Lost Film Found: Milestone Partners For Release of Rediscovered Swanson/Valentino Silent Film

by Eugene Hernandez

Rudolph Valentino and Gloria Swanson in a scene from "Beyond The Rocks." Photo provided by Milestone.

Milestone announced Monday that it will release the rediscovered silent film, "Beyond the Rocks," a lost movie starring Gloria Swanson and Rudolph Valentino. The company will partner with the Nederlands Filmmuseum on the worldwide release (outside of the Benelux territory). Company VP Dennis Doros negotiated the deal with Jan Rofekamp of Films Transit International, representing the Nederlands Filmmuseum.

"Milestone has a long tradition of unveiling great film discoveries to the cinema-going public," said Doros in a statement. "'Beyond the Rocks', just for its star power alone, has been one of the most sought-after films of the silent era. We are thrilled to be working with the Nederlands Filmmuseum, one of the finest archives in the world, to showcase not only this wonderful movie, but also the remarkable work they do to uncover, preserve and restore cinema history."

The company will open the film in the U.S. later this year and is planning a deluxe DVD for release early next year. It will also distribute the movie internationally.

"Beyond the Rocks" was considered lost for 80 years until two reels of the movie were found at the Nederlands Filmmuseum, donated by a collector. The staff later found other missing reels and the movie is currently being restored by Filmmuseum archivists Mark-Paul Meyer and Giovanna Fossati with lab work by Haghefilm Conservation. The museum will screen the movie with a new score by Dutch composer Henny Vrienten, during their Biennial in Amsterdam from April 5-10 of this year.

The Paramount film, directed by Sam Wood ("Goodbye Mr. Chips," "The Devil and Miss Jones"), is based on a novel by Elinor Glyn.

At fifteen years old, Milestone is known for its working restoring classic films, and releasing new indie, doc and foreign films. The company was recently honored by the New York Film Critics Circle.