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The Bootleg Files: The Rula Lenska / Alberto VO5 Commercials

BOOTLEG FILES 780: “The Rula Lenska / Alberto VO5 Commercials” (series of TV commercials from the late 1970s).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: There is no perceived commercial value for a home entertainment anthology of these commercials.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Sorry, darling.

I did not plan to write another television commercial-based column, but yesterday on Twitter I read that the British actress Rula Lenska turned 74. I had not thought of Rula Lenska in ages, and for those of us who were watching television in the 1970s her name and image occupied a unique space.
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The Bootleg Files: The Monkees’ Tokyo Concerts

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.
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The Bootleg Files: The New York Hat

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.
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The Bootleg Files: The Nancy Walker / Bounty Paper Towel Commercials

BOOTLEG FILES 777: “The Nancy Walker / Bounty Paper Towel Commercials” (1970-1990 television commercial campaign).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: No perceived value in compiling 20 years’ worth of commercials.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely.

If you were watching U.S. television in the 1970s, it was impossible not to find Nancy Walker somewhere on the dial. She was simultaneously appearing on two popular shows at the same time – “McMillan & Wife” and “Rhoda” – and turned up in guest starring appearances on various series and variety shows; she also had notoriety for starring in two of the fastest flops of the decade, “The Nancy Walker Show” and “Blansky’s Beauties.”
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The Bootleg Files: Jack Benny in Australia

BOOTLEG FILES 776: “Jack Benny in Australia” (1964 television special from down under).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: No perceived commercial value.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely.

In early 1964, Jack Benny received an offer to do a series of shows in Australia, where his radio and television shows had been popular for years. The timing for the offer was serendipitous, as CBS unceremoniously axed Benny’s popular television program at the end of 1963 and he had no other engagements lined up.
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The Bootleg Files: Doom of Dracula

BOOTLEG FILES 775: “Doom of Dracula” (8mm reissue of sections from the 1944 “House of Frankenstein”).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: No perceived commercial value.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE:
Not likely.

In the years before video cassette recorders invaded living rooms in the late 1970s and early 1980s, movie lovers who wanted to own copies of their favorite films relied on portable projectors that screened the 35mm or 70mm Hollywood theatrical fare in the much smaller 16mm, 9.5mm, 8mm and Super 8 formats.
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The Bootleg Files: Frank Sinatra Hosts ‘The Tonight Show’

BOOTLEG FILES 774: “Frank Sinatra Hosts ‘The Tonight Show’” (1977 episode with Sinatra filling in for Johnny Carson).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: There might be a problem with music clearance rights.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: I wish it would be released.

Frank Sinatra did not give many interviews – he certainly didn’t need the publicity, nor did he welcome questions about his personal life that he considered to be intrusive. But there was one time in Sinatra’s life when he had the opportunity to be the one asking the questions – and, believe it or not, he was very good at it.
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The Bootleg Files: Springtime for Clobber

BOOTLEG FILES 773: “Springtime for Clobber” (1957 animated short by the notorious Gene Deitch).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: It fell deep into the proverbial cracks.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE:
None, thank goodness.

Most film buffs may recall animator Gene Deitch as the inheritor of the Popeye and Tom and Jerry cartoon franchises – as well as being the man responsible for the worst additions to those respective, long-running series. He also created the egregious 1966 animated feature “Alice of Wonderland in Paris,” which I included in my book “The Greatest Bad Movies of All Time.”
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