Before the days when the Internet immortalized everything from historical milestones to sleeping cat farts there was once a chance for moments to actually pass by completely unrepeated. While that did have its charm, the major downfall was that art had a way of being lost to time. In the case of this list – film art that we’re going to have to live without.
Here are some of the most important films that are unfortunately never going to see the light of modern day.
10. The Great Gatsby (1926)
There’s a good deal of “Great Gatsby” adaptations out there, and the longer back you go the least likely they are still available to watch – which is unfortunate because when you look at the list, it’s clear that the pattern should be reversed.
While the 1949 version of the movie is nearly lost, the 1926 silent film version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s most famous novel is extremely lost – all that remains is the trailer, which coincidently is the most I’m able to sit through of the new one.
9. London After Midnight (1927)
No, not the goth rock band. Honestly I have no idea why you’d even think that. This is the lost vampire film that stuck shark teeth on Lon Chaney. Despite historians saying it wasn’t a great film (how the hell would they know?) the movie was apparently one of Chaney’s most successful upon release. Then in 1967 MGM’s Vault #7 burnt to the ground, along with the original copy of the film.
Since then numerous hoax versions have arisen, but to date there’s been no confirmed genuine copy. You can watch a sloppy version pieced together from production stills above, but that’s all you’re getting.
8. Chikara to Onna no To no Naka (1932)
It means, “The World of Power and Women” and it was the first talkie Japanese anime. So it’s an oddly specific accomplishment, sure – but that doesn’t make it any less historic. The film was produced by the Japanese company Shochiku after the success of The Jazz Singer. Kenzo Masaoka – the dude who also made the earliest anime using cel animation, planned and directed it.
While historic, the synopsis certainly doesn’t make it sound good – as it follows a husband having an affair on his rotund wife. So not exactly Akira or anything.
7. The Day The Clown Cried (1972)
This one just recently popped up in the news as brand new footage of the film made itself available online. Unlike a lot of these, this film was lost by choice when Jerry Lewis, having starred in and directed it, deemed the film to be embarrassingly unwatchable. Considering the plot, he’s probably correct.
Apparently it follows a clown in the holocaust who is made to perform for children in the concentration camps, and is finally killed in the gas chamber along with a group of entertained children who he led there. So, hilarious.
6. Power Of Love (1922)
No, not the 1985 hit single performed by Huey Lewis and the News for the Back To The Future soundtrack. Honestly I have no idea why you’d even think that. This is the 1922 silent film about murder, romance and theft. It’s also the very first 3D movie ever played in front of an audience.
Shown at the Los Angeles Ambassador Hotel, 3D never actually went anywhere until thirty years after its release. Turns out people in the 1920s were a lot smarter than people today.