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The Other Side of the Wind (2018)

Orson Welles’ “The Other Side of the Wind” was, for many years, the second most infamous unfinished film of all time. (A certain Jerry Lewis film earned the top spot within incomplete cinema.) As everyone knows by now, the film was posthumously stitched together 42 years after principal photography was finished and is now being made available via Netflix. To be blunt, it would have been better if Welles’ unedited work was left in oblivion.
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The Bootleg Files: Murder in the Blue Room

BOOTLEG FILES 661: “Murder in the Blue Room” (1944 mystery-musical flick).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: It fell through the cracks.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely at this time.

During the 1940s, Universal Pictures arguably produced the most entertaining films playing in American theaters. This is not to say that Universal had the most artistically extravagant or intellectually provocative output. But for sheer pleasure viewing, this scrappy little studio was aces when it came to noir, Westerns, jukebox musicals, cheesy horror and lowbrow comedies. Back in the day, nobody ever left a Universal film feeling bored.
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The Bootleg Files: The Westminster Passion Play – Behold the Man

BOOTLEG FILES 660: “The Westminster Passion Play – Behold the Man” (1951 British feature film).

LAST SEEN: It is on Amazon Prime, albeit for the wrong reason.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: Yes, but for the wrong reason.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: It is complicated.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely at this time.

In 2011, a DVD label called Synergy Entertainment made one of the most spectacular blunders in the history of the home entertainment industry. This label, which specializes in public domain titles, brought forth a release of the rarely-seen 1921 French silent film “Behold the Man,” which told the story of Jesus’ last days. But there was a problem: the print used for the Synergy Entertainment was not from the French silent film, but instead belonged to a 1951 British production originally titled “The Westminster Passion Play – Behold the Man.”
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The Bootleg Files: The Hangman

BOOTLEG FILES 659: “The Hangman” (1964 animated short).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: No release to date.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: It fell through the cracks.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: It would be nice.

With Halloween a few days away, I was wondering if it would be too corny to stick a horror movie into this week’s column. But rather than go the traditional route of horror movies featuring ghouls, ghosts and God-knows-what the FX people conjure up, I am opting for an intellectual horror story where the real evil does not require the presence of the supernatural or the paranormal – but, instead, comes from the quotidian.
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