Long-Lost Silent Film Starring Clara Bow Was Discovered in a Box of Old Reels

The audience at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, which was held earlier this April in San Francisco, California, had a chance to watch a movie, The Pill Pounder, starring silent film star Clara Bow. The movie was previously considered lost for almost a century and was only found earlier this year.

The copy of The Pill Pounder was discovered by filmmaker Gary Huggins after he purchased a box of old reels for $20 at an auction. After doing some research, he realized that he owned the only known copy of the movie in existence.

“It’s so rare, it’s so obscure,” Huggins told media outlet WOWT. “It was made by an independent studio. It was made in Queens, N.Y.”

Huggins later sold the reel with The Pill Pounder to television writer and producer David Stenn, who is known for writing Clara Bow’s biography Clara Bow: Runnin’ Wild.

The Pill Pounder features one of the early appearances of Bow. The short movie, which premiered in 1923, tells a story about a small-town pharmacist who is attempting to organize a game of poker in the backroom of his store.

Clara Bow is considered one of the biggest movie stars of the late 1920s, and her movies are a huge box office draw. She starred in approximately 46 silent films and 11 sound films before retiring from acting in 1933 at the age of 28.

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