If you could travel through time to see a movie or play when it premiered..

This was a question asked during the Mads Livestream and it’s one that I’ve actually thought about, because I’d love to go back and see any lost movie.

I’d time travel to, and steal Von Stroheim’s original cut of Greed, take it to the present to be preserved, and then time travel it back.

I’d love to have seen Lon Chaney’s Phantom of the Opera and witness the original audience’s reaction when he tore off the mask.

I’d love to hang out with the original Keaton fans, and follow his career firsthand, from stage to screen.

And yes, lost movies, Cleopatra, Chaney’s London After Midnight and The Miracle Man, the Divine Woman (Victor Sjöström directing Garbo), Arirang, Convention City, and most of all…

The Last Moment (1928)
Directed by Pál Fejős, the Last Moment starred Otto Matieson as a man who commits suicide by drowning and then remembers the events of his life that lead up to his death in flashbacks. The finished film was seven reels and silent, but contained no title cards.

The picture received rave reviews and was a financial hit. Charlie Chaplin praised it and writer Tamar Lane called it “one of the most remarkable films that has ever been presented on the screen.” Wiki


Beez’s answer was that she’d love to be in France to see Cocteau’s La belle et la bête’ (Beauty and the Beast - 1946) when it premiered.

Trace answered, any Laurel and Hardy movie

Frank would like to travel back to see a lot of theater that was going on in New York in the 20s. And brought up wanting to see Stan Laurel and Charlie Chaplin in the Fred Karno players.


Great topic! I’d definitely go back in time for this:

Apparently this debut version had 20 minutes cut out of it by Kubrick, apparently never reconstructed again.

I did get to see 2001 in 70mm at the Uptown in DC awhile back - it’s was astonishing. The docking sequence makes you feel like you are literally floating in space.

Sadly, The Uptown closed permanently in 2020, but Landmark theatres might be trying to reopen it. Doubtful though that the Cinerama curved screen will ever be used again :sob:


Well, it would be very tempting to see Buñuel’s Un Chien Andalou on its debut. In a similar vein it would be great to see one of the original performances of Jarry’s Ubu Roi at the Théâtre des Pantins.

Other plays that would be great to see include any original Globe staging of a Shakespeare play, and Stoppard’s Hapgood when Felicity Kendal was in it.



My mum has talked about seeing it on release and how nobody had any idea what to expect.


Oh yeah, if I could have my memory of Psycho temporarily wiped and could go back and see the premiere…

My mother talked about that experience, about the shock of losing who you thought was going to be your protagonist, and at first latching onto Norman as new protagonist (that poor man with that crazy mother who just did this terrible thing)

I never had that experience, due to clips and such, I pretty much knew what Psycho was all about when I saw it, there were no surprises as there were for my mom.


At first I thought I’d want to see Star Wars when it was first released, but instead, I think I want to see The Empire Strikes Back. This was pre-Internet, so if you were to be spoiled at the time, a friend who had already seen it would have had to blurt out the twist. Also, to be in a theater where everyone learned the twist at the same time would have been fun, I think.


I’ve never seen 2001 on the big screen and have been told I can’t fully appreciate it until I do.

I was planning to catch it in my home state once the Cinerama renovations were complete, buuuuuut, the pandemic happened, and renovations came to a halt, and it’s still shut down with no news on whether it’ll ever return. So sad.


Let’s all go back to when Kuleshov did his experiment in the time it was presented and ask all those people he interviewed to see if they really thought those things based on the images or if they all were just smart enough to put together when being asked what the right answer was supposed to be.

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The Rocky Horror Show.


@GustavLongtorso hit the nail on the head with his answer, 2001: A Space Odyssey!

In general, I would have loved to have taken in the films of the 1970s, because that was just a spectacular decade for cinema. To see Jaws, The Godfather I and II, The French Connection, Star Wars, Alien, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind on the silver screen? Not to mention the foreign film scene at that time? It would have been sensational.

I’d also want to see Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday at the time of its premiere, just to see how audiences of that time would have reacted to that kind of comedy. That, and it’s Jacques Tati. C’mon.


I went to see Alien on opening weekend in 1979. I was 15. It might have been my first R Rated movie.

It had a brilliant marketing campaign, which didn’t really tell you anything about the movie except that “In space no one can hear you scream”.

And as this was an era when a secret could still be kept, nobody knew anything about what was going to happen. It was GREAT. I would like to relive that too.


The funny thing about seeing more modern fare mentioned (70s up) is that I was there -like for Star Wars, etc- when they premiered.

Of the films I saw back then, it was Jaws that was truly mind blowing, because I’d never experienced anything like it. Yes, there were event pictures, such as Bond, but even that wasn’t like Jaws - the frenzy, the crowds, media buzz, and merch… I saw the birth of the summer blockbuster up close and personal, and it was wild.

The one that my dad spoke of was Once Upon a Time in the West. That scene when you first see Henry Fonda, with those blue eyes, and he’s normally a hero in film, but then he goes and guns down a kid. My father said that took the wind out of his sails, because it was so not like the traditional Henry Fonda types, it was so out of character.


The first thing that comes to mind is the original Planet Of The Apes. I’d have to think that seeing the first reveal of the apes, during the hunt, and the ending would be pretty mind blowing.


I don’t know. Back then, previews were five minutes long and they liked to show long, uninterrupted sections of movies. Everyone going in probably had already seen that scene.


I kind of remember really long trailers from my '70s childhood, so, let me revise my answer to add that I’m going in with no knowledge

(no knowledge being a state in which I often find myself)

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Ah. The ol’ flashy-thing caveat.


This is such an amazing question and I thought long and hard about it. I feel like a wet blanket when I say I can’t think of one. I loved seeing every movie mentioned above in the situation and with the people I saw it with. I wouldn’t want to change that.

I know, I’m lame and I suck.


The one that comes to mind first would be Metropolis.

I saw 2001 as a little kid so I would love to see that again on a big screen, back when widescreen movies were shown on actual wide screens, IMAX is small compared to the old single screen theaters.

I don’t remember gasps in the audience during Empire Strikes Back, I remember that I though he was just messing with Luke, wasn’t until the scene with ghost Obi Wan that it sunk in.


The gasps I remember were in RotJ when Yoda says “Your father he is.”

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