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Home Blog Latest Early Ford Film Found in New Zealand
Early Ford Film Found in New Zealand Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Tuesday, 08 June 2010 11:19

Only about 20% of Hollywood's early movies have survived over the years thanks to neglect, ageing and incredibly flammable film stock. But a collection of 75 films have been found in New Zealand, containing a newly identified John Ford film, 1927's silent movie, Upstream.

Made by Ford towards the end of silent movies, when he was learning from other greats around him, it's one of many he made which have since become lost - about 10 made it out of approximately 60 movies.

The archive, thought to have survived due to the distribution at the time (i.e. New Zealand cinemas kept back prints of some of the films sent out from America), also contained 1910's The Sergeant (which uses Yosemite as a lcation before it became a national park) and strong female-led films starring Clara Bow and Mabel Normand.

Upstream's nitrate stock has suffered damaged slightly at the start of the film, which made it hard to identify before now from its opening credits. Another lost film from Ford is hinted at, too, with a trailer for 1929's Strong Boy also uncovered. The archive has been taken in by San Francisco's National Film Preservation Foundation, under the direction of Annette Melville. Upstream will premiere later this year.