CineSavant Column

Tuesday October 25, 2022



This first link was circulated by Jeff Joseph of Sabucat fame, the master film collector who co-wrote the book A Thousand Cuts: The Bizarre Underground World of Collectors and Dealers Who Saved the Movies. It’s a short film from 1935 . . . I think someone will have to explain it to me.

The 2.5 minute short subject appears to be a teaser-trailer for — I’m not sure what it’s for — starring Buster Crabbe and the Walter Lantz cartoonists identified as ‘Ben and Jerry.’ The official title as given is Oswald Rabbit Meets Flash Gordon.

Is it a stab at a promo for the Flash Gordon serial, or some kid of tie-in for Walter Lantz’s animation department?  Forgive me if the answer is self-evident and I missed it.



We received a lot of positive feedback in answer to an item in the last CineSavant Column, about Lon Chaney’s silent classic The Unknown being re-premiered in Italy at a longer, reportedly uncut duration.

We have some follow-up information thanks to the kindness of correspondent Lee Tsiantis, who wrote:

Hi Glenn —
I attended the Pordenone Silent Film Festival that ended on October 8. On the festival’s opening night I saw the longer print of The Unknown. This program note, by Peter Bagrov & Anthony L’Abbate of the George Eastman Museum, sheds some light on the additional material in the film:

THE UNKNOWN (Lo sconosciuto)

The missing material is apparently not entire sequences, but a myriad of shots deemed ‘redundant’: “… all the recurrent close-ups, all the little gestures of no particular expedience, all the reaction shots that seemingly distract from the main storyline…” Bagrov and L’Abbate describe the new cut as a psychological study in the guise of a horror film.

Also, at the latest Nitrateville podcast moderated by Michael Gebert, the Museum staffers discuss the interesting provenance of the longer print — as well as what’s different about it:

Ep. 91: Pordenone 2022 Festival Report – Restoring the Unknown

Our thanks to Lee . . . again, the chance of this restored The Unknown becoming a future disc release is at the moment only theoretical.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson