The hunt for a cult film that was lost 50 years ago

Apart from the poster, the only material that proves the existence of London after midnight are Chaney’s screenplay and movie stills in makeup and a top hat.

“It’s become infamous in its own right for those eye-catching images,” Murphy said.

“Many films were lost in that fire. The people who would remember seeing it London after midnight also start to die. It just evolved into this groundbreaking horror story because it’s one of the first vampire movies.”

Een filmposter voor <i>London After Midnight.” loading=”lazy” src=”$width_375/t_resize_width/q_86%2Cf_auto/3b92d2e3009a1d85fc39b868b3982c235454e086″ height=”211″ width=”375″ srcset=”https ://$width_375/t_resize_width/q_86%2Cf_auto/3b92d2e3009a1d85fc39b868b3982c235454e086,$width_750/t_resize_390982b86″</picture></div><figcaption class=

A movie poster for London after midnight.

Australia has proven to be a place where lost movies turn up. In 2009 the only extant print of the first talking movie in all colors mambamade in 1930, it was found in Adelaide by film historian Paul Brennan.

The film was owned by an 80-year-old woman and her 85-year-old husband, who used to work as a traveling film showman in the slums of Australia.

Film collector Mike Trickett said many films have been found under similar circumstances in Australia and New Zealand.

“We were then seen as the end of the world. Everything came by ship and they didn’t bother to return it,” he said.

“A lot of people who worked at the film fairs at the time were enthusiastic. Fortunately, while they were generally told to destroy the film, occasionally some prints came out.”

Even if London after midnight shows up in someone’s shed, it remains to be seen whether the film will be of sufficient quality to watch.

At the time, movies were shot on nitrate film, a highly volatile material that was the cause of multiple movie theater fires. It disintegrates if not stored in suitable conditions.


Murphy has been working on his own self-financed documentary about the end of the film projection era, as films enter the digital age. It features interviews with figures such as Quentin Tarantino.

When it’s finished, he hopes to tell the story of finding the only copy of London after midnight somewhere in Australia.

“The movie world would explode,” he said. †mamba caused a big problem because it was so rare and it’s such an important movie, but nobody really knew what it was.

“This film has leaked into popular culture. There are many regular moviegoers who know this movie just because they can’t see it.

“If it has to be somewhere, it’s here.”

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