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9 Oscar Nominated Films We've Lost

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Although you’d be tempted to believe that all the films that have ever been nominated for Oscars—especially the ones that actually walked away with a little gold man—have been cherished, cared for, looked after, and tucked away for fans to enjoy for many years to come, you’d be wrong. Sadly enough, plenty of films are considered “lost,” and not in the “someone misplaced them somewhere but they’re probably okay” way, but more like “don't exist anywhere.”

The numbers on lost films are shocking—it’s believed that the majority of American silent films have been lost, and when it comes to the early years of sound films (from 1927 to 1950), it’s estimated that about half are lost (the use of 35mm “safety film” after 1950 has helped curb losses in a big way). Although campaigns remain in place to quite literally find and restore those lost films, it’s still slow going—and it’s no surprise that the Academy Film Archive is also in on the hunt with its “Oscar’s Most Wanted” search, because a few of its own honorees are currently still missing. 

1. Song of the Flame (1930)

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This Alan Crosland-directed musical drama hit the screen as an adaptation of the Oscar Hammerstein II and Otto A. Harbach Broadway operetta of the same name. The film was quite notably photographed entirely in Technicolor and was the very first color film to include a widescreen sequence, thanks to the Warner Bros. process known as “Vitascope.”

Clearly cutting-edge visually, the film was also a bit of a marvel in the sound department, and was nominated for a Best Sound Recording Oscar for the 3rd Academy Awards. The film is considered lost, but sound discs for five of its nine reels still exist (thanks to another Warner Bros. process, “Vitaphone,” which recorded the film’s soundtrack separately).

2. The Case of Sergeant Grischa (1930)

Basement Rejects 

It seems like 1930 might not have been a good year for the Best Sound Recording nominees, because yet another one of those Oscar hopefuls is also considered lost. No prints of the Herbert Brenon-directed drama (based on the German novel of the same name) are believed to exist, which may be a good thing—historical reviews of the film were not kind.

3. The Broadway Melody (1929)

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The first of a string of other MGM Broadway Melody films (three not-quite-sequels hit screens in 1936, 1938, and 1940 with similar plotlines), the 1929 Harry Beaumont musical—the studio's first—was a huge hit. The film wasn’t just commercially profitable, it was also the first sound film to win Best Picture (it also received nominations for Best Director and Best Actress).

Although the entire film has not been lost, a massive piece of it has—the production was one of the first to use a Technicolor sequence that helped spawn the trend in other musicals of the time. Said color sequence is presumed lost, and only a black and white version has survived.

4. The Private Life of Helen of Troy (1927)

Mostly Paper Dolls 

This Alexander Korda silent film has a few distinctions under its toga—it was nominated for an Academy Award in 1929 (the very first year of the Oscars) for an award that was given out just once. As the Oscars came into being during the transition between silent films and talkies, one particular award that only applied to silent films made its way into the first ceremony: Best Title Writing. The Private Life of Helen of Troy was nominated in the category, which honored those responsible for the intertitles that explained action between scenes. While writer Gerald Duffy didn’t win and died before the ceremony took place, he was the very first person to be posthumously nominated for an Oscar.

The entire film is not lost, but a large chunk of the middle is missing. As of now, the British Film Institute has managed to preserve two sections of the film (from its beginning and end) that run about half an hour long.

5. The Way of All Flesh (1927)

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A number of Victor Fleming’s silent films have been lost over the years, but his The Way of All Flesh has its own special distinction that sets it apart from the pack, even if it’s for a particularly sad reason.

Emil Jannings won the Best Actor award for his dramatic portrayal of a duped (and occasionally drunk) bank teller who falls very far from grace as the film winds on. Jannings’ win is notable for a number of reasons—he was the very first actor to win the accolade at the first ceremony and it was given to Jannings for two roles, not just one (he also received the award for his work in The Last Command)—but it’s also the only Academy Award-winning performance with no known copies (or even sections) available.

6. A Star is Born (1954)

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The Judy Garland-starring George Cukor classic notoriously had enough behind-the-scenes drama to satisfy even the most fiendish film trivia fan, but underneath all of its many personal dramas there was a far more technical snafu—the loss of many minutes of footage. Despite plenty of production trouble (including a switch from filming in WarnerScope to filming in CinemaScope after two entire weeks of production), the film’s first previews were a huge success. Which makes it all the more strange that Cukor chopped 15 minutes from the film before its premiere, including a bit from the “Born in the Trunk” sequence and plenty of non-musical drama.

While the musical segment has been restored and is included in recent home releases of the film, the other footage (including a number of scenes focused on James Mason’s Norman Maine character) is considered lost in its original form, despite many restoration efforts (the 1983 restoration of the film came with a “reconstructed” version of some scenes, using production stills and soundtrack).

The film was nominated for a slew of Oscars in 1954, including Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Original Song, and Best Original Score, though it did not walk away with any Oscars.

7. The Patriot (1928)

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Our friend Emil Jannings can’t seem to catch a break. This Ernst Lubitsch-directed semi-biographical tale of Czar Paul I starred Jannings as the mad czar, but like his other big lost film, The Way of All Flesh, no complete copies remain.

In fact, The Patriot is the only film nominated for Best Picture that does not have a complete surviving copy. While the film didn’t ultimately win at the 2nd Academy Awards, it was the only silent film nominated that year (it wasn’t until 2012 that another silent film was even nominated for the accolade, when The Artist took home the statuette). The film did win that year—pulling in the Oscar for Best Writing Achievement—to go alongside its other nominations for Best Actor, Best Art Direction, and Best Director.

As of now, the film’s trailer is preserved by the UCLA Film and Television Archive, and one reel of the film has been found and preserved by the Cinemateca Portuguesa.

8. Chase of Death (1949)

This nominee for the Best Short Subject, Two-reel Oscar (from 1936 until 1956, the Oscars differentiated between short films with “Two-reel” and “One-reel” sections; the award is now known as “Best Live Action Short Film”) is considered lost. The Academy Film Archive currently has a case file open for the film, and is actively looking for it.

9. The Kiss (1958)

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Another short, this 19-minute John Hayes film was nominated for Live Action Short back in 1958, but ultimately lost out to Disney’s Grand Canyon. The film marked a strong beginning for Hayes, who went on to direct a number of B-movie genre pictures, such as Walk the Angry Beach and Garden of the Dead. The Academy Film Archive is also actively searching for copies of the film.

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Live Smarter
5 Tips for Becoming A Morning Person
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You’ve probably heard the term circadian rhythm. Your circadian rhythm is an internal clock that influences your daily routine: when to eat, when to sleep, and when to wake up. Our biological clocks are, to some extent, controlled by genetics. This means that some people are natural morning people while others are night owls by design. However, researchers say the majority of us fall somewhere in the middle, which is good news if you want to train yourself to wake up earlier.

In addition to squeezing more hours out of the day, there are plenty of other good reasons to resist hitting the snooze button, including increased productivity. One survey found that more than half of Americans say they feel at their best between 5 a.m. and noon. These findings support research from biologist Christopher Randler, who determined that earlier risers are happier and more proactive about goals, too.

If you love the idea of waking up early to get more done, but you just can't seem to will yourself from out under the covers, here are five effective tips that might help you roll out of bed earlier.


If you’re a die-hard night owl, chances are you’re not going to switch to a morning lark overnight. Old habits are hard to break, but they’re less challenging if you approach them realistically.

“Wake up early in increments,” Kelsey Torgerson, a licensed clinical social worker at Compassionate Counseling in St. Louis suggests. “If you normally wake up at 9:00 a.m., set the alarm to 8:30 a.m. for a week, then 8:00 a.m., then 7:30 a.m.”

Waking up three hours earlier can feel like a complete lifestyle change, but taking it 30 minutes at a time will make it a lot easier to actually stick to the plan. Gradually, you’ll become a true morning person, just don’t try to force it to happen overnight.


Your body releases endorphins when you exercise, so jumping on the treadmill or taking a run around the block is a great way to start the day on a high note. Also, according to the National Sleep Foundation, exercising early in the morning can mean you get a better overall sleep at night:

“In fact, people who work out on a treadmill at 7:00 a.m. sleep longer, experience deeper sleep cycles, and spend 75 percent more time in the most reparative stages of slumber than those who exercise at later times that day.”

If you don’t have much time in the morning, an afternoon workout is your second best bet. The Sleep Foundation says aerobic afternoon workouts can help you fall asleep faster and wake up less often throughout the night. “This may be because exercise raises your body’s temperature for about four to five hours,” they report. After that, your body’s core temperature decreases, which encourages it to switch into sleep mode.


Whether it’s a noisy street or a bright streetlight, your bedroom environment might be making it difficult for you to sleep throughout the night, which can make waking up early challenging, as you haven’t had enough rest. There are, however, a few changes you can make to optimize your room for a good night’s sleep.

“Keep your bedroom neat and tidy,” Dr. Nancy Irwin, a Los Angeles-based doctor of psychology on staff as an expert in sleep hygiene at Seasons Recovery Centers in Malibu, suggests. “Waking up to clutter and chaos only makes it more tempting to crawl back in bed.”

Depending on what needs to be improved, you might consider investing in some slumber-friendly items that can help you sleep through the night, including foam earplugs (make sure to use a vibrating alarm), black-out drapes, light-blocking window decals, and a cooling pillow

Another simple option? Ditch the obnoxious sound of a loud, buzzing alarm.

“One great way to adapt to rising earlier is to have an alarm that is a pleasing sound to you versus an annoying one,” Dr. Irwin says. “There are many choices now, whether on your smartphone or in a radio or a freestanding apparatus.”


Getting up early starts the night before, and there are a few things you should do before hitting the sack at night.

“Set an alarm to fall asleep,” Torgerson says. “Having a set bedtime helps you stay responsible to yourself, instead of letting yourself get caught up in a book or Netflix and avoid going to sleep.”

Torgerson adds that practicing yoga or meditation before bed can help relax your mind and body, too. This way, your mind isn’t bouncing from thought to thought in a flurry before you go to bed. If you find yourself feeling anxious before bed, it might help to write in a journal. This way, you can get these nagging thoughts out of your head and onto paper.

Focus on relaxing at night and stay away from not just exercise, but mentally stimulating activities, too. If watching the news gets your blood boiling, for example, you probably want to turn it off an hour or so before bedtime.


Light has a immense effect on your circadian rhythm—whether it’s the blue light from your phone as you scroll through Instagram, or the bright sunlight of being outdoors on your lunch break. In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, scientists compared the sleep quality of 27 subjects who worked in windowless environments with 22 subjects who were exposed to significantly more natural light during the day.

“Workers in windowless environments reported poorer scores than their counterparts on two SF-36 dimensions—role limitation due to physical problems and vitality—as well as poorer overall sleep quality," the study concluded. "Compared to the group without windows, workers with windows at the workplace had more light exposure during the workweek, a trend toward more physical activity, and longer sleep duration as measured by actigraphy.”

Thus, exposing yourself to bright light during the day may actually help you sleep better at night, which will go a long way toward helping you wake up refreshed in the morning.

Conversely, too much blue light can actually disturb your sleep schedule at night. This means you probably want to limit your screen time as your bedtime looms closer.

Finally, once you do get into the habit of waking up earlier, stick to that schedule on the weekends as much as possible. The urge to sleep in is strong, but as Torgerson says, “you won't want your body and brain to reacclimate to sleeping in and snoozing.”

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8 Defining Facts About Jane Goodall
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Jane Goodall was still a young woman when her research changed the course of scientific history. Of her discovery that chimpanzees make and use tools—an ability previously believed to belong only to humans—paleoanthropologist Louis Leakey famously said, "Now we must redefine 'tool,' redefine 'man,' or accept chimpanzees as humans."


Jane met her first chimpanzee on her first birthday. From that day forward, the stuffed ape named Jubilee accompanied the little girl on all her adventures, inspiring the love of animals that would one day shift our views on animal intelligence.

Today, Goodall gives talks on animal welfare with the assistance of a stuffed monkey named Mr. H (shown above) and a cow named Cow, both gifts from her fans. "Cow has worked really hard," Goodall told Mosaic. "She has created I don't know how many vegetarians."


Goodall's first steps into Gombe Stream National Park in 1960 were extraordinary for many reasons. The 26-year-old was only the second researcher to attempt to study chimpanzees in the wild, and she had no one with her aside from her mother and an assistant. She also had no formal scientific training—a fact that likely enabled her many breakthroughs. Unbound by preconceived notions of what animal research should be, the young scientist got close to her subjects, sat down, and paid attention.


Jane Goodall giving a talk in ceremonial university robes.
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Goodall became Dr. Goodall in 1966 when she received her Ph.D. in ethology (animal behavior) from the University of Cambridge. Since then, she's earned more diplomas than most walls could hold, with honorary degrees from nearly 40 universities in 15 different countries.


Dr. Goodall is also a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, a UN Ambassador for Peace, and the recipient of countless awards and honors for her scientific, humanitarian, and animal welfare work. For a brief period, during her marriage to wildlife photographer Baron Hugo van Lawick, she was also Baroness Jane van Lawick-Goodall.


A baby chimpanzee.
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Historically, the scientific establishment has not taken kindly to upstarts and outsiders. Or women, for that matter. In the beginning, many established researchers held Goodall's unusual approach and lack of university pedigree against her. They found her methods soft and problematic—Goodall named her research subjects instead of giving them ID numbers, which caused a scandal—and some went so far as to suggest that the tool-using chimps had been trained. Over time, her body of research grew so compelling that her supporters outnumbered her detractors.


"She could look a challenge/right between the eyes …"


In the 2001 Wild Thornberrys episode "The Trouble With Darwin," Goodall appeared, as herself, to help Eliza save chimpanzees from greedy poachers.


Jane Goodall in a crowd.
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Goodall returned from the field in the 1980s, but her life's work had barely begun. For the last three decades, she's been on the road more than 300 days a year, giving talks and leading initiatives to improve the lives of chimpanzees, apes, and all animals in captivity and in the wild. With her urging, in 2015, the National Institutes of Health announced that it would retire the last of its chimpanzee research subjects.


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