|Left: Lon Chaney Sr. in one-half of his greatest role, as the dapper vampire with wild hair and razor-sharp teeth who has occupied the London mansion of the supposed suicide Roger Balfour together with his bevy of female companions.
This was Chaney's only vampire role, despite longstanding (but unfounded) rumors that he was set to play Dracula in Browning's 1931 film version before cancer ended his career. (Ironically, however, the star of Dracula-- Bela Lugosi-- did get to play this vampire, in Browning's 1935 talkie remake Mark of the Vampire.)
|Left: Chaney in the other half of his role, as the Scotland Yard detective whose unorthodox methods will solve the mystery of Roger Balfour's death (Chaney is at far right, with co-stars Conrad Nagel, Polly Moran and Henry B. Walthall).|
|What if, in fact, "London After Midnight" was not only not lost, but had in fact been fairly widely available at several points in recent history? What if there were not merely one collector with a contraband copy of the film, but several, who had varied in their willingness to share it with the rest of the world?
It may be hard to believe after all you've heard. But here on the next several pages is the proof that the most famous of lost films is nothing of the sort-- in fact, as the next page will show, that it could have been yours not long ago, for just $41.98.