Lost Betty Balfour Film Rediscovered in Holland

Whether you are a diehard silent film fan or a starting out novice,some really cool news have popped up online, giving us new insights into long-thought-lost film starring the wonderful Betty Balfour, the most popular actress of the 1920s in England, and also known as the English Mary Pickford.

The rediscovery of George Pearson’s Love, Life and Laughter (1923), starring Balfou, Britain’s “Queen of Happiness” has been made by the EYE Film Institute.

The cans were already since November 2012 at Eye (the the Dutch Film Museum) in the closet. A journalist from Hattem then gifted them to the museum. He saved the film from the old local cinema Theatre De Vries (in the small town of Hattem, near Zwolle), because that would be demolished. Which film was in the cans, the journalist did not know. He hoped for images from before World War II and brought them to Eye.

Betty Balfour was best known for her Squibs series of films, also directed by Pearson through the 1920s. She stars in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1928 silent comedy Champagne as a ditsy heiress and she played a supporting role to Jessie Matthews in Evergreen 1934 and also appeared with John Mills in Forever England 1935.

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Love, Life and Laughter — considered by audiences to be one of the best British silent films — is the story of Tip-Toes (Balfour), a chorus girl in a garret who befriends a lonely young boy who dreams of being a writer, while she dreams of being a music-hall star. They agree to meet at midnight in two years’ time in their slum tenement to see which of their dreams has come true.