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West Side Story: Behind the Scenes

The 1961 version of “West Side Story” is considered by many to be among the greatest movie musicals of all time. On this episode of “The Online Movie Show,” we discuss the making of this classic (and dispel some longstanding rumors on its casting) with Richard Barrios, author of “West Side Story: The Jets, the Sharks, and the Making of a Classic.”

The episode can be heard here.

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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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Montgomery Clift: A Tribute

Montgomery Clift created a remarkable output of film performances, blending Method Acting with an uncommon subtlety that has never been duplicated. Actor/writer Kevin Dolan is our guest on this episodes, which considers the on-screen triumphs and personal tragedies of this extraordinary actor.

The episode can be heard here.

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The Bootleg Files: Minstrel Man

BOOTLEG FILES 688: “Minstrel Man” (1944 musical).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: On public domain labels.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: A lapsed copyright.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE:
No one is rushing to digitally restore this title.

When one thinks of the 1940s musicals, few people will automatically cite the Poverty Row mini-studio Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC). Indeed, that cheapo endeavor gained a belated cult following for its thrillers, horror flicks and Westerns, but not for musicals. However, this scrappy little operation created at least one notable musical that snagged a pair of Oscar nominations and brought together an unlikely band of talent.
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The Films of Paul Mazursky

Paul Mazursky was one of the most prolific and versatile filmmakers, creating such classics as “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice,” “Harry and Tonto,” “Next Stop, Greenwich Village,” “An Unmarried Woman” and “Moscow on the Hudson.” Film scholar Nat Segaloff is our guest on this episode of “The Online Movie Show,” which highlights Mazursky’s directing career plus his little-known work as an actor in Stanley Kramer’s first feature “Fear and Desire” and his role in creating “The Monkees” television series.

The episode can be heard here.

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The Films of Rock Hudson

While much of today’s focus on Rock Hudson centers on his private life and untimely death, the depth and scope of his film and television career is often overlooked. Actor/writer Joe Mannetti returns to “The Online Movie Show” for a discussion of Rock Hudson’s versatility as an actor and the many memorable performances he created.

The episode can be heard here.

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The Bootleg Files: Kokoda Front Line!

BOOTLEG FILES 671: “Kokoda Front Line!” (1942 Australian newsreel).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: No perceived commercial value for the U.S. market.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: It can be found on Australian DVD, but it is not likely to be released on a U.S. label.

If you are an Academy Award trivia buff, you will recognize “Kokoda Front Line!” as the first Australian film to win an Oscar. If you are World War II history buff, you will be familiar with the importance of “Kokoda Front Line!” in covering an important battle in the Pacific combat. But if you are not up to speed on either your Oscar factoids or your World War II knowledge, then hopefully you might come away from this week’s column with something worth learning.
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Turning Down a Great Role

Jackie Gleason as Popeye Doyle? Tom Selleck as Indiana Jones? Cary Grant as Henry Higgins? These are some of the most amazing original casting decisions involving iconic screen roles, yet all of these stars turned down the opportunity to play immortal movie characters. In this episode, of “The Online Movie Show,” Jerry Roberts from ArmchairCinema.com returns to consider some of the most interesting and outlandish what-could-have-been casting in film history!

The episode can be heard here.