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Watch: Lost 1951 Short Film 'Modern Football' Directed By Robert Altman

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist March 13, 2012 at 9:23AM

We live in an age where it seems almost every movie is just a mouse click or Netflix queue away, but there are still corners and pockets of the cinema world that are hiding in boxes or have been neglected by time waiting to be rediscovered. And even someone like the legendary Robert Altman still has a few things yet to see to the light of day. However, one of them has now been discovered thanks to director Gary Huggins.
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Robert Altman

We live in an age where it seems almost every movie is just a mouse click or Netflix queue away, but there are still corners and pockets of the cinema world that are hiding in boxes or have been neglected by time waiting to be rediscovered. And even someone like the legendary Robert Altman still has a few things yet to see to the light of day. However, one of them has now been discovered thanks to director Gary Huggins.

All it took was $10 and a stop at a Kansas City flea market for Huggins to walk away with "Modern Football," the first film shot by Altman way back in 1951. Although, at first he didn't realize what he had as it was among a stack of old films he picked up at the same time. As he explains to SF Weekly, " 'Modern Football' sounded really dull. But when I recently [watched it], I glimpsed Altman, who cameos as a sports reporter, and knew I had something incredible." Indeed, you can see the filmmaker at the 2:37 mark.

"Modern Football" was just one of the many industrial/educational shorts cranked out during the '50s and '60s, and it was one of the avenues that Altman cut his teeth on in the early days along with stints on a variety of TV shows inlcluding "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" and "Bonanza." So, will you see the trademark, overlapping dialogue and ensemble cast of players here? Not exactly. But it's worth watching to witness a future great starting to excercise his moviemaking muscles. Give it a spin below and maybe thank Huggins for his efforts by throwing a few dollars to his Kickstarter fund to get his first feature film "Kick Me" off the ground.

This article is related to: Robert Altman


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