If youre fond of classic scary flicks, you have probably heard about London After Midnight. Most likely, you havent seen the original version, a silent horror film done in 1927. The movie which was directed by Tom Browning, starred Lon Chaney, Conrad Nagel, Polly Moran, Henry B. Walthall, and Marceline Day.
London After Midnight setting was contemporary at the time of production which means London during the 1920s. It did well in the box office by grossing close to $500,000. This Browning and Chaney film was their biggest collaborative film.
Even though its popularity extended over the years, people of later generations are unable to watch London After Midnight. The last known copy of the film was kept in Vault #7 of MGM. However, a fire in the 1960s broke out and destroyed a lot of silent-era films, including London After Midnight. Although many people claim that another copy exists in Canada as part of someones collection, no copy was ever brought forward.
There was a remake of London After Midnight in 1935 done by Browning. Named Mark of the Vampire, it provided people of what they would have seen had London After Midnight survived the fire.
Turner Classic movie in 2002 had Rick Schmidlin produce a remake of London After Midnight. It was really a reconstruction project of the 1927 version, similar to Schmidlins Intolerance and Greed projects. The outcome was released in Halloween of 2003 and marked the original films 75th anniversary.
Since no footage survived, all Schmidlin had were 200 stills and the movies original script. The stills were blown up and were made to move around dramatically. Robert Israel provided the score and the action, as well as the films dialogue were all relayed via inter-title cards.
Since the remake was somehow found to be a disappointment, people had the belief that the original film wasnt so good either. Despite criticisms on the remake, it was still well accepted by most horror buffs, and Schmidlins efforts were even recognized by his Rondo Award.
People said the Mark of the Vampire, Brownings remake of his original London After Midnight may not exactly be an inferior version. The original movie, London After Midnight may have just been overrated. Due to the remakes improved technical capabilities and budget, it should well be the better version. But whether that is true or not, only those who have seen the two versions have the right to say so.