Laments for Mickey Rourke's pure, bygone beauty usually reflect as far back as his breakthrough in Diner. Yet one filmmaker's attic-rummaging has officially yielded the definitive Mickey-as-he-was resource.

The recently unearthed 1976 short film Love in the Hamptons features Rourke as a waiter sorting out a romance with a cocktail waitress on Long Island's East End. Judging by the clip that landed online this morning (the whole short is available for $2 at Amazon), he's got other problems as well — bafflement with his more seasoned co-star Ray Wise, for starters, and his character's squinty, broodier-than-normal reluctance to a job change. James Dean he's not, but as early-career curios go, we've seen much worse. And the timing! The Academy does love a dues-payer, unappealing dates notwithstanding. [YouTube]