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The Bootleg Files: The Madwoman of Central Park West

BOOTLEG FILES 701: “The Madwoman of Central Park West” (1980 television special based on the Broadway musical).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: A lack of perceived commercial interest coupled with music rights clearance issues.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely.

Actress Phyllis Newman passed away earlier this week, and you can be excused if her name doesn’t ring that proverbial bell. The peak period of her career occurred in the 1960s, when her bouncy personality helped to make her a ubiquitous presence in Broadway musical comedies and on television game shows and talk shows. Newman’s 1962 Tony Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical is still recalled as one of the great upsets in that prize’s history – her “Subways Are for Sleeping” performance snagged the honors that many expected to be bestowed upon Barbra Streisand for her breakthrough role in “I Can Get it For You Wholesale.” She later made history as the first woman to guest host “The Tonight Show” while Johnny Carson was on vacation.
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The Bootleg Files: The Ann Miller Great American Soup Commercial

BOOTLEG FILES 699: “The Ann Miller Great American Soup Commercial” (1970 television advertisement).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube in both its full-length and truncated versions.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: There is no market for old-time television advertisements.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely.

If you are a frequent viewer of today’s American television, you may have noticed some depressing trends regarding advertising. It appears there is a surplus number of commercials for pharmaceutical products that display cheerful images while running soundtracks full of dreadful warnings of toxic side effects, and there are too many commercials from insurance companies that offer obnoxious characters who try and fail to be funny, and there are also too many commercial from packaged food providers that promise immediate and drastic weight loss if you shift your diet to an exclusive focus on their offerings.
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Jane Russell: A Tribute

Jane Russell’s stardom was engineered by Howard Hughes’ fervid imagination, and her initial publicity overemphasized her remarkable physique. But she was a genuinely talented performer adept at light comedy and melodrama. In this episode of “The Online Movie Show,” actor/writer Joe Mannetti returns to offer a tribute to Jane Russell’s iconic place in Hollywood history.

The episode can be heard here.

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The Bootleg Files: Minstrel Days

BOOTLEG FILES 639: “Minstrel Days” (1941 musical short film starring Bud Jamison and Willie Best).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: This is one film that Warner Bros. is not eager to re-release.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Really?

Earlier this week, Starbucks closed down its U.S. cafés for an afternoon and gave its workforce a training session in racial tolerance. Several short films were shown to the Starbucks team that highlighted the insensitive treatment that many African-Americans experience in public spaces and retail settings.
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