COLLEEN MOORE - lost AND FOUND!!!!! WOWWWWWWW!!!
Ron Hutchinson of The Vitaphone Project here.
Our “lost” film news continues (after the discover of HELLO POP last month) with an announcement I am finally able to make! Colleen Moore’s final silent, WHY BE GOOD? (FN/’29) was long believed to be lost. About 10 years ago while introducing one of my Vitaphone shows at NYC’s Film Forum, I mentioned I had just acquired the Vitaphone disks (music and effects) for this feature but, sadly, the film was lost. Film historian Joe Yranski was sitting in the front row and yelled out “No it’s not! I know where it is!”. The crowd cheered, and so began a decades-long effort to get the film back to American and restored. I’m happy to report that in a joint effort by Ned Price and Warner Brothers, the Bologna Archive in Italy, Joe Yranski (who knew Colleen Moore) and The Vitaphone Project, this film is now being restored. This is an ultra art deco film, with a super jazzy music and sound effects track with such greats as Jimmy Dorsey, Phil Napoleon, and Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang. It even has Jean Harlow as a dress extra! Truly the ultimate silent experience with something for everyone. Ned made all the arrangements to get the lone surviving 35mm nitrate print from Italy and disk transfers have already been completed.
This has been a long and difficult process, and knowing what went into getting to this point, I sure hope we don’t hear any clueless “it’s about time” comments! WB is thrilled to fund BOTH of these restorations.
The print of Moore’s next to last silent with Vitaphone track, SYNTHETIC SIN (also thought lost) is also being repatriated now and restored.
So on the heels pf finding HELLO POP, some more MGM Colortones I’ll soon announce, and the restoration-in-progress of over 50 1926-30 Vitaphone shorts, 2013 is sure shaping up as a banner year for film discoveries and restorations!