One of the most reliable forms of film preservation is theft. A musical number in the 1954 version of A Star is Born survived to be included in the restoration only because it had been stolen by a collector before it could be junked. Indeed film collectors, whose titles to their prints are, to say the least, dubious, have been vital to the cause of film preservation. The most justifiable theft of a movie in the history of film, however, is that of Sam Peckinpah’s Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973). Peckinpah was one of the most turbulent directors…
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