About 90% of the movies made before 1929 are lost forever

About 90% of the movies made before 1929 are lost forever

Recognizing the importance of film preservation is a relatively recent phenomenon in Hollywood. Early motion picture film was especially prone to destruction by fire thanks to its nitrate base. And early films that haven't yet been destroyed by fire can deteriorate in any number of other ways. In fact, it's estimated that over 90 percent of all movies made before 1929 are probably lost forever.

From The Film Foundation, a preservation organization:

Half of all American films made before 1950 and over 90% of films made before 1929 are lost forever. The Film Foundation supports "hands-on" preservation and restoration to ensure that these films - these works of art, historical records, and essential representations of our culture - will survive for future generations.

Below we have a collection of movie posters from Hollywood's lost Golden Age.

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Image: French actress Renee Adoree and MGM cameraman John Arnold circa 1925 via Getty Images
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Pending approvalOriginal post by Leslie Horn on Gizmodo

13 Enchanting Posters From Hollywood's Lost Years

13 Enchanting Posters From Hollywood's Lost Years

Most of the movies made before sound hit the big screen will never be seen by our eyes. According to Martin Scoresese's Film Foundation, half of the films made pre-1950—and more than 90 percent of those made before 1929—are lost forever. And while not all of them are lost, you'll probably never see the films that remain, since they're rarely screened. Their posters remain as last relics of Hollywood's beginnings.

Often, these glittering adverts are just as much art as the forgotten films themselves. These are some of our favorites:


Bungalow Boobs, 1924

13 Enchanting Posters From Hollywood's Lost Years

Image credit: LAPL


Cabaret, 1927

13 Enchanting Posters From Hollywood's Lost Years

Image credit: LAPL


Doctor X, 1932, is actually not lost. It was preserved in 1978 and done up in technicolor when a print was discovered in Jack Warner's personal collection.

13 Enchanting Posters From Hollywood's Lost Years

Image credit: LAPL


1928's Red Hair is lost, save for a color sequence preserved at UCLA's Film and Television archive.

13 Enchanting Posters From Hollywood's Lost Years

Image credit: MoviePosterShop


The Impossible Mrs. Bellew, 1922

13 Enchanting Posters From Hollywood's Lost Years

Image credit: MoviePosterShop


Only one reel of 1923's Flaming Youth survives. It's kept at the Library of Congress.

13 Enchanting Posters From Hollywood's Lost Years

Image credit: Flickr


All that remains of 1926's The American Venus are two trailers and two clips, housed at the Library of Congress.

13 Enchanting Posters From Hollywood's Lost Years

Image credit: Benny-Drinnon


The Sea Hawk, 1924 (not lost)

13 Enchanting Posters From Hollywood's Lost Years

Image credit: Wikipedia


In the Palace of the King, 1923

13 Enchanting Posters From Hollywood's Lost Years

Image credit: Wikipedia


Hollywood, 1923

13 Enchanting Posters From Hollywood's Lost Years

Image credit: Wikipedia


There is no known copy of Tip Toes (1927) in existence today.

13 Enchanting Posters From Hollywood's Lost Years

Image credit: eBay


Tenderloin, 1928

13 Enchanting Posters From Hollywood's Lost Years

Image credit: FilmPosters.com


Any good posters we missed? Show us below.

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