post

The Bootleg Files: Lucky Ghost

BOOTLEG FILES 737: “Lucky Ghost” (1942 comedy starring Mantan Moreland).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: On public domain labels.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: A lapsed copyright allows anyone to make dupes of this animated short.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: It is unlikely anyone will do a 4K restoration of this title, which is a shame.

During the 1940s, most Americans enjoyed Mantan Moreland’s presence in B-level productions from Monogram Pictures where was the comic relief sidekick in a series of light entertainments starring Frankie Darro and he stole the show as the jittery chauffeur in the Charlie Chan mysteries. Outside of Monogram, the other Hollywood studios had relatively little use for Moreland, giving him bit parts (often uncredited) in their A-list and B-grade productions.
Continue reading

post

The Bootleg Files: Tall, Tan and Terrific

BOOTLEG FILES 637: “Tall, Tan and Terrific” (1946 film starring Mantan Moreland).

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:
The original film materials are believed to be lost and the copyright expired, which limits the opportunity to properly restore this old flick.

The 1946 film “Tall, Tan and Terrific” is among the most peculiar films within the genre known as “race films”: all-black productions created exclusively for distribution to racially segregated cinemas during the Jim Crow era. The film itself is a forgettable mediocrity, but it is notable for bringing together a number of talented individuals who rarely received a proper chance to display their considerable talents.
Continue reading