Mystery. Comedy. A murder in an old house where everyone is a suspect.
These are the building blocks of Secrets of the Night, a silent movie from 1924. For years, silent film enthusiasts thought the flick was lost, like more than 7,000 other films from the era. In fact, it was listed on the U.S. Library of Congress's list of lost films.
But then Richard Scott, a former Winnipegger now living in Mississauga, Ont., dug it — along with 14 other movies from the 1920s — out of his basement, where they sat almost perfectly preserved for the past 30 years.
That's the beginning of an article from CBC News - Manitoba. You can read the full article here.
Secrets of the Night wasn't a completely lost film. An incomplete version existed and was even available on DVD. But now the new version is complete. Can't wait to see it!
Here is a description of the film, and its various stars, from Oldies.com:
Robert Andrews is faced with jail after being framed for embezzlement by his former partner. To avoid imprisonment, he decides to fake his own murder during a party at his luxurious mansion. But when the guests start mysteriously dying one by one, Andrews realizes that there actually is a killer on the loose...one that may hold the key to proving his innocence...
A "Universal Jewel Production", Secrets of the Night is a spooky murder mystery that in many ways prefigures the horror films the studio would be making in a few short years. Leading man James Kirkwood began his career in D.W. Griffith pictures such as A Corner in Wheat (1909) and Home, Sweet Home (1914). Moving behind the camera, he became a favorite of Mary Pickford's, directing her in Cinderella (1914) and Fanchon the Cricket (1915). Despite this, he would continue acting well into the 1950s. His son, James Kirkwood, Jr., was the Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Chorus Line. Considered "the greatest dramatic actress" by Erich von Stroheim, ZaSu Pitts would star in the director's epic Greed (1924) after completing this film. Finding the transition to talkies difficult (her scenes in All Quiet on the Western Front in 1930 were deleted), Pitts developed a spinster persona that served her well in comedy roles for decades in everything from Life with Father (1947) to The Gale Storm Show (1956-1960). Madge Bellamy is best known for the Bela Lugosi horror picture White Zombie (1932). Big-budget films like Secrets of the Night were called "Universal Jewel Productions" in hopes of justifying higher ticket prices. This ploy actually proved to discourage audiences, and Carl Laemmle did away with the practice in 1929.
As regular readers of this blog already know, Herbert Blaché was married to Alice Guy from 1907 to 1922. He was a cameraman when they met in 1906. She taught him to direct.
Herbert did not make the transition to talkies. He made his last film in 1926 and died in 1953 in Santa Monica, CA.