10 Lost Movies And The Absurd Places They Turned Up
8. Napoleon - Destroyed & Put Back Together
It isn't so much where 1927's Napoleon was found, but the sheer number of places in which the new cut was sourced. Abel Gance's ridiculously ambitious feature ran around 7 hours long in its original state, though was soon enough cut down to a more tolerable runtime despite being praised for its clever technical feats. In frustration, Gance destroyed the original negatives of the full cut in the 1950s, an idiotic move that was somewhat rectified by a film historian named Kevin Brownlow. The first thing Brownlow had to do was to track down as many prints of the film as he could, especially considering that various prints contained various scenes that others did not; he would need to piece together as long a cut of the film as he possibly could. 26 years later in 1979, having quite literally scoured the globe, Bornwlow's roughly 5-hour version was premiered at the Telluride Film Festival, receiving a standing ovation.
Frequently sleep-deprived film addict and video game obsessive who spends more time than is healthy in darkened London screening rooms. Follow his twitter on @ShaunMunroFilm or e-mail him at shaneo632 [at] gmail.com.