1913 Lincoln film found in U.S. barn

09:37, April 14, 2010      

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A rare 1913 silent film about former U.S. president Abraham Lincoln was found in an old barn of New Hampshire, U.S, according to reports of AP Wednesday.

This 30-minute film named "When Lincoln Paid," which narrates a story about the mother of a dead Union soldier asking Lincoln to pardon a Confederate soldier and stars the brother of John Ford, director of "The Grapes of Wrath," "The Quiet Man," and other classics.

"I was up in the attic space, and shoved away over in a corner was the film and a silent movie projector, as well," Peter Massie, a movie buff, said of his discovery in the western New Hampshire town of Nelson. "I thought it was really cool."

Massie found this nitrate film in the summer of 2006, and kept it for a while in his basement. Then he contacted with Keene State College, where film professor Larry Benaquist thought it was a precious find.

Benaquist said the images themselves were well preserved, likely because they endured decades of New England winters in the barn, which also was well sheltered by trees. Nitrate film, which was phased out in Hollywood in the 1950s, is highly flammable and less durable.

After investigation, the researcher confirmed that the new-found movie did not exist in film archives. Actually, it is one of eight silent films starring Ford as Lincoln; there are no known surviving copies of the others.

"The vast majority of silent films, particularly from the early period — the first decade of the 20th century — are gone," said Caroline Frick Page, curator of motion pictures at George Eastman House. "That's what makes these stories so incredibly special."

Source: Xinhua/Agenices

(Editor:王寒露)

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