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The Bootleg Files: Down Memory Lane

BOOTLEG FILES 727: “Down Memory Lane” (1949 compilation film of Mack Sennett comedy shorts).

LAST SEEN: In a truncated form on YouTube and Internet Archive.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: It fell through the cracks.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely.

By the late 1940s, silent movies had mostly disappeared from public viewing. Some Charlie Chaplin shorts occasionally turned up in kiddie matinees and museums and film societies would sometimes dust off an old print for one-time screenings. But for the most part, the films created prior to rise of “The Jazz Singer” were rarely on the big screen.
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GoodTimes Home Video: Adjust Your Tracking

This week’s episode of “The Online Movie Show” goes back to the 1980s in a celebration of the GoodTimes Home Video, the king of the bargain basement VHS videos. Facebook’s funniest man, Anthony “The Kingfish” Vitamia, recalls the breezy and cheesy world of those wonderfully zany videos.

The episode can be heard here.

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The Bootleg Files: Sing a Song of Six Pants

BOOTLEG FILES 726: “Sing a Song of Six Pants” (1947 Three Stooges short).

LAST SEEN:
On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO
: On too many public domain labels.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS:
A lapsed copyright.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: It is doomed to public domain hell forever.

Every Three Stooges fan knows that four shorts starring the slapstick icons are in the public domain because Columbia Pictures failed to renew their copyrights. Three of those films are among the trio’s best: “Disorder in the Court” (arguably the greatest courtroom comedy ever), “Brideless Groom” (my pick for the finest Stooges short) and “Malice in the Palace” (a masterwork of surreal mayhem).
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The RKO Legacy

During the Golden Age of Hollywood, RKO offered the most innovative and invigorating mix of films. In this episode of “The Online Movie Show,” we discuss the studio’s rise and fall with film historian James L. Neibaur, author of “The RKO Features: A Complete Filmography of the Feature Films Released or Produced by RKO Radio Pictures, 1929-1960.”

The episode can be heard here.

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The Bootleg Files: Mary’s Incredible Dream

BOOTLEG FILES 725: “Mary’s Incredible Dream” (1976 television special starring Mary Tyler Moore).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS:
Too many music and performance rights issues to address, not to mention quality control problems.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE:
Unlikely.

The 1970s represented the pinnacle of bizarre variety programming on American television. Whether it involved regularly scheduled programming – look at “Pink Lady and Jeff,” “The Gong Show” or “The Brady Bunch Hour” – or standalone specials – think of Raquel Welch doing “The Age of Aquarius” on an Aztec pyramid or Ann-Margret joining the Bay City Rollers” in “Saturday Night” before an audience of old ladies or Paul Lynde throwing lavender-scented double entendres at KISS on his Halloween show – the decade represented the alpha and omega of musical-comedy inanity.
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Wheeler and Woolsey: The Pre-Code Funnymen

Few comics took full advantage of the loose standards of Pre-Code Hollywood with more gusto than the team of Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey. In this episode of “The Online Movie Show,” film historian and podcaster Geno Cuddy offers insight on the duo’s saucy on-screen antics and classic routines.

The episode can be heard here.

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Clark & McCullough: The Forgotten Kings of Comedy

From the late 1920s to the mid-1930s, Bobby Clark and Paul McCullough turned out a series of wild, bawdy and often surreal short comedies. Today, the team is mostly unknown to the average movie lover because many of their films are lost and the surviving films are rarely revived. Film historian and podcaster Geno Cuddy considers the Clark & McCullough legacy and advocates for a new appreciation of their surviving work in this episode of “The Online Movie Show.”

The episode can be heard here.