Silent Betty Balfour Film ‘Masterpiece’ Found in Holland!

A lost masterpiece of British silent cinema has been discovered in the Netherlands.

Love, Life and Laughter, written and directed by George Pearson, was made in 1923 and had been one of the British Film Institute’s 75 Most Wanted films.

Starring Betty Balfour, Britain’s most successful silent actress, it told the story of Tip Toes, a chorus girl who falls for an impoverished author.

The BFI says it hopes to screen the 90-minute film in the UK later this year.

Only one other complete film by Pearson survives which makes this a particularly significant discovery”

The film had been gathering dust in a small cinema in Holland for more than 80 years.

In 2012, when the building was about to be redeveloped, an employee at a local television station took a number of film canisters to EYE, the Dutch film museum.

Love, Life and Laughter was eventually found while the contents were being catalogued.

“This is a major discovery, featuring Betty Balfour, the biggest female star of the silent period,” said Bryony Dixon, curator of silent film at the BFI.

“It is also a rare survival of the work of George Pearson, one of Britain’s most talented directors of this time, whose First World War drama Reveille is another film on the BFI’s most wanted list.”