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Distributed for University of Wales Press

David Lloyd George

The Movie Mystery

This is the incredible story of a silent film, made in 1918, but not screened in public until 1996. The central figure in this drama (on and off screen) is the charismatic prime minister, David Lloyd George. Completed in the last months of the First World War, The Life Story of David Lloyd George was suddenly and mysteriously withdrawn before its first trade screening; solicitors, presumably acting for the government or for the Liberal party, paid £20,000 to remove the film from offices of Ideal, the film’s production company. It was long thought that all copies had been lost or destroyed, and then in 1994 the complete negative was found amongst material supplied by Viscount Tenby (Lloyd George’s grandson) for examination by the Wales Film and Television Archive.

The first section of the book focuses on the reasons behind the film’s suppression, while the second section concentrates on the painstaking and fascinating process of restoration. The concluding section discusses the feature as a film per se and assesses its contribution to the history of British cinema. The text is well illustrated and includes many frame enlargements from the film.

210 pages | 23 halftones | 8 1/10 x 6 | © 1998

Film Studies

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
The Editors and Contributors
Foreword, by Lord Tenby
Introduction, by David Berry
Part I:  A Mysterious History
1  The Memoir of Harry Rowson: David Lloyd George, MP - The Man who Saved the Empire (1918)
      Sarah Street
The Man who Saved the Empire - Postscript
      Sarah Street
3  Speculating on the Projections of History
     John Grigg
4  Fighting the Hun: Lloyd George and British Propaganda Movies, 1914-1918
     David Berry
Part II:  Rediscovery and Restoration
5  Uncanning the Uncanny
     Gwenan Owen with John Reed
6  Lots of Notes: A Personal Memory
     John Hardy
7  An Audience with Lloyd George
     Neil Brand
Part III:  Screening Lloyd George
8  Lloyd George on the Newsreels
     Nicholas Hiley
9  Writing History with Lightning
     Peter Stead
10 A Film of Thought
     John O. Thompson
11 Lloyd-Janus: Looking Backward and Forward at Film History
     Roberta E. Pearson
Conclusion: A Truly International Discovery
Kevin Brownlow
A  Maurice Elvey on The Life Story of David Lloyd George
The Life Story of David Lloyd George: Credits, Notes on Players and Studio, Film Synopsis
C  Diaries, 1918-1919 and 1994-1996
D  The Chief Players

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