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Another Clip From Lost Film 'Thunder' by PRR8157 Another Clip From Lost Film 'Thunder' by PRR8157
    I found another short clip from the lost 1929 MGM film "Thunder", which starred Lon Chaney in his last silent role.  Apparently, MGM used two brief shots in a montage sequence in the 1933 film "What, No Beer?" starring Buster Keaton and Jimmy Durante.  The montage suggests the increased economic activity sure to come with the repeal of Prohibition.
    The first shot is a close up of driving wheels revolving at high speed.  Since the principal photography of "Thunder" was done in Wisconsin on the Chicago and North Western's Lake Shore Division, it would prove this shot was from that film if the identity of the locomotive could be established as being C&NW.  It can!  The C&NW used Young valve motion on some of its J class Mikados, and it shows to be that in the film segment.
    The second shot is of a Santa Fe Mikado, re-lettered and numbered to stand in for a C&NW engine.  Some second unit photography was done on the Santa Fe and had to be disguised to match the C&NW footage.  A Santa Fe Mike can be seen in a very brief glimpse in the known surviving footage.
    Looking carefully at the engine in the montage clip shows it being moved dead in a freight train with the main rods taken down.  This is evidently part of the story line in "Thunder".  Also, they seemed to have modified the Santa Fe cab to the same window arrangement as the C&NW used.  This suggests they might have done some photography inside the cab on the Santa Fe.
    Here's all that remains of the original film:…
darknessofanubis Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
I keep hoping some collector has a 35 or 16mm print in his collection and at some point will realize what he has.
PRR8157 Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2017
Being a silent, "Thunder" was likely shown internationally. There are film archives all over the world with unidentified reels, so research may turn up more of this film, but don't hold your breath.
  You can Google for images of the film, which shows production stills and advertising.  Again, not a lot:…
darknessofanubis Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Another victim if the infamous of MGM vault fire in 1960 or so. :-(
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Submitted on
June 23, 2017
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