Here's some good news to report! A 16mm Exclusive Movie print of reel 1 of the first Our Gang film turned up sometime last year and made its way into the hands of a private collector. Unfortunately, it appeared to be damaged and covered in rust. It took some careful handling and professional cleaning and treatment before it was able to be viewed at all. Luckily, for the most part, it has been preserved, with the Exclusive title screen as the only major casualty. I had the pleasure of viewing it and compared to the footage that has been around for a while, there are several scenes that were new to me, including a funny stop motion sequence involving a goldfish. It is amazing how these films, once thought lost, can still turn up in this day and age. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this footage makes its way to the public sooner rather than later.
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