Lost Alfred Hitchcock film found in New Zealand

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In a twist the Master of Suspense himself would have been proud of Alfred Hitchcock's earliest surviving movie has been found languishing in a vault in New Zealand.  

All copies of The White Shadow, a silent feature film released by Hollywood in 1924, had been thought lost to posterity, and cinema historians have described the discovery as "priceless".

Three dusty reels containing the first half of the film – about 30 minutes of footage – had been stored deep in the bowels of the New Zealand Film Archive, where the search is continuing for the other three reels.

The acclaimed director was 24 when he worked on what was billed as a "wild, atmospheric melodrama" starring actress Betty Compson as twin sisters, one angelic and the other "without a soul". He was credited as assistant director and also wrote the scenario, designed the sets and edited the footage.

At the time silent Hollywood films were distributed worldwide and, while many prints were discarded and lost in the US, others survived abroad where they were kept after runs in cinemas had finished....  

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