Phil Hall's Top 50 Lost Films of All Time

The Story of the Kelly Gang by Charles TaitAt Film Threat, Phil Hall lists the “Top 50 Lost Films of All Time.”

According to Hall, “among the missing movies are the world's first feature film [The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906), right], the first Technicolor feature [The Gulf Between (1917)], the first animated feature in both the silent and sound eras [El Apastol (1917) and Peludópolis (1931), respectively], the first werewolf movie [The Werewolf (1913)], the first appearance by Dracula [Drakula halála (1923)], the first kaiju film [King Kong Appears in Edo (1938)], and movies created by Charlie Chaplin [A Woman of the Sea (1926), directed by Josef von Sternberg, produced by Chaplin], Orson Welles [the 40-minute Too Much Johnson (1938)], Woody Allen [the alternate version of September (1987)], Sergei Eisenstein [the unfinished Bezhin Meadow (1937)], Ed Wood [the XXX-rated Take It Out in Trade (1970)], Oscar Micheaux [the interethnic drama The Betrayal (1948)] and Martin Scorsese [the original shoot-out sequence from Taxi Driver].”

***

Barbara La Marr, Ramon Novarro in Trifling Women
Barbara La Marr, Ramon Novarro in Trifling Women

The vast majority – 38 – of the films listed are American productions. Many of those are shorts; others, such as the Australian-made The Story of the Kelly Gang, survive in bits and pieces; and others yet, e.g., James Dean's screen test for Oklahoma and an alternate shoot-out sequence from Taxi Driver, are movie sequences, not movies.

I'm not sure how Hall found out about those titles – there are many I'd never heard of – or what his criterion was for his 50 choices, but I did notice that missing from his list are several that I would have mentioned. For instance:

  • Rex Ingram's Trifling Women (1922) and Where the Pavement Ends (1923), two well-regarded and quite successful 1920s melodramas, both starring Ramon Novarro, and directed by one of the top Hollywood talents of the silent era;
  • The Miracle Man (1919), which provided Lon Chaney with his first major role in a highly successful motion picture;
  • The Noose (1927), for which Richard Barthelmess was nominated for a best actor Academy Award;
  • Ernst Lubitsch's The Patriot (1928), a period drama starring Emil Jannings, Florence Vidor, and Lewis Stone that was “considered” for several Academy Awards covering the period 1928-29 (there were no official nominations that year).

Of those films in Hall's list that I'd never even dreamed existed, I must admit that the one that most aroused my curiosity was Him (1974, USA), described as an “X-rated film about a gay man's homoerotic obsession with the New Testament” that was detailed in the 1980 book The Golden Turkey Awards.

If Him is ever found, it'd make a great double-bill with Cecil B. DeMille's kinky The Sign of the Cross. Here's hoping.

If you liked the article Phil Hall's Top 50 Lost Films of All Time, please recommend it to your friends. See floating share buttons on the left.
Follow Alt Film Guide on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter, and/or join the FB group All About Movies.
Phil Hall's Top 50 Lost Films of All Time © 2004-2015 Alt Film Guide and/or author(s).
Text NOT to be reproduced without prior written consent.

Continue Reading: 'National Treasure: Book of Secrets' Rules Box Office

Previous Post: Best Make-Up Longlist: 'Pirates of the Caribbean' In


Click on 'Load Comments' to leave a comment and/or read previous comments about Phil Hall's Top 50 Lost Films of All Time.

Important: Different views and opinions are perfectly fine, but courtesy and respect are imperative. Abusive, bigoted, baseless (spreading misinformation), and/or trollish/inflammatory comments will be blocked and offenders may be banned.

Note: You don't need to log in to comment. Just click on the "Name" field and the option to comment as a “guest” will appear. But you do need to fill in your name and email.