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A "lost" Tod Slaughter film found on eBay !

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  • A "lost" Tod Slaughter film found on eBay !

    Considered as a lost movie both by the BFI and IMDb, the 1937 British feature DARBY AND JOAN, directed by Sid Courtenay, 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 a movie ad. The BFI only has two contemporary reviews, nothing more.
    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...

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    • #3
      Where’s the film now?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by googiefan View Post
        Where’s the film now?
        I don't know... The seller promised me to give my adress to the winner of the auction. A friend of mine thinks that Carlyle Pictures (it's the name mentioned on the print, just before the new title) was maybe one of these "movie rentals" companies specialized in 16mm prints, and so, other copies could exist... somewhere. The problem (until now) was that nobody was aware of an alternate title, even Denis Gifford in its wonderful "British Film Catalogue 1895-1985" didn't mention another title than "Darby and Joan". But we have now a proof of this (another scan in the eBay page), so maybe another print will surface some day. After all, an episode of the ultra-rare TV series "Inspector Morley, Late of Scotland Yard, Investigates", called "Scarlet Letter", was found some months ago (from personal research I'm almost sure that it was later used as the first story in KING OF THE UNDERWORLD), "Bothered By a Beard" was broadcast last year, "King of the Underworld" too (and even now on DVD), "Murder at the Grange" was shown on TV years ago but is included in another DVD, and I have some other episodes of the 1952 TV series on DVD such as "Murder at Scotland Yard" (the episode, not the featurette that used this episode), "The Red Flame" (this episode never shown in UK in any form, "Moral Murder" (an episode of "Fabian of the Yard" with Tod Slaughter as guest star), "Puzzle Corner # 14", etc. although I live in France - If I were in UK I'm sure I could find some others !

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        • #5
          I take it you know of BBC Genome, which allows you to search the printed schedules in the Radio Times from it’s beginnings in 1923 to 2009?

          Here’s the results for Tod Slaughter...

          http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/search/0/...ughter+#search


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          • #6
            Why don’t BFI scan e bay for lost films. It’s probably below them and heaven forbid if the film is located out of London.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Ian Beard View Post
              I take it you know of BBC Genome, which allows you to search the printed schedules in the Radio Times from it’s beginnings in 1923 to 2009?

              Here’s the results for Tod Slaughter...

              http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/search/0/...ughter+#search

              Thank you, Ian - I'm quite familiar with the BBC Genome and sadly we must understand that many of their productions are now gone forever...
              There is also a mystery. A friend of mine once made a research in the BBC archives and apparently they produced a radio serial with Tod Slaughter called THE FORGE OF DEATH.
              The source mentioned the title of the first episode, "The Laughing Blacksmith" ! an a date. I don't remember it at this moment but I could search among my notes.
              However, there is no mention of this serial in the BBC Genome database, and furthermore when I consulted the radio programme of the mentioned week, nothing came out.
              Another Tod Slaughter mystery...

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              • #8
                Originally posted by googiefan View Post
                Why don’t BFI scan e bay for lost films. It’s probably below them and heaven forbid if the film is located out of London.
                You are right. Its a mystery for me, as it's not the first time a movie considered as "lost" surfaces on eBay. In this case it was "Darby and Joan" but it could have been as well "London After Midnight" or "Der Januskopf". But there is also the big problem, that some movies do exist at the BFI but aren't visible, especially if you live in Australia for instance ! in the case of a private collector we can - maybe - hope that the movie will be numerized and available on DVD, who knows ?

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                • #9
                  Hi Sweeney, thanks for the reply. I still can’t believe BFI shouldn’t be doing this as part of their remit.

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                  • #10
                    I cannot agree.How can they know that it is a lost film.How will people who have donated films for free feel.Finally they are dealing with public money.Far better that the money goes into restorations of their colecton

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by googiefan View Post
                      Hi Sweeney, thanks for the reply. I still can’t believe BFI shouldn’t be doing this as part of their remit.
                      Incidentally, the BFI also had the 1952 movie A GHOST FOR SALE (released in 1954), a Victor M. Gover featurette constructed around footage from THE CURSE OF THE WRAYDONS, made in 1946 by the same director for the same company. And also FORECAST UNSETTLED, an episode of the TV series "The Lilli Palmer Theatre", broadcasted in 1956 some months after Tod Slaughter's death, so we are sure it was not "live" television, and furthermore the series was also shown in America, so other copies could exist in this country as well...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by orpheum View Post
                        I cannot agree.How can they know that it is a lost film.How will people who have donated films for free feel.Finally they are dealing with public money.Far better that the money goes into restorations of their colecton
                        Sorry but the BFI knows perfectly well that "Darby and Joan" is a lost film, because the title is listed as such in their own sources. I was in contact with them for years and I'm sure of that.

                        And incidentally ALL film archives in the civilized world are aware of the lost movies. They have huge files and their cooperation saves hundreds of films each year. Practically all the restored movies since two decades are the work of a cooperation between film archives from different countries.
                        Last edited by Sweeney Todd; 17th February 2018, 07:47 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Whether they do or dont know thé other points i have made are irrefutable

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by orpheum View Post
                            Whether they do or dont know thé other points i have made are irrefutable
                            What other points ? many Film Archives buy old movies, they aren't limited to donations. Like the BFI they also sell products, like DVDs or reproductions of stills and posters (I bought myself many stills at the BFI and they were rather expensive).
                            The Cinémathèque Française buys films, a priori when it comes to rare works, and it has never stopped to restore myriads of movies.
                            Last edited by Sweeney Todd; 17th February 2018, 09:41 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Tell you what why don't you write to the BFI and see what they say.

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