1928-1929: Year Two

As far as guilt goes, I have no reason to fear 1928-29. I’ve seen every available movie, and I didn’t omit any category, as they had dropped the previous ones I omitted in the first year.

So why are you here, reading this instead of doing what your teacher or boss told you to do?

Because I’d like to talk to you about the lost Ernst Lubitsch film, The Patriot. Despite the presence of that committed Nazi Emil Jannings, The Patriot is a major loss because of the brilliance of director Lubitsch, who in the sound era would put together some of the most daring, naughty movies ever made: Design for Living, Trouble in Paradise, Ninotchka, To Be Or Not to Be, among others. A biography of Emperor Paul I of Russia, The Patriot remains only in a few minor shreds. The trailer survives:

Little else does. What makes The Patriot unique for the Oscars is that it is the only Best Picture nominee to no longer exist. All we have to go on is the ephemera of images and contemporary reviews, as in this one by Mordaunt Hall in the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=990CE0D61431E33ABC4052DFBE668383639EDE.

Lost films are being found all the time, so one can hope yet. Although I’d choose seeing the lost Lon Chaney London After Midnight first, I’d be thrilled to get a chance to see The Patriot.

So that’s all folks, until next time. I’m glad my hands and conscience were clean for this year — but don’t worry. I’ve got plenty of neglect to make up for soon enough.

As a final bonus, here are two posters (then you can get back to work…or find something else to help you avoid your responsibilities!):

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