Original War Horse film to be shown in Hornton

A still from the original War Horse film to be shown at the Hornton Pavilion on January 31. Picture courtesy of Hornton History Group
A still from the original War Horse film to be shown at the Hornton Pavilion on January 31. Picture courtesy of Hornton History Group

A silent First World War film, which was lost in an attic for 80 years, is to get one of its first showings since it was found - in Hornton.

Called A Couple of Down and Outs, it tells the story of a First World War veteran and his attempts to save a war horse from the knackers’ yard.

It was made in 1923 and produced by G B Samuelson of the Samuelson film dynasty family.

It was presumed lost until recent years and now belongs to the charity Scotland’s War (1914-19), which has chosen the Hornton Pavilion as the first English venue to show it.

It has had several screenings in Scotland to wide acclaim and highlights how badly First World War veterans and their animals were treated in the aftermath of the conflict.

G B Samuelson was one of the most prolific pioneer British film producers of his time. Of over 100 feature films made, only a handful survive – and this silent film is one of them.

His 92-year-old son, Sir Sydney Samuelson, the first British Film Commissioner, said that it was discovered in 10 rusty cans in an attic in Belgium.

It has taken two restorations, one in Amsterdam and latterly at the British Film Institute in London, to make it playable.

The Samuelson family have commissioned a new piece of music specially created to accompany the film. There will be no admission charge but donations are welcome.

For details call 01295 670359.