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.