Lost British film classic found in Amsterdam

Lost British film classic found in Amsterdam

THE HAGUE - Agence France-Presse
Lost British film classic found in Amsterdam

Actress Betty Balfour as chorus girl Tip-toes is seen in ‘Love, Life and Laughter,’ found in Amsterdam.

One of Britain’s “most-wanted” lost films from the 1920s has turned up in a collection of old canisters rescued from a rural Dutch cinema, Amsterdam’s EYE Film Institute said on April 2.

“The long-lost British masterpiece called ‘Love, Life and Laughter’ [1923] featuring actress Betty Balfour was discovered in the EYE’s collection last Friday,” spokesman Marnix van Wijk said.

Shot by famed director George Pearson, the film was listed as “missing” by the British Film Institute and featured on a list of 75 movies the BFI said “was not in our vaults” but “which we would love to find.”      
The silent classic features a youthful Balfour, by far the most popular British screen actress of the time, playing the role of “Tip-Toes”, who dreams of dance-hall fame and befriends a young aspiring writer played by Harry Jonas. The pair agree to meet each other in two years to see if their dreams came true.

This particular copy was shown in a cinema in Hattem near the central Dutch city of Zwolle between 1929-32, the EYE said. The cinema closed down and the canisters were in storage at a local television station.

In 2012 a Dutch journalist brought them to the EYE in the Dutch capital. “It took a while for us to open the canisters to see what’s inside,” Van Wijk told AFP.

“One of our people on Friday got to it, watched the film and saw the title. He went online and then realized ‘Hey, this is a really exceptional discovery’,” he said.