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Saturday, September 24, 2011

From garden shed to Hollywood

Lost Hitchcock classic found

This week, the earliest known Hitchcock-directed film will be screened in Los Angeles – thanks to a film collector in New Zealand.

The only known print of the 1923 film “The White Shadow” lay stowed in a garden shed in the North Island town of Hastings for several decades, along with hundred of other films from the silent movie era.

It was part of the collection of Jack Murtagh, a cinema projectionist who liked to hoard copies of the films that ran through his spools. Murtagh died in 1989, leaving a rich legacy for film buffs. His collection, which includes newsreels and short features, have been bequeathed to the New Zealand Film Archive.

Now Hollywood is benefiting, too.

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