Huck Finn the First
George Eastman House has announced completion of its restoration of Huckleberry Finn (William Desmond Taylor, 1920), the first feature-length film adaptation of Mark Twain’s most popular novel.
As the Eastman House’s website and trailer of the restored film explains, the film hasn’t been exhibited since its initial release.
The restoration was made from a nitrate print that the Danish Film Archive gave to the Eastman House in 1962. A preservation acetate duplicate negative and acetate print were made in 1980, still with Danish-language titles. In 2007, the National Film Preservation Foundation awarded a grant to the Motion Picture Department at George Eastman House for the restoration of English titles to the film, and to strike new color-tinted prints that would match the nitrate original.
Eastman used Twain’s novel for much of the dialog for its new intertitles.
Daryl Fleming & the Public Domain added a new score. Colorlab in Rockville MD made the new restoration negative and prints.
The film is available for rental and it’s even possible to book Fleming’s band for a live performance of the film score from email@example.com.
And, if you can get to western New York on June 24 2011, you can see the restored film, with live score at the George Eastman House, with introduction by Paolo Cherchi Usai. Afterwards, members of the Eastman House team that restored the film and the composer of the new score will discuss their work.