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The Bootleg Files: Jésus de Nazareth

BOOTLEG FILES 681: “Jésus de Nazareth” (1942 Mexican film).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: Not to my knowledge.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: A once-popular Mexican film that is virtually unknown outside of its home country.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not in an English-subtitled version in the U.S. market.

In 1926, Mexican President Plutarco Elías Calles sought to enforce a federal separation of church and state. But Calles’ virulent anti-Catholic sentiments resulted an excessively violent crackdown on the faith, much to the anger of many people. A popular uprising that became known as the Cristero War paralyzed the country for several years, and even Calles’ departure from office in 1928 failed to heal the scars created by his policies.
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Basil Rathbone: Anything But Elementary

Basil Rathbone was the ultimate movie hero as Sherlock Holmes, but he was also the ultimate movie villain (think of “David Copperfield,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “The Adventures of Robin Hood” and “The Mark of Zorro”). On this episode of “The Online Movie Show,” film historian and Rondo Award-nominated writer Troy Howarth considers Rathbone’s versatile cinematic output.

The episode can be heard here.

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The Bootleg Files: Keeping Fit

BOOTLEG FILES 680: “Keeping Fit” (1942 all-star short film).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: Not to my knowledge.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: Rare World War II-era film that had no postwar reissue value.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE:
Maybe in an anthology of wartime shorts or as a special feature on a DVD.

After the United States entered World War II, the Hollywood studios churned out a series of morale-building films were created to keep civilian audiences engaged in supporting the war effort. The studios often put their biggest names into these films to add a level of star wattage to the messaging.
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Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Unlikeliest Stars

Created for a one-shot novelty tune, Alvin and the Chipmunks morphed into a show business sensation that spanned top-selling records, a classic TV show and a string of movies. On this episode of “The Online Movie Show,” we trace the rise of these unlikely pop culture icons with Mark Arnold, author of “Aaaaalllviiinnn!: The Story of Ross Bagdasarian, Sr., Liberty Records, Format Films and The Alvin Show,” published by BearManor Media.

The episode can be heard here.

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The Bootleg Files: Main Street to Broadway

BOOTLEG FILES 679: “Main Street to Broadway” (1953 all-star film).

LAST SEEN: We cannot confirm the last public exhibition of this film.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: Only as a bootleg.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: Never made available for U.S. commercial home entertainment release.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not for a long time.

One of the most curious flops of the 1950s was an all-star feature called “Main Street to Broadway.” Originally intended as a fundraising vehicle for a nonprofit devoted to the promotion of live theater, the film went through an excessively ambitious pre-production cycle but emerged as a predictable and strangely unsatisfactory effort that fell considerably short of its lofty mission.
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The Best in Movie Miscasting

John Wayne as Genghis Khan? Lucille Ball as Mame? On this episode, we celebrate some of the most wonderfully misguided examples of movie miscasting, including some still-controversial casting decisions (Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Dolittle, Barbra Streisand as Dolly Levi) and some noble endeavors that went awry (Marlon Brando’s Fletcher Christian, Jane Fonda as Ibsen’s Nora). Actor/writer Joe Mannetti returns to “The Online Movie Show” to give praise to the actors in the wrong roles.

The episode can be heard here.

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The Bootleg Files: Elstree Calling

BOOTLEG FILES 678: “Elstree Calling” (1930 British musical revue co-directed by Alfred Hitchcock).

LAST SEEN: We cannot confirm the last public exhibition of this film.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: On bootleg video labels only.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: Never made available for U.S. commercial home entertainment release.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE:
It is possible, but not a priority.

In 1930, the first British musical feature film was released under the title “Elstree Calling.” Today, most people are aware of the film only because of Alfred Hitchcock’s involvement in the production.

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