Fruitful partnership: online premiere six ‘lost’ American silent films

Koko’s Queen, 1926; highly inflammable nitrate film, now preserved and accesable

27 October 2015

The six American silent-era films that were protected at EYE Filmmuseum in Amsterdam and have been preserved through a collaborative project organized by the San Francisco–based National Film Preservation Foundation (NFPF) premiere online today. Among the newly viewable films are the Fleischer Brothers cartoon Koko’s Queen (1926) and a 1917 journey up the Eliot Glacier, the largest on Oregon’s Mount Hood.

‘We are thrilled to make this first batch of films preserved through this collaboration between EYE and the American archival community available for free viewing online’, said NFPF Executive Director Jeff Lambert. ‘From a rodeo competition in 1920 to an animated film on evolution from 1925, these films show how film documented American life and educated its citizens.’

The films were preserved and made available by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Library of Congress, and the Oregon Historical Society.

The NFPF also announced today the next group of 30 films discovered at EYE and slated for preservation in 2016. Among the titles are For the Defense (1922), a feature starring ZaSu Pitts as a suspected murderess; the flapper comedy The Reckless Age (1924) starring Reginald Denny, and more than 15 newsreel stories from the 1920s. Copies will also be given to EYE and streamed from the NFPF website.

The titles were identified at EYE during two months of research funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The highly flammable nitrate prints were distributed in the Netherlands in the 1910s and 1920s and eventually made their way into the EYE collections. Many are tinted. All are thought to be unique or the best surviving source material reported anywhere in the world.

Click here for more information.Click here to view the 6 online preservations.