Thursday, October 18, 2012

London After Midnight

Ever since I first saw an image of London After Midnight in the magazine Famous Monsters Of Filmland, I've been fascinated by this lost film.

Yes, it's lost. The last known copy was destroyed in an MGM vault fire in the 1960s. Lon Chaney starred as The Man In The Beaver Hat, which is pretty terrifying. I mean seriously, who wears a beaver hat? Beside the fact that Lon Chaney is dressed in formal wear, a cape, has deeply baggy, bloodshot eyes, and a mouth full of razor-sharp fangs; but he's wearing a top hat made out of a beaver pelt. I have questions. Where would you go to get one, and why would you want one? What do they do with the tail? Weren't the ordinary top hats available? Does beaver pelt have special vampiric qualities that only function if made into formal headwear? No one knows. I'm almost certain that The Wife Of The Man In The Beaver Hat said to him before he left to lurk and murder and be a vampire around London after midnight, "Are you really going to wear that thing?", and there was a big domestic dispute. Unfortunately, the film is lost and we don't get to see that.

However, there is a recreation of the film using stills on the Lon Chaney DVD box set. The camera zooms and pans across various still publicity photos, and it's awfully boring. However, barring someone finding a copy of this legendary lost film in a janitor's closet in some Scandinavian mental institution somewhere; it's as close as we'll ever get to seeing it.

Sorry, no clip because they don't exist.


  1. Any idea what TCM are showing on Wednesday, October 31st at 3:30am? Do they really have a copy of "London After Midnight" (1927) or is that crappy thing made up of stills?

  2. It's the crappy thing from stills. It was fabricated by TCM.