Chaney's The Big City(1928)

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sepiatone

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Chaney's The Big City(1928)

PostFri May 04, 2018 3:00 pm

Apparently this film has survived on a one-inch videotape[?Umatic] or has it? I don't hear any hullabaloo that it survives so my antenna kind of went up.
http://memory.loc.gov/diglib/ihas/loc.m ... fault.html
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Brooksie

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Re: Chaney's The Big City(1928)

PostFri May 04, 2018 8:21 pm

Are you certain they're not referring to the trailer, which is known to be extant? Multiple sources list the film as lost, and as you say, there'd be more of a fuss over a lost Chaney film suddenly turning up, even if it wasn't London After Midnight. No doubt Jon Mirsalis or another Chaney expert would be able to clarify.
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silentfilm

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Re: Chaney's The Big City(1928)

PostFri May 04, 2018 10:04 pm

According to John Mirsalis' web page, the Big City is lost.
http://www.lonchaney.org/filmography/150.html
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sepiatone

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Re: Chaney's The Big City(1928)

PostSat May 05, 2018 9:26 am

Brooksie wrote:Are you certain they're not referring to the trailer, which is known to be extant? Multiple sources list the film as lost, and as you say, there'd be more of a fuss over a lost Chaney film suddenly turning up, even if it wasn't London After Midnight. No doubt Jon Mirsalis or another Chaney expert would be able to clarify.


that's what I thought, multiple sources claiming lost, but since the videotape reference is on the Library of Congress database website I wanted to back check and be sure. This in lieu of films such as Cabaret(1927) which was said to be extant but is now listed as lost, and The Great Divide(1925) Alice Terry, which has now returned from lost status with a print discovered in Sweden.
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The Blackbird

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Re: Chaney's The Big City(1928)

PostWed May 09, 2018 6:36 pm

Wait, what's this about THE GREAT DIVIDE turning up? Please tell us more!
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Keatonesque

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Re: Chaney's The Big City(1928)

PostWed May 09, 2018 7:07 pm

It's currently held by the Swedish Film Institute, which has been restoring films like there's no tomorrow, so perhaps this one is in the pipeline and will see the light of day at a future SFSFF: http://memory.loc.gov/diglib/ihas/loc.m ... fault.html
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The Blackbird

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Re: Chaney's The Big City(1928)

PostThu May 10, 2018 4:55 am

Amazing. It sometimes feels like the rediscovery of missing material is getting to be a regular thing to a degree I never would have dreamed likely this deep into the 21st Century. It's enough to make you believe THE BIG CITY and LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT just might turn up after all...
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Michael F. Blake

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Re: Chaney's The Big City(1928)

PostThu May 10, 2018 2:21 pm

I always say "never say never," because just when you do you can be proven wrong.

I never thought we'd find anything from RIDDLE GAWNE or TRIUMPH or even THUNDER, but we have. Granted it isn't a lot, but what we have is better than an empty sack.

I am very curious about this film and the information on it. As far as I have known, it is a lost film. When Kevin Brownlow did the Chaney documentary for TCM in 2000, he checked all archives for anything available. THE BIG CITY came up empty.

Jon Mirsalis is much better versed and knowledgeable on what is and is not around, than I am.

Michael F. Blake
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sepiatone

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Re: Chaney's The Big City(1928)

PostTue May 22, 2018 11:35 am

Keatonesque wrote:It's currently held by the Swedish Film Institute, which has been restoring films like there's no tomorrow, so perhaps this one is in the pipeline and will see the light of day at a future SFSFF: http://memory.loc.gov/diglib/ihas/loc.m ... fault.html" target="_blank


It kinda makes you want to think about THE TOWER OF LIES which was made the same year as THE GREAT DIVIDE 1925. Then you realize TTOL = Swedish writer -- Lagerloff/ Swedish director -- Seastrom/ Swedish archive -- Svenska Filminstitute. Why wouldn't it be there if it were to turn up. 8)
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Danny Burk

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Re: Chaney's The Big City(1928)

PostTue May 22, 2018 3:23 pm

sepiatone wrote:It kinda makes you want to think about THE TOWER OF LIES which was made the same year as THE GREAT DIVIDE 1925. Then you realize TTOL = Swedish writer -- Lagerloff/ Swedish director -- Seastrom/ Swedish archive -- Svenska Filminstitute. Why wouldn't it be there if it were to turn up. 8)

I was thinking the same. Of course, they'd have to have come up with a print to latch onto at the time, and the major studios were supposedly strict about prints being returned to them. Seemingly less so at the end of the line, e.g. Australia and NZ...
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Keatonesque

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Re: Chaney's The Big City(1928)

PostTue May 22, 2018 3:50 pm

sepiatone wrote:
Keatonesque wrote:It's currently held by the Swedish Film Institute, which has been restoring films like there's no tomorrow, so perhaps this one is in the pipeline and will see the light of day at a future SFSFF: http://memory.loc.gov/diglib/ihas/loc.m ... fault.html" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank


It kinda makes you want to think about THE TOWER OF LIES which was made the same year as THE GREAT DIVIDE 1925. Then you realize TTOL = Swedish writer -- Lagerloff/ Swedish director -- Seastrom/ Swedish archive -- Svenska Filminstitute. Why wouldn't it be there if it were to turn up. 8)


I was under the impression experts and seekers of lost films had already explored the archives of, say, the Swedish Film Institute, but perhaps I am mistaken. It just seems like such a prized lost film like The Tower of Lies would've been found by now had it been with the SFI. It's certainly among the three lost Chaney films I'd most want to see found, along with The Miracle Man and The Big City. Perhaps preservationists can inquire as to whether TTOL may be in the SFI's vaults or pay them a visit? MGM had Australia return the last print of The Big City in the 50s only for it to end up destroyed in the 1965 vault fire. So the hope now is obviously that not all archives outside the US returned such prints.

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