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Last Updated: Monday, 12 May, 2003, 15:07 GMT 16:07 UK
Unseen Lennon film up for sale
John Lennon during filming
Lennon is seen larking around in the film
Private footage of John Lennon in a student film is to go under the hammer at Christie's auction house in New York in July.

The anonymous film student met the former Beatle on a New York street in 1974 and asked him if he could star in her film for the day.

Most of the footage has never been seen by the public before although a few excerpts have been used in documentaries.

The film shows Lennon getting up to various antics, including imitating baboons to entertain children and taking over an ice-cream van.

He is also seen dancing across benches, playing a bandstand organ, feeding monkeys and performing magic tricks.

The musician was filmed for 12 hours but the 16mm reels have been edited down to 45 minutes.

No copies

John Lennon in 1971
Lennon was killed in 1980
The film was sold privately to an unknown collector ten years ago and is expected to fetch between $45,000 and (28,000) and $50,000 (31,000).

Potential buyers will be able to view the film before they decide if they want to bid.

Christie's film specialist Margaret Barrett said the film was amazing.

"There are no copies of it and John Lennon himself never got a copy of the entire film. He watched it and selected pieces he liked, perhaps for a song video."

"It would be wonderful if the eventual purchaser could allow the film to be seen by the public generally," she added.

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