New Battle of the Century aleady shown!
The premiere of the new, partially restored L&H film, "The Battle of the Century" was shown at a film festival during the first weekend of September. It was shown at the Telluride Film Festival, held in the mountain village of Telluride, Colorado. This festival takes place at this location every Labor Day weekend.
Famed movie critic and author, Leonard Maltin reports:
"This summer, film collector Jon Mirsalis discovered the complete Reel Two among the titles he purchased from the Gordon Berkow estate—including prints he acquired from the collection of The Golden Age of Comedy’s producer, Robert Youngson. It seems Youngson struck at 16mm print for himself while he had access to the 35mm negative in the 1950s.
There is still some missing footage from the end of Reel One in which Eugene Pallette sells Oliver Hardy accident insurance on his pal Stan Laurel (see photo). Years ago, Blackhawk Films covered this gap with a pair of stills and two title cards when they released the incomplete film on 16mm.
Reel Two, however, is intact—and was well worth waiting a lifetime to see. Youngson chose the shots he liked best for his compilation feature and did a seamless job of editing, but the complete pie fight is longer and funnier. What a glorious comedy this is. (It’s also notable for its credentials—including supervisor Leo McCarey and cameraman George Stevens, both of whom went on to stellar filmmaking careers—and the incidental presence of a young Lou Costello in the front row of spectators at Stan Laurel’s prizefight.)"
I do find it stunning that this world premiere took place without most Sons knowing it was going to happen. I’m sure, in due time, we’ll all get a chance to see it.