Lost and Found: Orson Welles' Too Much Johnson
Orson Welles' film Too Much Johnson was made in 1938 and has been believed to be lost until recently. Now, Variety reports that employees of the Pordenone Arthouse Cinemazero found it in an Italian warehouse and that the George Eastman House, one of the world's oldest museum of photo and film history, restores it.
It was believed that the only known copy of the movie was destroyed in a fire in Welles' Madrid house in 1970 but the now found material is a workprint that was made by Welles nearly 75 years ago.
The silent movie was initially done for Welles' Mercury theatre adaptation of the piece with the same title written by William Gillette and was supposed to be presented in three segments with music and live sound effects before each act. However, the project was never finished due to financial and license reasons. The three slapstick episodes featured actors such as Joseph Cotten, Eustace Wyatt, Edgar Barrier, Ruth Ford, Arlene Francis, Mary Wickes, Welles and his wife Virginia Nicholson.
The film will have its premiere at the silent movie festival "Le Giornate del Cinema Muto" in Pordenone, Italy, on October 9th, 2013. A week later, on October 16th, the US premiere follows in the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York.