Despite missing the final 20 minutes, The Academy Film Archive will be screening the 1917 Lon Chaney drama Triumph this coming Thursday at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood as part of their occasional “Lost And Found” series. The recently restored 1927 adventure Blood Ship, one of Columbia Picture’s first box office hits, will also be shown.
The Academy Film Archive is a part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences’ Academy Foundation.
Long thought to be completely lost, the first three reels of the film, in the form of original, fragile nitrate prints, were presented to the Academy four years ago by a Lon Chaney fan who had been searching for the last two reels. Not many of the films that Chaney made during the Teens still exist in any form and Triumph is a rare example of the actor working in a straight dramatic role without the makeup that earned him the nickname of “The Man With A Thousand Faces.” A presentation based on the film’s screenplay and surviving still photos will show audiences how the film originally ended.
A majority of Blood Ship was discovered in the archives of the British Film Institute in 1997, following the discovery that Columbia didn’t have a print of the film in their vault. Unfortunately, the 35mm nitrate print was missing the film’s final reel. A complete version of the film in 16mm was discovered three years later in a collection at the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Although it was missing the closing credits, a blowup of the film’s final reel was made and added to the already restored rest of the film.
For more information on Thursday’s screening, see the Academy’s website.