post

10 Of The Most Intriguing Films That Were Never Made

Film history is littered with proposed projects that seemed tantalizing in concept, but somehow never found their way before the cameras. But were these aborted efforts destined to succeed? Seriously, would Stanley Kubrick’s proposed biopic of Napoleon or Alejandro Jodorowsky’s “Dune” been instant classics? I think that some vigorous debates could be enjoyed on whether or not we should be fortunate those works never got made.

Continue reading

post

The 10 Worst Kennedy Center Honors Snubs Of All Time

On Saturday, June 5, the 43rd Kennedy Center Honors will be held in Washington, D.C. This annual event follows a tradition of honoring five individuals or entities within the performing arts, with commendations given to icons from the worlds of film and television, theater, popular music, classical music and opera, and dance

Traditionally, the Kennedy Center Honors have focused on lifetime achievements – an exception was made in 2018 when the award went to the creators of the Broadway show “Hamilton.” Also, for years it was an unspoken tradition to present four of the awards to white artists and one to a token minority – it wasn’t until 2013 that the majority of honorees were nonwhites. And while the Kennedy Center Honors was initially designed to celebrate American talent, over the years the prize has gone to British and Japanese artists.

Continue reading

post

New Deal for Artists (1981)

When Franklin D. Roosevelt became president during the midst of the Great Depression, one of his most ambitious programs to combat the widespread poverty and unemployment of the day was the Works Progress Administration. This program was designed to upgrade and reinforce the national infrastructure, with a primary focus on construction projects involving roads, government buildings and bridges.
Continue reading

post

The Bootleg Files: Caesars Guide To Gaming with Orson Welles

BOOTLEG FILES 757: “Caesars Guide to Gaming with Orson Welles” (1978 video starring the one-time Mr. Kane).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: Never intended for home entertainment release.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely.

Orson Welles is the cinematic gift that never stops giving. Just when you think you’ve seen every film and television appearance credited to him, another long-lost piece of ephemera manages to emerge and fill out his already considerable canon. This past week, a pair of Facebook friends shared a half-hour video that Welles did on behalf of the Caesars Palace resort in Las Vegas in 1978 – I never knew this existed and was excited to check it out.
Continue reading

post

The Bootleg Files: Orson Welles’ Moby Dick

BOOTLEG FILES 714: “Moby Dick” (Orson Welles’ unfinished 1971 project).

LAST SEEN: Three brief clips are on YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: Sometimes, the only way to enjoy Welles’ work is via bootleg video.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely.

Orson Welles had a lifelong fascination with Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick” and pursued adaptations of this epic novel interpretation throughout his career. He produced radio versions of the tale in 1938 and 1946, taking on the role of Captain Ahab. John Huston wanted Welles to play Ahab in his 1956 film version, but Warner Bros. insisted on a star with a bigger box office draw, so Gregory Peck was recruited to play Ahab while Welles had a showy supporting part as Father Mapple.
Continue reading

post

Charlton Heston to the Rescue

He singlehandedly took on Pharaoh’s army, the Roman legions, the Moors, the Pope, King Herod, Laurence Olivier in blackface and, of course, those damn dirty apes. Whether he was a Mexican cop, Mark Antony or Long John Silver, Charlton Heston was always ready to rumble and no crisis – zombies, earthquakes or a Karen Black-piloted airplane – would scare him away. On this episode of “The Online Movie Show,” Facebook’s funniest man Anthony “Kingfish” Vitamia pays tribute to Charlton Heston, as well as some of his zany co-stars! Grab a bowl of soylent green and enjoy the show!

The episode can be heard here!

post

The Bootleg Files: Who’s Out There?

BOOTLEG FILES 672: “Who’s Out There?” (1975 documentary short hosted by Orson Welles).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: On a public domain label.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: Produced for the federal government, hence the absence of a copyright.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: One public domain label carries it, but a full-throttle digital restoration is unlikely.

During the 1970s, a great deal of attention was being paid to outer space. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) kept people focused on the sky with its various lunar missions and probes into the deepest corners of the galaxy. But many people insisted that space traffic was a two-way endeavor, and sightings of UFOs along with various claims of personal encounters with intergalactic visitors became headline news throughout the decade.
Continue reading