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The Bootleg Files: Hawaiian Punch Commercials

BOOTLEG FILES 717: “Hawaiian Punch Commercials” (long-running series of comically violent advertising).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: No perceived commercial reissue for a home entertainment anthology of these commercials.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Utterly unlikely.

In concept, the notion of an advertising campaign anchored on deliberate physical abuse seems like a spectacularly bad idea – especially if the target audience is children. However, one of the most successful campaigns in advertising history involved a series of television commercials for a sugary drink that featured a strange little man who almost always punched a pleasant but dimwitted soul in the face, knocking him flat on his back.
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The Bootleg Files: Hedda Hopper’s Hollywood

BOOTLEG FILES 716: “Hedda Hopper’s Hollywood” (1960 all-star TV special).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS:
No perceived commercial reissue value.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely.

By the time 1960 rolled about, the film industry was in a very strange place. The studio system had mostly crumbled and many of the major Hollywood productions were being shot overseas. The movie studios learned to grudgingly live with television and a few figured out how to profit from the small screen medium.
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The Bootleg Files: The Vivian Vance and Margaret Hamilton Maxwell House Coffee Commercials

BOOTLEG FILES 715: “The Vivian Vance and Margaret Hamilton Maxwell House Coffee Commercials” (series of 1970s television commercials).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: No perceived commercial reissue value for television commercials highlighting a specific brand.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely.

For an actor, being typecast in a particular role can be both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it offers the opportunity to enjoy a high-profile part in a popular production that, with luck, can be leveraged into fame and fortune. On the other hand, however, it locks the performer into a specific character and makes it nearly impossible for that individual to be accepted in other roles, thus severely limiting a career.
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The Bootleg Files: Orson Welles’ Moby Dick

BOOTLEG FILES 714: “Moby Dick” (Orson Welles’ unfinished 1971 project).

LAST SEEN: Three brief clips are on YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: Sometimes, the only way to enjoy Welles’ work is via bootleg video.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely.

Orson Welles had a lifelong fascination with Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick” and pursued adaptations of this epic novel interpretation throughout his career. He produced radio versions of the tale in 1938 and 1946, taking on the role of Captain Ahab. John Huston wanted Welles to play Ahab in his 1956 film version, but Warner Bros. insisted on a star with a bigger box office draw, so Gregory Peck was recruited to play Ahab while Welles had a showy supporting part as Father Mapple.
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The Bootleg Files: To Tell the Truth

BOOTLEG FILES 713: “To Tell the Truth” (long-running television game show).

LAST SEEN:
Plenty of old episodes are on YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: A few of the older episodes are on DVD from a highly dubious label.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: Never properly repackaged for home entertainment channels.

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

Liars are the most fascinating people. After all, they can give you a spiel that could be utterly convincing and compelling, but it is only later when you realize their smoke-and-mirror act played you for a fool. And it takes a certain brand of talent to sell a falsehood in a manner that it is happily embraced as a fact and its seller is welcomed as an all-around good sort.
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The Bootleg Files: The Dangerous Christmas of Red Riding Hood

BOOTLEG FILES 712: “The Dangerous Christmas of Red Riding Hood” (1965 television special starring Liza Minnelli).

LAST SEEN: On DailyMotion.com.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: On a highly dubious label.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: The absence of the original color production.

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

During the 1960s, the Christmas season brought a glut of holiday-oriented productions to television. But for every “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” that became an instant classic, there were scores of efforts that never clicked with audiences and became quickly forgotten.
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The Bootleg Files: Snack Boy

BOOTLEG FILES 711: “Snack Boy” (1998-2001 online video series starring Terry Crummitt).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: Long-forgotten pioneering production of online-exclusive entertainment.

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

Did you ever stop and ask yourself: where did the concept of an online video star begin? After all, we are currently overburdened with characters who have become rich and famous by making wacky videos for YouTube. But there had to be a time and place where this show business phenomenon actually took root, yes?
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The Bootleg Files: Love

BOOTLEG FILES 710: “Love” (newly bootlegged version of a copyright-protected restoration of a 1919 comedy short starring Roscoe “Fatty” Arbucke).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: This just appeared online two days ago.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS:
Someone must have thought it was okay to rip off the presentation because the source material is public domain.

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

The basic premise of this column is to highlight rare film and television productions that can only be seen in bootlegged prints and unauthorized online video postings. The column has never encouraged bootlegging of copyright-protected work. On occasion, this column has considered public domain titles that are the subject of endless duping because of their lapsed copyrights – and in too many cases, the only way that one can appreciate those works is by enduring the duped versions.
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