Mystery Lake (1953)

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15 November 2006 | saunders-13
"Mystery Lake" the mystery film
Mystery Lake, a script set at the northwest Tennessee geological oddity Reelfoot Lake, was cut by Disney partially using film from a silent nature picture, "Earthquake Lake," shot by wildlife photographer Karl Mazlowski. Mazlowski filmed at the lake during the mid and late 1940s. His footage was chiefly treatments of birds animals which inhabit the lake, much like the narrated nature shows Disney produced for years. The death of the lecture-circuit film ended his hopes of travelling with his picture and most prints of the film was sold to Walt Disney, who was interested in the footage it for their own "Mystery Lake" film project. After a very short, very limited theater run through Disney's distributor, Buena Vista, the film was re-cut and shown as a serial feature on the Mickey Mouse Club television program. A print of the full feature is said to reside in the Disney vault, but the film has not been seen or re-released since 1953. Mazlowski retained a print of his original "Earthquake Lake" lecture film and made a DVD copy available in the interest of preservation and for public and scholarly use at the Univ. of Tennessee at Martin in 2004.

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