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The Bootleg Files: Alice the Fire Fighter

BOOTLEG FILES 657: “Alice the Fire Fighter” (1926 animated short by Walt Disney).

LAST SEEN: On several online video sites.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: On public domain labels.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: A lapsed copyright opens it up to endless duping.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Although it has been restored, it is stuck in public domain hell.

In 1924, an aspiring animator from Kansas City named Walt Disney caught his first big break when he signed with the independent Winkler Pictures to create a series of short films that combined animation with live action. Disney came up with the concept of a having a then-contemporary riff on “Alice in Wonderland,” with a live action little girl interacting with comic cartoon characters. This series became known as the Alice Comedies, and 57 one-reelers were created over the next three years.
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Saving Brinton (2017)

This documentary focuses on Michael Zahs, a retired history teacher in rural Iowa who was responsible for rescuing rare nitrate films from the beginning of the 20th century that once belonged to William and Indiana Brinton, a pair of pioneering cinema exhibitors. The Brinton collection consisted of 130 films plus numerous magic lantern slides, and it also included a long-lost fantasy work from Georges Méliès called “The Triple-Headed Woman.”
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The Last Days of the Silent Films, Part 2

In the second of a two-part episode, Lon Davis, author of the critically acclaimed “Silent Lives,” returns to “The Online Movie Show” to discuss the transition from silent films to the talkies, focusing on stars who made the leap into the new medium (including Garbo, Neil Hamilton and Laurel and Hardy) along with now-forgotten performers who did not (including Madame Olga Petrova, Karl Dane and Mary McLaren).

The episode can be heard here.

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

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The Last Days of the Silent Films, Part 1

In the first of a two-part episode, Lon Davis, author of the critically acclaimed “Silent Lives,” offers a fascinating insight on the tumult and career disruptions brought about when the microphone entered the movie studio and the silent film stars were expected to talk on the screen.

The episode can be heard here.

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

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Jamaica: The Land of Film

For the past century, Jamaica has been the setting for scores of classic films. On this episode, we are joined by Peter Polack, author of “Jamaica, The Land of Film,” who discusses the role played by this Caribbean gem in filmmaking from the silent movie era through today’s digital age.

The episode can be heard here.

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

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Horror Films: The Silent Years

This episode celebrates the birth and development of the horror film genre, from the 1890s through the 1920s. Our guest is Troy Howarth, co-author of “Tome of Terror: Horror Films of the Silent Era (Volume 1),” and we celebrate the horrific output of the Edison studios, German icon F.W. Murnau, the Lon Chaney-Tod Browning canon, and other masters of silent horror flicks.

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

The episode can be heard here.