A Blind Bargain
A reconstruction of the film
by Philip J. Riley. Magicimage Film Books.
Hardback. 193 pages. £26.50
review by Doug E. Dogg
This is Volume II in
the Ackerman Archive series published in 1988. I purchased this in January1995 in London
and is the only copy I have ever seen. The first book of the series is "London After
A Blind Bargain
(1922) is probably one of the most famous of Chaney's "lost" films next to London After Midnight. Sadly out of 150 films in
which Lon appeared only 29 are still in one piece with partial copies existing of a
further six, and only a few bits and pieces remain of another three.
This book is beautifully presented and is
a real pleasure to read. Jammed into its 193 pages are in depth reviews of lost and
available Lon Chaney films including a full reconstruction of A Blind Bargain using 300 original silver nitrate photographs borrowed
from archives around the world along with all the dialogue screen inserts. Director
Wallace Worsley has provided a few personal stills for reproduction.
However, this is not all, the reader is also treated to a production background of the
film, a detailed scene guide, a fascinating reproduction of the original press book and
rare pictures taken of Lon Chaney throughout his career. Also included are the memories of
Patsy Ruth Miller who starred with Chaney in 1923's The
Hunchback of Notre Dame and a complete Goldwyn production list from 1918-1923 before
their merger with Metro.
If Lon Chaney Senior is one of your
personal favourites, then under no circumstances, should you ever find it, leave this one
on the shop bookshelf. Buy it, take it home and enjoy it!
I have seen a few titles from the Magicimage series
including "Dracula", "The Bride of
Frankenstein", "The Wolfman" and "House
of Frankenstein" at Forbidden Planet in London's Oxford Street and also at
the Cinema Bookshop in Great Russell Street, but the availability of the film
reconstruction series appears to be nigh on impossible. After contacting Magicimage Film
Books in America, I was advised that hardback copies of "London After
Midnight" are still available for $50 ppd.
For further information contact Magicimage, 740 South, 6th. Avenue, Absecon, New Jersey
Since this article was written, the ensuing technology has
provided us with Magicimage's website which I am pleased to say gives details of their
publications including "A Blind Bargain" amongst their many
Just click on their logo opposite.
Available in the US click