DARBY AND JOAN (1937) A "lost" film found on eBay

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todmichel

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DARBY AND JOAN (1937) A "lost" film found on eBay

PostThu Feb 15, 2018 6:05 pm

Considered as a lost movie both by the BFI and IMDb, the 1937 British feature DARBY AND JOAN was proposed in a 16mm print (two reels) by a dealer. Unfortunately I lost the bids, but it was sold for 207 £.
Not only this Tod Slaughter movie was "lost", but in sixty years of intensive research I never found anything on this MGM-British release. Not a single still, not any poster or even movie ad. The BFI only has two contemporary reviews.
Incredibly it appears that this movie had an alternate title and was re-released by another (virtually unknown) company, and this title, "She's My Darling", is not repertoried anywhere.
And don't think it was a hoax, as the seller reproduced some captions from his offer, so for the first time in sixty years I was able to see how Tod looked like in this movie...
Last edited by todmichel on Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:51 am, edited 2 times in total.
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boblipton

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Re: A "lost" film found on eBay

PostThu Feb 15, 2018 6:06 pm

Any idea who got it?

Bob
If no one listens, then it’s just as well. At least I won’t get caught in any lies I tell.
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todmichel

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Re: A "lost" film found on eBay

PostThu Feb 15, 2018 6:16 pm

No, alas. I could ask the seller, maybe. I only hope it's not one of these "greedy" collectors who bury a movie for themselves in a secret vault for decades. My purpose was to acquire the print, have it professionally restored, then numerized, and just after giving the print to an official archive. I'm not at all a film collector - I mean celluloid - DVD & BluRays are OK for me.
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boblipton

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Re: A "lost" film found on eBay

PostThu Feb 15, 2018 6:29 pm

Sigh. Let's hope it's one of the good guys.

Bob
If no one listens, then it’s just as well. At least I won’t get caught in any lies I tell.
— Joe Darion
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todmichel

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Re: A "lost" film found on eBay

PostThu Feb 15, 2018 6:37 pm

It's always the same story. A friend of mine knew a collector in Paris who had a 16mm print of another "lost" film, RKO's THE MONKEY'S PAW (1932). It was almost impossible to ask him for a DVD copy, but finally as he was a friend's friend I got one. The movie was dubbed in French, apparently in 1934 (when dubbing was better than in the immediate previous years), the "happy end" was originally cut by the French distributor as well as a little scene in the middle of the movie (probably because this scene announced the "it was a dream" finale) but in spite of this this version exists. Problem: excepted for one ot two friends, the owner want to keep the movie for him.
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goldenband

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Re: A "lost" film found on eBay

PostThu Feb 15, 2018 8:04 pm

Oh my gosh, this is fantastic news just to know that DARBY AND JOAN still exists! When I saw the thread title I didn't dare hope it was this film -- I feared it was lost forever & didn't think there was even a chance I'd ever get to see it.

I'm sorry that you didn't win the auction -- had I known, I would have been glad to contribute. Even if it seems unlikely I hope that the buyer turns out be one of the "good guys". Perhaps the fact that you're working on a book about Slaughter may hold some weight and help to open doors.
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earlytalkiebuffRob

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Re: DARBY AND JOAN (1937) A "lost" film found on eBay

PostFri Feb 16, 2018 12:45 pm

This sounded very cheap for such a rarity (unless in poor condition) and a desirable one. As Gifford's 'British Film Catalogue 1895-1970' lists DARBY AND JOAN as running 75 minutes, would this be a cut down or simply two reels running longer than on 35mm. Let's hope the film gets shared and not hoarded and gloated over...
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Jay Salsberg

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Re: DARBY AND JOAN (1937) A "lost" film found on eBay

PostFri Feb 16, 2018 1:15 pm

Many, many decades ago, someone in The Big Reel was selling a 35mm print of Conrad Veidt's BELLA DONNA. At the time the film was considered lost. I immediately sent out a letter with a check. After two weeks, the letter is returned to me "No such address"! I called the guy (which is what I should have done in the first place) and he told me that he had sold all of the films in his ad to the same entity- a stock footage company. I kick myself every time I think about that.
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todmichel

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Re: DARBY AND JOAN (1937) A "lost" film found on eBay

PostFri Feb 16, 2018 3:52 pm

By all evidence the seller was totally unaware of the incredible rarity of this movie. In all logics, the best approach to sell this feature was to announce it as "The LOST movie of Tod Slaughter" !
But he didn't mention the name of the actor, made a mistake in the original title ("Dandy" and Joan) etc.
And the starting price of some others of his 16mm films such as an old John Wayne picture of the Thirties was more highter. It started at 49 £ if I remember well, and the Tod Slaughter film at only 17... The Wayne feature is maybe difficult to find in 16mm but not so rare as a movie (you can find it on the web from different video companies)
The only good thing is that the seller seems very kind and accepted without problem to give my name and adress to the winner of the auction, as in fact for a good DVD-r of this film I could pay the same amount the money he paid for the print (207 £), "Darby and Joan" being the absolute missing link in my research about Tod...
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todmichel

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Re: DARBY AND JOAN (1937) A "lost" film found on eBay

PostTue Feb 20, 2018 11:39 am

Jay Salsberg wrote:Many, many decades ago, someone in The Big Reel was selling a 35mm print of Conrad Veidt's BELLA DONNA. At the time the film was considered lost. I immediately sent out a letter with a check. After two weeks, the letter is returned to me "No such address"! I called the guy (which is what I should have done in the first place) and he told me that he had sold all of the films in his ad to the same entity- a stock footage company. I kick myself every time I think about that.


The idea of a stock footage company buying these rare movies is devastating. Some years ago, I was living in a Paris suburb and one evening another company specialized in dubbing put dozens of 35mm prints, in their box, on the sidewalk for the garbage truck. I made immediately a phone call to a friend who came with his van and we saved all the prints. They were later deposited in film archives. Some of the prints were apparently never projected. I remember a Peter Cushing movie, and Argento's Tenebrae.
I never tried to know how this dubbing company decided to put away these movies, and anyway it's totally forbidden, in France, to abandon film prints in a street.

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