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lady_wakasa [userpic]

My Obsession With Silents #643

April 13th, 2005 (07:00 pm)

Near Miss on the Cool Beans:

I spend a lot of time at the alt.movies.silent newsgroup. Through that group, and some roundabout ways, I met a silent film historian who lives about ten minutes walking from my house. (I had to travel over 200 miles to meet him and his wife, but that's another story.) It turns out that he's got a couple of cinematographers in his past, and he's got a lot of interesting stories to tell...

I think Ramon Novarro is a god; his grandfather used to party with him. I have a thing for Roscoe Arbuckle dating from a festival in the late 1980s; he's been working on the tinting for the Arbuckle box coming out at the end of May. (And he even showed me bits of the work in progress last January.)

Recently I stopped by his house to return / lend some things. We talked about the Arbuckle box, Charlie Bowers, the recent TCM stuff, some other things. Got around to Beyond the Rocks (the recently rediscovered Valentino / Swanson movie). He mentioned he has the Italian trailer for Valentino's The Young Rajah, which is a lost film (and looks astounding from the stills). I mention that's one of the movies I would consider killing to see. He asks me if I want to see the trailer (it's a couple of minutes). I'm thinking AAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!! but I say, "ah,...yeah, sure." He goes off to look for the film. He comes back about five minutes later, empty-handed. Says he's had it in the same place for ten years, but he's been buying some film processing equipment from a place in NYC going out of business and his wife's moved some stuff around. He goes in to ask his wife. She's giving a guitar lesson; says it should be with the rest of the film boxes (and she's not about to leave her lesson to look for it). He comes back. No dice - we'll have to do it another time.

The Young Rajah, costumes by Winifred Hudnut.
So far, just a picture...

Just about as bad as getting turned down for the prom. But it's somewhere in that house...