Abel Gance was born in 1889. An amazing pioneering French director, he was pretty forgotten (except by film buffs) until 1979 when Kevin Brownlow (after spending many years reconstructing it from the surviving prints) showed Gance's 1927 masterpiece Napoleon, in England, using the original three projector format that had been used in 1927, decades before Cinerama. Two years later Francis Ford Coppola arranged for a series of showings throughout the U.S., with a live orchestra conducted by his father. It is wonderful to note that Gance lived long enough to FINALLY see his great film receive the acclaim it fully deserved, passing away in 1981 at the age of 92. I had the good fortune to see Napoleon in Los Angeles in 1981, and it really lives up to its reputation! He passed away in 1981 at the age of 92.
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