Eddie’s ongoing claim that the film is “lost” is a bit of a stretch, particularly in context of the linked article, which is an essay by Edgardo Krebs that appeared in FILM COMMENT back in 2012. Further restoration work on the film seems to have occurred since the film was screened in tandem with INTRUDER IN THE DUST at NC 11 in 2013.
That noted, NATIVE SON—despite some obvious flaws—is eminently worthy of rediscovery. But then again so are several other films in a similar vein that continue to receive short shrift when it comes to rediscovery, such as THE LAWLESS, THE RESPECTFUL PROSTITUTE (from the play by Sartre, filmed in France in 1952), SALT OF THE EARTH, and the virtually forgotten film about “wetbacks” as viewed from the perspective of the “other side,” ESPALDAS MOJADAS (1955), by underappreciated Mexican director Alejandro Galindo, who made several working-class noirs touching upon social issues in previous years—films that have regrettably failed to surface among the glossier restoration efforts undertaken thus far by Mexican film scholars and archivists.
We will be in a better place when NATIVE SON can appear in a TCM lineup with all these films (and several more that are not singled out here). Meanwhile, Krebs’ essay will take you a good bit further into the story than will be the case within the context of the remarks that will accompany the film tonight, so please read...