10 Lost Movies And The Absurd Places They Turned Up
6. Richard III - Stolen By A Projectionist
1912's Richard III stands as the first full-length adaptation of a Shakespeare text, and is also the oldest American film that exists in its complete state. The 55-minute film opted not to use intertitles to convey the plot, instead employing exaggerated mime, making for a film that if nothing else is completely original in the way that it takes on The Bard's classic work. Despite this approach, the film faded into obscurity shortly following release, and was presumed to have become lost like so many other older films. It was over 80 years later that its whereabouts became known... In 1996, the American Film Institute was contacted by a theater director, William Buffum, who had stumbled across the print in the 1960s, and "preserved" the film, or as is a rather more apt description of his actions, he stole it from his place of employment, hoarded it for over 30 years, and only then decided that the public were fit to know about its existence. Again, one doesn't know whether to shake his hand or kick a field goal between his legs...
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.