Thursday, February 10, 2011

In Soviet Russia, Theater Burns Down Film!

Ten silent films long believed lost are recovered from the Soviet Union.

The movies were delivered late last year through a Russian-American working group on library cooperation, and they represent the first installment in a cache of up to 194 early American films that will eventually be repatriated. There are classics by directors who include Cecil B. De Mille and Sam Wood and gems starring such actors as Mary Pickford and Sessue Hayakawa.
Between 1913 and 1941, about 1,300 American films were distributed in Russia... While the Russians and Soviets did not appreciate all that they received - many of the films included warnings that they depicted a "moral and social situation" that was "reprehensible" - they were relatively good at making sure that what they had was kept in good condition in a state film archive.

Dear Russia,

If you provide us with a copy of the 1917 Cleopatra starring Theda Bara, I promise to say something nice about socialism.

Your pal,


  1. Is it wrong that I know of Sessue Hayakawa via a punch line to a throwaway Tom Lehrer joke?