered in Prague and screened in Los Angeles in March 2014 [93]
1928 The Spanking Age Robert F. McGowan Mary Ann Jackson, Bobby Hutchins, Jean Darling An Our Gang film thought to be lost, but discovered in 1990. [94]
1928 Tillie's Punctured Romance A. Edward Sutherland W. C. Fields, Louise Fazenda, Chester Conklin
1928 Two Arabian Knights Lewis Milestone William Boyd, Mary Astor, Louis Wolheim Produced by Howard Hughes, and long thought lost until a print was found in his vault after his death.
1929 Drag Frank Lloyd Richard Barthelmess, Lucien Littlefield, Kathrin Clare Ward
1929 The Letter Jean de Limur Jeanne Eagels, O. P. Heggie, Reginald Owen, Herbert Marshall
1929 Why Be Good? William Seiter Colleen Moore, Neil Hamilton, Bodil Rosing In the late 1990s, a 35mm print of the film was discovered to survive in an Italian archive.
1929 Wonder of Women Clarence Brown Lewis Stone, Leila Hyams, Peggy Wood

Sound era[edit]

1930s[edit]

Year Film Director Cast Notes Ref
1930 Bed and Breakfast Walter Forde Jane Baxter
Richard Cooper
Sari Maritza
Alf Goddard
It was found as a result of a 1992 British Film Institute campaign to search for lost films. [87]
1930 Follow Thru Lloyd Corrigan
Lawrence Schwab
Charles 'Buddy' Rogers
Nancy Carroll
Zelma O'Neal
Jack Haley
Thought to be lost until a complete print was discovered in the 1990s. Restored and preserved by the UCLA Film and Television Archive.
1930 Limite Mário Peixoto Iolanda Bernardes, Edgar Brasil Experimental silent feature made in Brazil. The restored complete version had its U.S. premiere in Brooklyn, New York, in November 2010. [95]
1930 Mamba Albert S. Rogell Jean Hersholt
Eleanor Boardman
Ralph Forbes
Footage from the final reel (stored at the UCLA Film and Television Archive) and all the Vitaphone soundtrack discs for this Technicolor film were originally thought to be the only elements from the film to survive. A complete print of the film, running nine reels, and four soundtrack discs were discovered in Australia in 2009. [96]
1930 Wara Wara José Maria Velasco Maidana Juanita Taillansier, Martha de Velasco, Arturo Borda The only known surviving Bolivian film of the silent era. Discovered in a La Paz basement in 1989, it required over a decade of restoration and was not released until 2010. [97]
1931 Dick & Doof - Spuk um Mitternacht James Parrott Stan Laurel
Oliver Hardy
German version (spoken by Laurel and Hardy) of Laurel and Hardy's Berth Marks/The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case, found in 2004 in Moscow's film archive. [98]
1931 Dracula George Melford Carlos Villarías, Lupita Tovar This Spanish-language version was made at night, while Tod Browning's Dracula was filmed during the day, using the same sets. It was considered lost until a print was rediscovered in the 1970s. [99][100]
1931 The Ghost Train Walter Forde Jack Hulbert
Cicely Courtneidge
Ann Todd
Cyril Raymond
It was found as a result of a 1992 British Film Institute campaign to search for lost films. [87]
1931 Love and Duty Bu Wancang Ruan Lingyu Silent film made in China, and rediscovered in Uruguay in the 1990s. [101]
1931 The Smiling Lieutenant Ernst Lubitsch Maurice Chevalier, Claudette Colbert, Miriam Hopkins Rediscovered in Denmark in the 1980s. [102]
1931 The Stolen Jools William C. McGann All-star cast Made for a charity, film was discovered in the 1990s in the UK under its alternate title The Slippery Pearls. [103][104]
1932 Condemned to Death Walter Forde Arthur Wontner
Gillian Lind
Gordon Harker
Cyril Raymond
It was found as a result of a 1992 British Film Institute campaign to search for lost films. [87]
1932 Doctor X Michael Curtiz Lee Tracy
Fay Wray
Technicolor version found in personal vault of Jack L. Warner. [105][106]
1932 His Lordship Michael Powell Jerry Verno
Janet McGrew
Declared to be "Missing, Believed Lost" by the British Film Institute, but a copy was subsequently found. [87]
1932 The Most Dangerous Game Irving Pichel
Ernest B. Schoedsack
Fay Wray A horror movie filmed on the same set as King Kong. [107]
1932 The Old Dark House James Whale Boris Karloff
Melvyn Douglas
Gloria Stuart
Thought lost for decades, filmmaker Curtis Harrington discovered a print in the Universal Studios vault, which was restored by Eastman House. [108][109]
1932 Rynox Michael Powell Stuart Rome, John Longden Found in the vaults of Pinewood Studios in 1990 and was subsequently transferred and restored by the BFI National Archive. [110]
1933 Berkeley Square Frank Lloyd Leslie Howard, Heather Angel, Valerie Taylor Rediscovered in the 1970s. [111]
1933 Blood Money Rowland Brown George Bancroft, Judith Anderson, Frances Dee It was considered a lost film for nearly 40 years before resurfacing. [112]
1933 Deluge Felix E. Feist Sidney Blackmer For many years, Deluge was thought to be a lost film, but a print dubbed in Italian was found in a film archive in Italy in the late 1980s. Before the discovery, the only part of the film known to have survived was the impressive footage of the tidal wave destroying New York City, which was used in the Republic Pictures serials Dick Tracy vs. Crime, Inc. (1941) and King of the Rocket Men (1949). [113]
1933 The Ghoul T. Hayes Hunter Boris Karloff, Ernest Thesiger A damaged, incomplete print was found in Czechoslovakia in the 1970s, and was thought to be the only surviving copy until a nearly-pristine one was found in the archives of the British Film Institute. [114]
1933 Hello Pop! Jack Cummings Ted Healy, The Three Stooges Full Technicolor print found in Sydney, Australia in January 2013. [115]
1933 Laughter in Hell Edward L. Cahn Pat O'Brien,
Gloria Stuart,
Merna Kennedy
Long thought to be lost, a print of this gritty chain gang drama was found in mid-2012 and was screened by the American Cinematheque in Hollywood in October of that year. [116]
1933 Mystery of the Wax Museum Michael Curtiz Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray Technicolor version found in personal vault of Jack L. Warner. [117]
1933 Ojo Okichi (Miss Okichi) Kenji Mizoguchi Isuz Yamada This film did not actually appear in official filmographies of Mizoguchi until a print was discovered in the vaults of Shochiku studios in 2008. [118]
1933 Der Sieg des Glaubens Leni Riefenstahl Adolf Hitler This 64-minute documentary was ordered destroyed by Hitler for showing Nazi party member Ernst Röhm, who had been murdered on Hitler's orders. A copy was found in Britain in the 1990s. [119]
1933 This Week of Grace Maurice Elvey Gracie Fields, Henry Kendall, John Stuart The comedy turned up as a result of the British Film Institute's 2010 drive to find missing films. [120]
1934 Of Human Bondage John Cromwell Leslie Howard, Bette Davis The negative was discovered to have been destroyed in 1964 when actress Kim Novak requested a print. A copy was recovered several years later. [121]
1935 Yowamushi Chinsengumi Kon Ichikawa Cartoon film recovered in the United States in 2014. [122]
1935 Tag der Freiheit: Unsere Wehrmacht Leni Riefenstahl Adolf Hitler, Hermann Göring, Rudolf Hess, Heinrich Himmler Thought to have been lost following World War II, an incomplete print running 28 minutes was discovered in the 1970s. [123]
1936 The Flying Doctor Miles Mander Charles Farrell, Mary Maguire The first eight of nine reels were saved by an Australian office worker who noticed a truck loaded with film cans driving past his window on its way to dispose of them. He gave chase in his car and rescued the film, which included the incomplete print of The Flying Doctor. Two years later, the shortened British version was discovered. Despite this print having been "totally rearranged", its eighth and last reel was found to take up exactly where the Australian one left off. [124][125]
1937 Summer Rain Mario Monicelli The first film to be directed by the then 21-year-old Italian director Mario Monicelli, with the pseudonym of Michele Badiek. Never published for theatrical release, was thought to be a lost film until 2011, when some fragments were discovered in the editor's personal archive. [126]
1938 Too Much Johnson Orson Welles Joseph Cotten, Mary Wickes, Arlene Francis, Ruth Ford The film was thought lost in a 1971 fire at Welles' home in Spain; footage was found in Pordenone, Italy, and restored at George Eastman House for premiere in October 2013 [127]
1939 Le Jour Se Lève Marcel Carné Jean Gabin, Jules Berry, Arletty When RKO acquired the distribution rights to Le Jour se lève in preparation for remaking it as The Long Night, they also sought to buy up and destroy all available prints of the original film. For a time, it was thought that the French film had been lost completely, but copies reappeared in the 1950s and its classic status was reestablished. [128]
1939 Smith Michael Powell Ralph Richardson, Flora Robson A short film made in 1939 to promote an ex-servicemen's charity. It got caught up in the start of World War II and wasn't shown publicly, nor was it even mentioned by Powell in his autobiography. A copy was found in 2003 and it had its first public screening in the UK in 2004, 65 years after it was completed. [129]
1939 Tevya Maurice Schwartz Maurice Schwartz
Julius Adler
Long thought lost, a print was discovered and restored in 1978. [130]

1940s[edit]

Year Film Director Cast Notes Ref
1940 Confucius Fei Mu Tang Huaiqiu,
Zhang Yi,
Sima Yingcai
A print was anonymously donated to the Hong Kong Film Archive in 2001. [131]
1940 Swiss Family Robinson Edward Ludwig Thomas Mitchell Walt Disney is said to have bought the rights to the RKO film and all copies in an effort to suppress its re-release and avoid comparisons to his 1960 version. It was believed that Disney had all the films destroyed, until Turner Classic Movies released a limited DVD in 2010 in its full 93-minutes. Later, a limited on-demand DVD release by Retro Flix has also been produced.
1940 Kampf um Norwegen – Feldzug 1940 Martin Rikli
Werner Buhre
No cast listed Considered a lost film for many years. The Berlin Bundesarchiv held only a few clips of the film. However, a complete nitrate copy of the film surfaced on an Internet auction in 2005. The Norwegian college professor and media expert Jostein Saakvitne discovered this and purchased the copy. [132]
1941 Kukan Rey Scott No cast listed An extant print of this Academy Award-winning documentary was located by Hawaiian filmmaker Robin Lung. [133]
1943 Deadlock Ronald Haines John Slater Its appearance on the BFI 75 Most Wanted list led to it being found. [120]
1944 Melusine Hans Steinhoff Olga Tschechowa, Siegfried Breuer Believed to be lost until the late 1990s, the film had its premiere on March 2, 2014, in Berlin. [134][135]
1945 Momotarō: Umi no Shinpei Mitsuyo Seo No cast listed Japan's first feature animated film. Presumed to have been confiscated and burnt by the American occupation, but a negative was found in Shochiku's vault in 1984. [136]

1950s[edit]

Year Film Director Cast Notes Ref
1950 Double Confession Ken Annakin Derek Farr After being listed on the BFI 75 Most Wanted, it has been found and is now available on DVD. [120]
1955 The Noble Experiment Tom Graeff Tom Graeff Surviving print found by Elle Schneider in Los Angeles, now in UCLA Film and Television Archives. [137]
1957 Final Curtain Ed Wood Duke Moore, Dudley Manlove Found and restored in 2011, premiering in 2012 at the Slamdance Film Festival. [138]
1957 Second Fiddle Maurice Elvey Adrienne Corri, Thorley Walters, Lisa Gastoni Another member of the BFI 75 Most Wanted that is now available on DVD. [120]
1959 Shadows John Cassavetes Ben Carruthers, Lelia Goldoni Cassavetes showed a first version of his film only a handful of times, then scrapped it and re-shot the movie entirely. Found in 2004 at a sale of items lost on the New York City Subway, and tracked down by cinema historian Ray Carney. [139]

1960s[edit]

Year Film Director Cast Notes Ref
1964 Richard Burton's Hamlet Bill Colleran Richard Burton By contractual agreement, all prints of the film were to have been destroyed after its theatrical run. However, a single print was discovered in Burton’s garage following his death. [140]
1964 Batman Dracula Andy Warhol Jack Smith Avant-garde film featuring Batman and Dracula. Thought to be lost for years until footage appeared in Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis in 2006. [141]
1966 Incubus Leslie Stevens William Shatner Surviving print found at Cinémathèque Française with French subtitles. [142]

1970s[edit]

Year Film Director Cast Notes Ref
1970 Heartbeat in the Brain Joey Mellen Amanda Feilding Trepanation film with Feilding drilling a hole in her own head. Was due to be screened by Feilding at the ICA in April 2011; however, she did not in the end take part in the event. [143]
1970 Sex Power Henry Chapier Jane Birkin After a brief, limited theatrical release, the film was placed in storage and was presumed lost. The film was rediscovered and subsequently remastered for DVD release in 2010. Notable in part for its soundtrack by acclaimed composer Vangelis. [144]
1971 Bun-Rye's Story Yu Hyun-mok Yoon Jeong-hee
Lee Soon-jae
Heo Jang-kang
Although once thought to be lost, a print of Bun-Rye's Story was recovered from overseas and restored by the Korean Film Council, who screened the film at their theater in northern Seoul on 18 May 2009. [145]
1971 Necromania Edward D. Wood, Jr. Maria Arnold Rene Bond Believed lost for years until an edited version resurfaced at a yard sale in 1992, followed by a complete, unedited print in 2001. [146]
1971 The Young Marrieds Edward D. Wood, Jr. Louis Wolf
Patti Kramer
Believed lost for years until rediscovered in Canada in 2004. [147]
1971 Black Love Herschell Gordon Lewis This independent film was rereleased in January 2013 on DVD by Vinegar Syndrome and marketed as a "previously thought lost" sexploitation feature. It was one of three films restored by the company Process Blue, using an original camera negative, through funds raised on Kickstarter. [148]
1972 Marjoe Howard Smith
Sarah Kernochan
Marjoe Gortner Although released on VHS, the film had long been out of print and had deteriorated. In 2002 the negative and other elements were found in a vault in New York City. [149][150]
1972 An American Hippie in Israel Amos Sefer Asher Tzarfati Once thought lost, it was rediscovered decades later. [151]
1972 Born to Boogie Ringo Starr Marc Bolan, Elton John Although released on VHS, the original print remained in storage and was presumed lost. The film was rediscovered and subsequently remastered for DVD release in 2005. [152]
1973 Amore Henry Chapier Sonia Petrovna After a brief, limited theatrical release, the film was placed in storage and was presumed lost. The film was rediscovered and subsequently remastered for online release in 2012. Notable in part for its soundtrack by acclaimed composer Vangelis. [144]
1974 Deranged Jeff Gillen
Alan Ormsby
Roberts Blossom Disappeared after its release in 1974 and was later rediscovered in Florida in the mid '90s. [153]
1978 Showdown at the Cotton Mill Chi Ping Chang
Peng Chang
San Lin Chen
Wu Ma Discovered in a Taiwanese film vault by Rarescope. [154][155]

1980s[edit]

Year Film Director Cast Notes Ref
1980 Black Angel Roger Christian Tony Vogel Rediscovered in December 2011 by an archivist at Universal Studios. [156]
1985 Santo Gold's Blood Circus Santo Rigatuso Santo Gold Rediscovered in 2008, its release has been sought by the producers. [157]
1987 A Month in the Country Pat O'Connor Colin Firth, Kenneth Branagh, Natasha Richardson Original 35mm print disappeared, found in 2004. [158]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]