post

The Bootleg Files: Ritz Thrift Shop Commercial

BOOTLEG FILES 724: “Ritz Thrift Shop Commercial” (1975 New York City-based television advertisement that ran for too many years).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS:
Too brief and commercially obscure.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Unlikely.

It is not unusual for a nationally-aired television commercial to gain a level of cult popularity and stay in broadcast rotation for years. But it is less likely for commercials designed for a specific local market to gain that level of popularity. However, at least one highly unlikely commercial wound up becoming a cultural phenomenon in a single market, enjoying a ridiculously long run despite being seriously outdated by the time it wore out its welcome.
Continue reading

post

The Bootleg Files: Treemonisha

BOOTLEG FILES 723: “Treemonisha” (1982 Houston Grand Opera presentation of Scott Joplin’s opera.

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: On VHS video only.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS:
It fell through the cracks.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Unlikely.

If you are an opera buff like me – and, yes, believe it or else, I love opera – you will be interested in knowing about a new version of Scott Joplin’s sole surviving opera “Treemonisha” is being produced by Canada’s Volcano Theatre. This presentation – which includes a new libretto and expanded musical arrangements – was scheduled to premiere next month at Stanford Live in Palo Alto, California. However, a certain virus has forced the show’s postponement. (Thank you, Wuhan.)
Continue reading

post

The Bootleg Files: 120 Music Masterpieces

BOOTLEG FILES 722: “120 Music Masterpieces” (long-running TV commercial for a mail-order set of classical music recordings).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO:
None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: TV commercials have no reissue value after they ran their course.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE:
Unlikely.

If you were watching American television in the 1970s and the early 1980s, there is an excellent chance that you will recall a rather unusual commercial that popped up primarily on local independent stations. It featured a distinguished older British gentleman offering an erudite pitch for the purchase of a mail-order collection of classical music recordings.

Continue reading

post

The Bootleg Files – Energy: A National Issue

BOOTLEG FILES 721: “Energy: A National Issue” (1977 educational animated film narrated by Charlton Heston and starring Fred and Wilma Flintstone).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: It seems to have fallen through the proverbial cracks.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Unlikely.

Last week’s column served up the worst production in “The Flintstones” canon. This week, we serve up the second worst.
Continue reading

post

The Bootleg Files – The Flintstones: On the Rocks

BOOTLEG FILES 720: “The Flintstones: On the Rocks” (2001 made-for-television animated film).

LAST SEEN: On the Internet Archive

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO:
None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS:
It seems to have fallen through the proverbial cracks.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Unlikely.

In 1960, ABC premiered “The Flintstones” as the first animated sitcom to air in prime time. The show was a riff on “The Honeymooners” set in prehistoric times, and it immediately resonated with viewers who kept it on the air for a six-season run.
Continue reading

post

The Bootleg Files: The Great Radio Comedians

BOOTLEG FILES 719: “The Great Radio Comedians” (1972 documentary featuring George Burns, Jack Benny and Edgar Bergen).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: It seems to have fallen through the proverbial cracks.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE:
Unlikely.

From the late 1920s into the late 1940s, Americans relied on radio for their home entertainment. There was a wide variety of original programming to choose from, but many listeners gravitated to the weekly comedy series. Considering the heyday of the medium coincided with the grim years of the Great Depression and World War II, the comedy shows offered much-needed happy distraction from the problems and crises taking place across the country and around the world.
Continue reading

post

The Bootleg Files: The (Almost) Lost Files

This week, The Bootleg Files is on a break. However, for those who never experienced the column during its original run on another site, there were 575 columns that ran between March 2003 (debuting with Disney’s “Song of the South”) and September 2015 (ending with Satyajit Ray’s “Sikkim”). I will add that I am glad to be part of Cinema Crazed and grateful that The Bootleg Files are now here. A new column in The Bootleg Files will be online next week.

post

The Bootleg Files: The Box

BOOTLEG FILES 718: “The Box” (1981 short film starring Terry Jones and Michael Palin, directed by Micky Dolenz).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: It seems to have fallen through the proverbial cracks.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Unlikely.

Terry Jones’ death on January 22 brought forth a wave of warm and cherished memories of the Welsh funnyman’s classic moments with Monty Python. Jones’ passing also encouraged some die-hard Python fans to unearth a genuine rarity: a little-seen short film that Jones and fellow Python Michael Palin co-wrote and co-starred together under the direction of ex-Monkee Micky Dolenz. One could imagine these three distinctive talents would have created something truly remarkable, but they strangely came up with a weird little bore.

Continue reading