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The Bootleg Files: Hollywood

BOOTLEG FILES 733: “Hollywood” (1980 British television documentary series).

LAST SEEN:
On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: On VHS and LaserDisc.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: Difficulties in clearing the rights to the films in the series resulted in its absence from DVD and Blu-ray.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Maybe someday it will occur.

One of the most impressive documentaries on film history was Kevin Brownlow and David Gill’s “Hollywood,” which was produced by Britain’s Thames Television for broadcast on ITV. Spanning 13 50-minute episodes, the series included interviews with many of the on-screen and behind-the-camera talent who were active in film production before the coming of the talkies.
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The Ten Worst Bugs Bunny Cartoons of All Time

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the arrival of Bugs Bunny on the big screen. And while Cinema Crazed has already celebrated the 10 best Bugs Bunny cartoons of all time, this admittedly subjective article goes in the opposite direction to consider the 10 worst cartoons from the iconic character’s output.

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The Bootleg Files: Jesus and Daya Sagar

BOOTLEG FILES 732: “Jesus” and “Daya Sagar” (1973 and 1978 films from India about the life of Jesus).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: No perceived commercial value for the U.S. market.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely in the U.S.

India’s film industry never placed great emphasis on Christian-themed films, which is understandable since less than 2.5% of the country’s population identify as Christian and the perceived commercial value of such productions are considered minimal. During the 1970s, a pair of feature films were produced that offered retellings of Jesus’ life through the distinctive spectrum of India’s cinematic styles.
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The Bootleg Files: Salute to Sir Lew – The Master Showman

BOOTLEG FILES 732: “Salute to Sir Lew – The Master Showman” (1975 TV special with John Lennon, Tom Jones, Peter Sellers and Julie Andrews).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: Music clearance issues are keeping it out of release.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely.

John Lennon fans know that the ex-Beatle’s last live performance took place in a 1975 television special honoring Sir Lew Grade, the British television executive. Oddly, Lennon’s time on stage seemed strangely out of place in a show that offered an overripe line-up of 1970s kitsch.
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The Bootleg Files: Sneak Previews

BOOTLEG FILES 731: “Sneak Previews” (PBS series starring Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: No perceived reissue value.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely.

In 1975, the Chicago public television station WTTW debuted a monthly show with the somewhat awkward title “Opening Soon at a Theater Near You.” The show featured two of Chicago’s most prominent film critics, Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune and Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times, in a half-hour discussion regarding the merits and flaws of films in release. Clips from the films in question gave audiences a sampling of what they could expect on the big screen.
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The Bootleg Files: Bob Hope on the Road to China

BOOTLEG FILES 730: “Bob Hope on the Road to China” (1979 television special).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube in a truncated form.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: Out of circulation for many years.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely.

On January 1, 1979, President Jimmy Carter established U.S. diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. Two months later, the longtime rivals established embassies in each other’s capitals. Remarkably, the two countries retained their diplomatic ties despite NBCs ‘s broadcast of the astonishingly atrocious “Bob Hope on the Road to China” in September that year.
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The Bootleg Files: Gabe Kaplan as Groucho

BOOTLEG FILES 729: “Gabe Kaplan as Groucho” (1982 television special).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: On VHS and LaserDisc.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: Out of circulation for many years.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely.

In 1976, the producers of the popular sitcom “Welcome Back, Kotter” planned to have Groucho Marx make a cameo appearance in an episode called “Sadie Hawkins Day.” The script called for Gabe Kaplan to do an impression of Groucho, only to have the real Groucho come in and react to the unreasonable facsimile. Unfortunately, the 86-year-old comedy icon was in extremely frail health and it was decided that he would not go on camera. Instead, Groucho posed for publicity photographs with the show’s cast – but these were not released to the media and only surfaced many years later.
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The Bootleg Files: Jane Russell Playtex Commercials

BOOTLEG FILES 728: “Jane Russell Playtex Commercials” (series of television advertisement featuring the buxom star selling bras and girdles).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: All old-time commercials get bootlegged.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely.

Jane Russell became a movie star in the 1940s thanks to producer Howard Hughes’ infantile preoccupation with bosoms. But she maintained her stardom as a result of her droll talent for light comedy and a tough-broad-with-a-heart-of-gold persona that captivated audiences.
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