What a wonderful time to be a silent film fan! It seems like there is an announcement every other day of a painstaking restoration of a silent film, a rediscovery of a lost title, or a debut Blu-ray release.
This week, Flicker Alley, one of the most reliable video labels when it comes to silents, posted a trailer for their upcoming Blu-ray release of the 1925 adventure fantasy The Lost World, and it is a thing of beauty. My enthusiasm for the September 12th release of
The Lost World (Deluxe Blu-ray Edition) has multiplied tenfold. Not only does the video look fantastic; the Blu-ray will debut a new cut of the film, approximating the original 10-reel 1925 version. Newly discovered footage has been reinserted into the movie, including stop-motion effects work by the great Willis O’Brien (King Kong)! In addition, the release will include bonus short subjects by Willis O’Brien. It appears to be an essential package and the ultimate release of the film.
The trailer is posted above, and the full specs on the upcoming release from the Flicker Alley website are detailed below:
The Lost World (Deluxe Blu-ray Edition)
Region: A, B, C
Director: Harry O. Hoyt
Featuring: Wallace Beery, Bessie Love, Lewis Stone, Lloyd Hughes, and Arthur Hoyt.
Composers: Robert Israel
Language: Silent with English Intertitles
Length: 110 minutes
True to its title, the 1925, 10-reel version of The Lost World effectively disappeared from circulation in 1929—all known positive prints destroyed—a move by First National Pictures to help clear the way for another “creature film” utilizing special effects and Willis O’Brien’s cutting-edge animation techniques: King Kong. For more than 80 years, only abridged editions of The Lost World remained in existence… until now!
Follow Professor Challenger, played by the inimitable Wallace Beery, as he and a crew of curious explorers embark on an expedition in search of a mythical, prehistoric plateau in South America. Along for the adventure are eminent scientist Summerlee (Arthur Hoyt, the director’s brother), sportsman Sir John Roxton (Lewis Stone), journalist Ed Malone (Lloyd Hughes) and Paula White (Bessie Love), whose father disappeared on the same plateau. The party is not there long before the “lost world” of the jungle begins to reveal its secrets: a primitive ape-man, a Pterodactyl flying through the air, a massive Brontosaurus feeding upon the trees, the vicious Allosaurus, and many more monstrous beasts of the Jurassic age.
Flicker Alley, Lobster Films, and Blackhawk Films® are thrilled to present the world-premiere Blu-ray edition of Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World, the most complete version of the film ever released. This visually stunning 2K restoration, accomplished by Lobster Films, features newly-discovered scenes and special effect sequences, incorporating almost all original elements from archives and collections around the world. Renowned silent film composer Robert Israel contributes a new and ambitious score, performed by a full orchestra in 2016.
This edition is dedicated to David Shepard, and to the collectors, archives, and passionate cinema lovers, who help preserve films for future generations.
Bonus Materials Include:
- Audio Commentary: Feature-length audio essay by Nicolas Ciccone, amateur filmmaker and film historian.
- Deleted Scenes: Restored outtakes from a 1925 original nitrate transfer of The Lost World.
- R.F.D., 10,000 B.C. (1917): Short film directed by Willis O’Brien for producer Thomas Edison.
- The Ghost of Slumber Mountain (1918): Short film written and directed by Willis O’Brien in a new 2K restoration by the Dinosaur Museum.
- Creation (1930): Unfinished film directed by Willis O’Brien that nonetheless convinced Merian C. Cooper to hire O’Brien for King Kong.
- Image Gallery: Featuring original production, exhibition, and promotional materials.
Booklet Essay: “The Lost World: Secrets of the Restoration” by Serge Bromberg of Lobster Films.