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.
BOOTLEG FILES 727: “Down Memory Lane” (1949 compilation film of Mack Sennett comedy shorts).
LAST SEEN: In a truncated form on YouTube and Internet Archive.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: It fell through the cracks.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely.
By the late 1940s, silent movies had mostly disappeared from public viewing. Some Charlie Chaplin shorts occasionally turned up in kiddie matinees and museums and film societies would sometimes dust off an old print for one-time screenings. But for the most part, the films created prior to rise of “The Jazz Singer” were rarely on the big screen.
W.C. Fields was the ultimate comedy anarchist: an unapologetic misanthrope who battled and bumbled his way through a hostile world. On today’s show, film historian James L. Neibaur, author of the new book “The W.C. Fields Films,” celebrates the life and career of this brilliant funny man.
The episode can be heard here.