Watch Robert Altman's lost film "Modern Football," bought for $10 at a flea market

Just when you think you can pull up any celebrity’s kinkiest private scat video with just the push of a button, a story comes along to show that even in 2012, some films stay unclaimed. Such is the case with Modern Football, an early instructional video directed by Robert Altman (acclaimed director of Short Cuts, The Player, Gosford Park, MASH) in 1951 that was recently bought for $10 at a Kansas City flea market.

Altman’s long apprenticeship included directing Bonanzas, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, the 1957 documentary The James Dean Story, and — way back at the dawn of the 1950s — a clutch of “industrials,” educational shorts and docs.

It’s one of these that filmmaker Gary Huggins recently scored at a drive-in flea market in Kansas City, Altman’s hometown. “I bought a stack of old instructional films for $10 and never got around to screening them,” Huggins says. “Modern Football sounded really dull. But when I recently did, I glimpsed Altman [at the 2:37 mark in the video below], who cameos as a sports reporter, and knew I had something incredible.” [SFWeekly]

You can watch the 26-minute video below. It’s notable not so much for any recognizable Altman signature, but for how how hilarious newsreel-style films from the 50s were. Dee-deet-deet-dee-deet-dee– “Dateline: 1951, Kansas Citay Missouray. According ta Senatah Joseph McCahthy, limp-wristed young nancy boys are the ones most at risk of getting snapped up by the creeping red Communist menace! But you can turn yoah young Tennessee Williams into a Johnny Unitas, thanks to HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL, new, from Omni Corps! The company that brought you hazing, and corporal punishment. Remember, a punch a day keeps the Commies away.”


Actual dialog: “It’s important to eat three meals a day, especially breakfast. I don’t want to hear any of this ‘skimping’ business.”

I could spend all day writing new captions for that banner picture.