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London After Midnight


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Phantasm
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« on: April 19, 2011, 10:57:41 pm »

London After Midnight

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Phantasm
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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2011, 11:00:43 pm »

London after Midnight , Lon Chaney footage rediscovery


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Phantasm
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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2011, 11:01:23 pm »

Lon Chaney After Midnight

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Phantasm
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« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2011, 11:03:30 pm »

LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT - Lon Chaney Makeup Effects Recreation

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London After Midnight
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« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2011, 01:27:38 am »



Lobby card for London After Midnight
Directed by    Tod Browning
Written by    Tod Browning (story, "The Hypnotist")
Waldemar Young (scenario)
Joseph Farnham (titles)
Starring    Lon Chaney
Marceline Day
Conrad Nagel
Henry B. Walthall
Polly Moran
Cinematography    Merritt B. Gerstad
Editing by    Harry Reynolds
Distributed by    Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date(s)    December 3, 1927 (premiere)
December 17, 1927 (General release)
Running time    69 minutes
Country    United States
Language    Silent film
English intertitles
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London After Midnight
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« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2011, 01:28:26 am »

London After Midnight (1927) aka The Hypnotist is a silent mystery film with horror overtones produced and distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The film stars Lon Chaney, Marceline Day, Conrad Nagel, Henry B. Walthall, and Polly Moran and was directed by Tod Browning. It is also a lost film, quite possibly the most famous and eagerly-sought of all lost films. The last known copy was destroyed in a fire in an MGM film vault in 1967.[1] It is hoped that eventually a print of this film may be discovered in a foreign archive or a private collection.

The setting of the film is (then contemporary) 1920s London.

Sir Roger Balfour is found shot to death in his home. Inspector Burke (Lon Chaney, Sr.) of Scotland Yard is called in to investigate. The suspects are Williams (the butler), Sir James Hamlin (Henry B. Walthall) and his nephew, Arthur Hibbs (Conrad Nagel). A suicide note is found and the case is supposedly closed.

Five years later, the old residence of Balfour is taken up by a man in a beaver-skin hat, with large fangs and gruesome, sunken eyes. His assistant is a ghostly woman, with flowing robes and raven black hair. Could it be Balfour, returned from the dead?
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London After Midnight
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« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2011, 01:29:18 am »

Chaney's makeup for the film is noteworthy, for the sharpened teeth and the hypnotic eye effect he achieved with special wire fittings which he wore like monocles. Based on surviving accounts, he purposefully gave the "vampire" character an absurd quality, because it was the film's Scotland Yard detective character (also played by Chaney) in a disguise. Surviving stills show this was the only time Chaney used his famous makeup case as an on-screen prop.

The film grossed almost $500,000 at the box office, becoming the most successful collaborative film between Chaney and Browning. However, accounts by filmgoers and critics who saw the film before its destruction in 1967 (including film historian William K. Everson) suggest it was not one of Chaney and Browning's strongest films.

Unfortunately, it is now a lost film. No copies of the film are known to exist, although there has been an attempt at a reconstruction utilizing the script and publicity shots. A novelization of the film had been written and publish in 1928 by Marie Coolidge-Rask. Copies of the book are rare and priceless. Browning later remade the film, with some changes to the plot, as Mark of the Vampire (Lionel Barrymore plays the police inspector and Bela Lugosi portrays the vampire).

The film was used as a part of the defense for a man accused of murdering a woman in Hyde Park, London in 1928. He claimed Chaney's performance drove him temporarily insane, but his plea was rejected and he was convicted of the crime.

The last known print of the film was stored by MGM in Vault #7. In 1967, an electrical fire broke out in the vault that destroyed countless films from the silent era, including this last known print.

Reconstruction

In 2002, Turner Classic Movies commissioned famed restoration producer Rick Schmidlin (Greed, Touch of Evil) to produce a 45 min. reconstruction of the film, using still photographs. This was well received by horror fans and Schmidlin received the Rondo Award for his efforts.
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London After Midnight
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« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2011, 01:31:15 am »

Mike's "London After Midnight" Myths Page

A page devoted to proving that the most famous lost film... isn't!



Tod Browning's 1927 film "London After Midnight" is rivaled only by the original 10-hour version of Erich von Stroheim's "Greed" as the most famous of all "lost" films. Since the 1960s readers of magazines such as "Famous Monsters of Filmland" have been convinced of the sadly missing status of this masterpiece, the ultimate collaboration between the legendary star of "Phantom of the Opera," Lon Chaney Sr., and Tod Browning, the brilliantly dark director of "Dracula" and "Freaks."

But all is not as it seems in the world of film collectors...

At the same time that "London After Midnight" was declared irrevocably lost, rumors have continued to circulate that a "private collector" had a copy of the film which was brought out only for showings carried on with as much mystery as the goings-on at the home of Roger Balfour in the film. Raymond Rohauer, David Bradley, William K. Everson and others have all been rumored to be the possessor of the rare, unique print.

But what if it wasn't so unique after all?

http://www.michaelgebert.com/lam/lam1.html
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London After Midnight
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« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2011, 01:32:17 am »



Left: Lon Chaney Sr. in one-half of his greatest role, as the dapper vampire with wild hair and razor-sharp teeth who has occupied the London mansion of the supposed suicide Roger Balfour together with his bevy of female companions.

This was Chaney's only vampire role, despite longstanding (but unfounded) rumors that he was set to play Dracula in Browning's 1931 film version before cancer ended his career. (Ironically, however, the star of Dracula-- Bela Lugosi-- did get to play this vampire, in Browning's 1935 talkie remake Mark of the Vampire.)
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London After Midnight
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« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2011, 01:33:26 am »



Left: Chaney in the other half of his role, as the Scotland Yard detective whose unorthodox methods will solve the mystery of Roger Balfour's death (Chaney is at far right, with co-stars Conrad Nagel, Polly Moran and Henry B. Walthall).         
   What if, in fact, "London After Midnight" was not only not lost, but had in fact been fairly widely available at several points in recent history? What if there were not merely one collector with a contraband copy of the film, but several, who had varied in their willingness to share it with the rest of the world?

It may be hard to believe after all you've heard. But here on the next several pages is the proof that the most famous of lost films is nothing of the sort-- in fact, as the next page will show, that it could have been yours not long ago, for just $41.98.
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London After Midnight
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« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2011, 01:34:18 am »

    Demolishing the Lost Film Myth: Exhibit A

Before the VCR and VHS, Blackhawk Films was for many years the best-known source of classic silent films for home collectors in 8mm, Super 8 and 16mm. This 1973 catalog shows the availability of London After Midnight as one of several Chaney films offered. As it only appeared in this one edition, it is assumed that the MGM legal department intervened to stop the distribution of the still-copyrighted film, and only a few orders were actually filled. (Thanks to Bruce Calvert for assisting in tracking this rare edition down.)
   

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London After Midnight
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« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2011, 01:35:13 am »

    Demolishing the Lost Film Myth: Exhibit B

Our most recent find is this flyer from a local 16mm film society which (to judge by Halloween being on a Friday) is probably from 1975. This shows clearly that the film was in general 16mm distribution and available to groups not possessing extraordinary connections to archives or collectors during at least one part of the 1970s, after it was supposedly lost in a vault fire. (Courtesy Benjamin K. Urish.)
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London After Midnight
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« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2011, 01:36:38 am »

Demolishing the Lost Film Myth: Exhibit C

So far all we've shown is that a film thought lost in the 1960s was still in existence less than a decade later... nothing so extraordinary about that. If it were on video, that would be another thing, right?

Well, here's what you're looking for: a 1998 catalog page from a popular "grey-market" supplier of silent films, whose name we have withheld for legal reasons but which will be familiar to many silent films fans (or fans of a well-known Marvin Gaye song recently sung by Claymation raisins).



Wondering where you can order your copy? Just wait. The most astounding find of all is yet to come...
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London After Midnight
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« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2011, 01:38:12 am »

Demolishing the Lost Film Myth: Exhibit D

Yes... it's even been on TV!

And you missed it!

Well, you can always hope for a repeat showing of the Kevin Brownlow restoration with the score by Carl Davis next Halloween....

(Thanks to Archie Waugh for the screen grab. Unfortunately, my VCR wasn't working right that night!)

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London After Midnight
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« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2011, 01:39:08 am »

Demolishing the Lost Film Myth: Exhibit E

Are they keeping us in the dark about a London After Midnight video release?

This artwork was mailed anonymously to me after the site originally went up. Yet we have been unable to confirm the title on anyone's release schedule.

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