Barely acknowledged when it was first released in 1954, this low-budget noir has been pried out of obscurity in a new 4K transfer from the archival film elements.
BOOTLEG FILES 779: “The Monkees in Japan” (1968 recording of the Pre-Fab Four in a Tokyo concert).
LAST SEEN: On YouTube.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: There is no surviving video of the concert and the audio recording was never commercially released.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: To borrow a line from a Monkees tune: Zilch!
On very rare occasions, this column puts the spotlight on audio recordings that only exist when there is no surviving film element. In this case, the spotlight shines on what might have been the last commercial hurrah of the Monkees during their brief and frenetic spin at the center of the 1960s cultural zeitgeist.
It’s been fifty years since Stanley Kubrick unleashed what is still one of the most controversial and talked about cult films of all time. And fifty years later we’re still very much talking about “A Clockwork Orange.” How many films from 1971 still cause us to raise a brow? Even in a world where we’ve pretty much seen everything, “A Clockwork Orange” still skirts with the line. Hell, it goes over the line, it stays there, and we never really come back from it.
Last week, Marvel Studios premiered “Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” to much acclaim and box office success. Shang Chi has been one of Marvel’s biggest and most prominent brawlers, a man who has mastered martial arts and proven to be a living weapon time and time again. In honor of Marvel veteran’s debut, I listed my five favorite Comic Book Brawlers, a group of hand to hand fighters that have been some of my all time favorites since I was a kid.
Director Destin Daniel Cretton’s adaptation of the 1973 action comic book is Marvel Studios in its wisest. Their inability to grab top tier superheroes from their stable has enabled them to lend a spotlight to some of the more obscure and less featured superheroes from their universe. Thankfully the focus slides over to “Shang-Chi” one of their most dynamic and down to Earth superheroes who has proven a mainstay since his inception in the seventies and is brought to life in a truly exciting cinematic debut.
BOOTLEG FILES 778: “The New York Hat” (1912 film directed by D.W. Griffith).
LAST SEEN: On YouTube.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: On multiple labels offering silent films.
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: An expired copyright.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: It’s already out there, but that’s not why it is in this column.
In the early years of the silent movies, the bootlegging of film prints was completely out of control. Due the primitive nature of film distribution, it was too easy for cinematic miscreants to swoop in and gather up prints and resell them as their own works, thus denying the profits that the original producers should have recived.