post

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.
Continue reading

post

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.

post

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.

post

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.
Continue reading

post

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.

post

Testament (1983)

During the mid-1980s, there was a brief output of productions that focused on what life would be like in the aftermath of a nuclear war. These films were fueled by anxiety from the left that President Ronald Reagan was recklessly pointing the world into an apocalyptic arms race. Of course, that didn’t happen, but the legacy of that fear did create some provocative works of art.
Continue reading

post

The Bootleg Files: Hitler Lives

BOOTLEG FILES 644: “Hitler Lives” (1945 short film that won the Academy Award).

LAST SEEN: It is on YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS:
A mistaken belief that it is in the public domain.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely.

When the 18th Academy Awards were presented in March 1946, much of the attention was devoted to Joan Crawford winning the Best Actress Oscar for her comeback performance in “Mildred Pierce” and to Billy Wilder’s “The Lost Weekend” winning the Best Picture honors. Less attention was given to the Warner Bros. short “Hitler Lives,” which won the Best Documentary Short Subject Oscar. Unknown to the Oscar audience that night, “Hitler Lives” was not an original film, but rather a rehash of an Army training film. And calling the film a documentary was charitable, as the film was clearly more of a propaganda essay than a serious nonfiction production.
Continue reading

post

Annie Hall: A Second Look

On this episode of “The Online Movie Show,” the spotlight shines on Woody Allen’s Academy Award-winning classic. Film critic Jerry Roberts is our guest, and he offers a unique perspective as an Alabama native viewing Woody’s New York.

The episode can be heard here.

“The Online Movie Show” is produced at the Platinum Wolfe Studios.