Six Pix presents a sextet of movie posters representing a particular actor/director/genre. You pick the one you feel is visually the most artistic or best sums up the film.
The posters advertising them remain, but as for these lost films themselves, that’s another story…
Included are: Cleopatra (1917); London after Midnight (1927); The Patriot (1928); Charlie Chan Carries On (1931); Convention City (1933); and This Man is Dangerous (1941).
This is a special edition of Six Pix. While the posters presented here certainly all do have creative merit, for this installment of the series I’m going to skip my usual artistic analysis. Because these films have disappeared, seemingly for all time, I’ll write a brief summation about them instead. As usual, please have your say in the section below; I’d love to hear your comments.
Charlie Chan Carries On: Of Warner Oland’s 16 Charlie Chan films, five—including his debut as the Chinese sleuth in Charlie Chan Carries On—went up in smoke in a Fox Pictures warehouse fire. Interestingly, a separate Spanish-language version was filmed that same year, entitled Eran Trece (There Were Thirteen). It survives.
Cleopatra: Almost all of Sex Goddess Theda Bara’s movies are gone forever, which includes this lavish production. As you can see from the above picture, Cleopatra’s outfits were quite risqué, to say the least. Luckily, this was before the Hays Code took effect, so the film’s makers didn’t have the same problems C.B. DeMille faced with his 1934 remake starring Claudette Colbert.
Convention City: All copies of the star-studded Warner Bros. comedy Convention City were said to have been deliberately destroyed by the studio because it was “a pretty rowdy picture, dealing largely with drunkenness, blackmail and lechery, and without any particularly sympathetic characters or elements” and helped bring about the censorship code. Co-star Joan Blondell once wrote that she had a print and showed it at parties, but this copy, too, has vanished.
London after Midnight: Perhaps the most famous lost movie ever. Later remade by director Tod Browning as 1935’s Mark of the Vampire, a “re-creation” of London After Midnight with stills and title cards is featured on the Lon Chaney Collection DVD set. Not to sway your opinion, but in 2014 the rare poster sold for $478,000.
The Patriot: Emil Jannings won the very first Best Actor Oscar for 1927’s The Way of All Flesh. The next year, he starred as The Patriot, which was nominated for Best Picture. Both films have gone missing. In short, the only Academy Award-winning performance and Best Picture nominee to be lost are both Jannings’.
This Man is Dangerous: Starring James Mason, this 1941 thriller (aka The Patient Vanishes; aka Death Cell) is the most likely film here to see the light of day. The acclaimed British production was last shown on broadcast TV in 1987—then mysteriously vanished.
Which one do you think is the winner? Should I have included something else? Tell me about it below!