The Art of Darkness

London After Midnight Reconstructed

August 26th, 2013 by Cobwebs

London After MidnightLondon After Midnight was a famous 1927 silent film staring Lon Chaney. Based on the short story “The Hypnotist” by Tod Browning, who also directed the film (and also directed the 1931 version of Dracula and the horrifying 1932 cult classic Freaks), the last known copy of the film was destroyed in an MGM fire in 1967.

The film is one of the most sought-after “lost movies.” In 2002, Turner Classic Movies aired a reconstructed version using the original script and film stills. Barring an unexpected discovery in somebody’s aunt’s attic, this is probably the closest we’ll get to the experience moviegoers in 1927 enjoyed.

I recall reading about Chaney’s self-applied makeup for the film. He used wires to give him pop eyes, and they caused him injuries which plagued him the rest of his life. He was definitely a “suffering for his craft” kind of guy.

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