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The Bootleg Files: Woody Allen Looks at 1967

BOOTLEG FILES 753: “Woody Allen Looks at 1967” (1967 television special).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: Never released in a home entertainment format.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Unlikely.

It’s safe to say that no one will ever look back on 2020 with any great fondness, except perhaps Mr. and Mrs. Biden, but that now-closed 12-month span was hardly the first year-from-hell experience. Anyone who was around in 1967 will glumly recall the challenges and tragedies that marked the year’s political and social environments.
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The Bootleg Files: The Magic Christmas Tree

BOOTLEG FILES 752: “The Magic Christmas Tree” (1964 holiday season fiasco).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: On public domain labels.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: No copyright on the film opens it to endless duping.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Who the hell would want to offer a 4K restored version of this thing?

Some crummy movies are so cluelessly terrible that they’ve earned the designation of being “so bad they’re good.” The 1964 atrocity “The Magic Christmas Tree” doesn’t fall into that genre. Instead, it needs to be shoved into the category of “so bad they’re terrible.”
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The Bootleg Files: “Parade” Starring Sammy Davis Jr.

BOOTLEG FILES 751: “‘Parade’ Starring Sammy Davis Jr.” (episode of a 1959 Canadian television variety series).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: Multiple issues prevent its release in the U.S.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE:
Not likely.

During the 1950s, Sammy Davis Jr. was a ubiquitous presence on American television. Whether working solo or with his father and uncle as the Will Mastin Trio, Davis’ singing, dancing and comedy made him a scene-stealer on nearly every variety program.
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The Bootleg Files: Kristo

BOOTLEG FILES 750: “Kristo” (1996 Filipino film on the life of Jesus Christ).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: Too obscure for commercial consideration.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not on a U.S. label.

Before we get started on this week’s column, I would like to call attention to this being the 750th entry in The Bootleg Files series that began 17 years ago on another site and has been part of Cinema Crazed since February 2017. I would like to thank the Cinema Crazed publisher, Felix Vasquez Jr., for hosting this column and thank the readers that have been extraordinarily supportive over the years. And now, on with the show…
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The Bootleg Files: The Divine Mr. J

BOOTLEG FILES 749: “The Divine Mr. J” (1971 religious satire starring Bette Midler as the Virgin Mary).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO:
On a VHS label in 1984.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: Legal threats by Bette Midler have kept this out of circulation.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Unlikely.

In May 1974, newspapers in New York City began to carry advertisements for a film opening at the Festival Theater called “The Divine Mr. J.” The advertisements alerted moviegoers this was the film debut of Bette Midler, who achieved her career breakthrough two years earlier with the album “The Divine Miss M,” and the caricature of Midler used on her eponymous second album was the featured image of the film’s promotion.
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The Bootleg Files: The Battle of China

BOOTLEG FILES 748: “The Battle of China” (1944 documentary in the “Why We Fight” series).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: On public domain labels.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: It never had a copyright, so anyone can make a crummy dupe.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE:
Condemned to public domain hell.

In 1942, the U.S. government commissioned Oscar-winning filmmaker Frank Capra to create a series of films that would explain the nation’s involvement and goals for World War II to both the American public and the servicemembers being sent into battle. The “Why We Fight” films became a seven-part series that primarily focused on the threats that Nazi Germany posed to the U.S. and to its British and Soviet allies.
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The Bootleg Files: The Laundromat

BOOTLEG FILES 747: “The Laundromat” (1985 HBO drama directed by Robert Altman).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS:
Most likely due to a problem with rights clearance.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Unlikely at this time.

During the early 1980s, Robert Altman seemed intent on creating his own version of the American Film Theatre by taking theatrical works and creating adaptations that were closer in style to the original proscenium-framed productions than to works of cinema. With “Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean” (1982), “Streamers” (1983) and “Secret Ceremony” (1984), Altman was plumbing dramatic emotions from claustrophobic chamber pieces rather than using the widescreen canvas to explore a greater world of tumult and chaos.
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The Bootleg Files: Cow on the Moon

BOOTLEG FILES 746: “Cow on the Moon” (1959 animated short by Dušan Vukotić).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: Most likely due to a problem with rights clearance.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE:
Unlikely at this time.

During the mid-1950s, Yugoslavia began to make its presence known on the global cinema scene through the output of Zagreb Film, a Croatian-based studio specializing in offbeat animated shorts. At the time, animated shorts were still dominated by the Hollywood studios and their line-up of beloved zany characters. But the Zagreb Film animators slowly found their way into major film festivals and theatrical release thanks to inventive, stylish and subversively funny mini-productions.
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