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The Bootleg Files: Macbeth

BOOTLEG FILES 698: “Macbeth” (1961 Canadian television production starring Sean Connery in the title role).

LAST SEEN: We cannot confirm the most recent exhibition of this title.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: On a public domain label and a collector-to-collector label.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: There might be some rights issue holding it up.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely.

Sean Connery celebrated his 89th birthday earlier this week and social media was a flutter with tributes recalling his star-making performances as James Bond and his fine work in films stretching from the 1960s to the early 2000s. But few people recalled Connery’s role as the homicidal yet tragic Scottish nobleman who killed his way to the crown in “Macbeth.” Indeed, this work remains among the actor’s least known and most curious efforts.
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The Bootleg Files: John Barrymore’s Hamlet Screen Test

BOOTLEG FILES 697: “John Barrymore’s Hamlet Screen Test” (1933 test footage for a film that was never made).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: Too short for a standalone release, not easy to fit into a larger production.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely.

For every film that finds its way to the big screen, there are an infinite number of projects that got off the ground. Some of these are mere figments of conversation that failed to root into a serious endeavor, others consist of carefully constructed screenplays that never found their way into production, and other projects barely made into a very early stage of pre-production before being abruptly cancelled.
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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead (2010)

june10front2I was a little hesitant to actually sit down and watch Jordan Galland’s horror comedy since its box describes it as being akin to a Woody Allen film as well as an homage to Shakespeare, because let’s face it, horror fans just don’t care about Shakespeare much. But what I experienced was something of a mixed bag of a horror comedy that is both very intelligent and very entertaining. Not only does the film manage to subtly breakdown famous stage plays and literature of all kinds, but it’s a horror comedy very much in the vein of the eighties comedies in which our hero is an inept schlub who is oblivious to the horror around him until it’s much too late to do anything about it.

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