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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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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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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 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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The Bootleg Files: Disney’s 3 Days in the County Jail

BOOTLEG FILES 677: “3 Days in the County Jail” (1976 nontheatrical short film distributed by Walt Disney Educational Media Company).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: On a gray market DVD with other imprisonment-related short nonfiction films.

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

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Nope.

Back in the mid-1970s, when Walt Disney Pictures was stuffing theaters with such happy nonsense as “The Apple Dumpling Gang” and “Escape to Witch Mountain,’ the company’s nontheatrical subsidiary Walt Disney Educational Media Company was attempting to convince America’s youth that crime didn’t pay. Through a four-part series called “Under the Law,” the sons o’ fun at the mouse factory offered a grim and gritty – at least by Disney standards – view of the mishaps that befell naughty young people who thought they were above and beyond the reach of law enforcement.

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The Bootleg Files: Nimbus Libéré

BOOTLEG FILES 676: “Nimbus Libéré” (1944 propaganda animated short).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: It was included in the 1993 Claude Chabrol documentary “The Eye of Vichy.”

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS:
Unauthorized use of copyright-protected animated characters.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: It is in “The Eye of Vichy,” but it is also posted online without authorization.

By early 1944, Nazi Germany saw its control over Europe weaken dramatically due to Soviet advances from the East and the arrival of Allied forces into Italy. An invasion of France was expected, and the Germans were not eager to see their brutal control over the French removed.

In one of the weirdest attempts to convince an occupied nation that they should not welcome liberation, the German authorities commissioned an animated short designed to show the stupidity and recklessness of the liberating Allied forces.

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The Bootleg Files: The Wandering Jew

BOOTLEG FILES 675: “The Wandering Jew” (1933 British feature starring Conrad Veidt and Peggy Ashcroft).

LAST SEEN: On GodTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: A perceived lack of commercial value.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: A U.S. release is highly unlikely.

The first feature-length production of the sound film era to incorporate Jesus Christ into the on-screen characters was not inspired by the Gospels. Instead, it was based on a weird legend that originated in the 13th century and percolated across Europe well into the early 20th century.
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The Bootleg Files: McLintock!

BOOTLEG FILES 674: “McLintock!” (1963 Western starring John Wayne).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: On both public domain labels and in official commercial release.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: It’s complicated.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: There was an official commercial release, but the film is still being bootlegged.

Earlier this week, John Wayne was the subject of news headlines and social media buzz – which is no mean feat, considering that the star passed away 40 years ago. The new focus on Wayne was due to politically incorrect comments on race and sexual orientation that he made in a 1971 interview with Playboy Magazine. Back in the day, nobody thought twice about the interview – contrary to popular insistence, people did not read Playboy for the articles. But today, of course, it seems that the mainstream media has a racism outrage quota to fill. And when the demand for racist behavior to condemn outpaces the supply of current incidents, clickbait scoundrels scour the archives – or, in a certain Chicago case, hire a pair of oversized Nigerian brothers – in order to stir new waves of frenzy.
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