MADRID, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- An all-but-forgotten movie eclipsed as the first "talkie" by "The Jazz Singer" was found in the U.S. Library of Congress, a Spanish documentary maker asserts.
"From Far Seville," an 11-minute film shot by U.S. inventor Lee De Forest, one of the fathers of the "electronic age," features teenage Spanish dancer Concha Piquer, who later appeared with "The Jazz Singer" star Al Jolson, as well as Eddie Cantor and Fred and Adele Astaire.
In the film -- which had its premiere at New York's Rivoli Theater April 15, 1923, 4 1/2 years before "The Jazz Singer" -- Piquer wears a voluminous flamenco dress and sings, dances and clicks castanets to Andalusian music, music of Aragon and a Portuguese fado song, the Spanish news agency EFE reported.
But "Seville" became all but forgotten after "The Jazz Singer" premiered Oct. 6, 1927. Its release -- with Jolson's famous spoken words that made motion picture history, "Wait a minute, wait a minute, you ain't heard nothin' yet!" -- heralded the commercial ascendancy of "talkies" and the decline of the silent-film era.
"Not only is the first sound film in Spanish, but it (was made) four years earlier than what is considered the official 'first,'" EFE quoted documentary writer Agustin Tena as saying.
Tena found the film at the Library of Congress this year.
His "Conchita Piquer" documentary, including several "Seville" clips, was broadcast on Spain's La 2 public TV network Thursday.
The U.S. Congress, which oversees the Library of Congress, gave Tena and documentary director Jorge Reverte worldwide rights to "Seville," EFE said.
The 1923 film will soon reside in Madrid's Spanish Film Library.