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The Bootleg Files: Windy Riley Goes Hollywood

BOOTLEG FILES 820: “Windy Riley Goes Hollywood” (1931 short starring Louise Brooks and directed by Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle under a pseudonym).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: On public domain labels and as a special feature on a Kino Lorber Blu-ray offering.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: A lapsed copyright enables endless dupes.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: It was already on a commercial label, but the public domain dupes never stopped.

The 1931 Educational Pictures short “Windy Riley Goes Hollywood” is not remembered today for its content – which, quite frankly, is terrible – but as a low point in the creative lives of two iconic talents of the silent screen who came into the talkie era with their respective careers in shambles.
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The Bootleg Files: Easy to Get

BOOTLEG FILES 819: “Easy to Get” (1947 U.S. Army educational short).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: The film has some serious issues.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE:
Perhaps in an anthology of military-produced films.

You may have noticed that there are relatively few films beyond the pornographic genre where men freely and fully exposed their penis on camera. One of the first – if not the first – non-pornographic films where the penis gets front-and-center exposure is a strange short educational film called “Easy to Get,” which was produced by the U.S. Army in 1947 for exclusive screening for its Black soldiers.
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The Bootleg Files: In the Devildog House

BOOTLEG FILES 818: “In the Devildog House” (1934 short starring Clark and McCullough).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO:
None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS:
It fell through the cracks.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely.

Yes, the spotlight is back on the comedy team of Bobby Clark and Paul McCullough – and why not? For too long, their films have been overlooked – to the point that many of them are either lost or are in archives and cannot be easily accessed.
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The Bootleg Files: Hey, Nanny Nanny

BOOTLEG FILES 817: “Hey, Nanny Nanny” (1933 short starring Clark and McCullough).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: It fell through the cracks.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE:
Not likely.

Question: What is the funniest movie that you never saw? The answer could be “Hey, Nanny Nanny,” a 1933 short starring the comedy team of Bobby Clark and McCullough.
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The Bootleg Files: All-Star Party for Lucille Ball

BOOTLEG FILES 816: “All-Star Party for Lucille Ball” (1984 television special with an extraordinary A-list line-up).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: It fell through the cracks.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely.

When I was watching the 1984 television special “All-Star Party for Lucille Ball,” the same thought kept rotating through my mind: they don’t make them like this anymore. Not only is today’s televised entertainment so completely devoid of the level of star power that was gathered for this one-shot offering, but the feel-good quality and genuine sincerity that permeated the production offers a reminder that there was a time (not so long ago) when broadcast television was a genuinely friendly place to visit.
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The Bootleg Files: King of the Jungle

BOOTLEG FILES 815: “King of the Jungle” (1933 adventure film starring Buster Crabbe).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO:
None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: It fell through the cracks.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely.

In 1932, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer scored a commercial hit by casting former Olympic swimmer Johnny Weissmuller in the title role of “Tarzan the Ape Man.” Paramount Pictures thought it could replicate the rival studio’s success, but rather than acquire the rights to Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan character it opted to make a quasi-Tarzan film based on Charles Turley Stoneham’s “The Lion’s Way” – in which a Tarzan-type character was raised in the African jungle by lions rather than apes.
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The Bootleg Files: The Lauren Bacall High Point Coffee Commercials

BOOTLEG FILES 814: “The Lauren Bacall High Point Coffee Commercials” (a series of television advertisements from the early 1980s).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: No commercial reissue value.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely.

Forty years ago, American television viewers were bombarded with a series of commercials for the High Point brand of instant decaffeinated coffee starring Lauren Bacall. While it was hardly unusual to have recognizable stars pitching coffee in 30- and 60-second spots – Bacall and her then-husband Jason Robards co-starred in a Maxwell House ad during the mid-1960s – the High Point commercials represent a somewhat bizarre realm where marketing and camp overlap. These commercials generated giggles back in the day, and today they are treasured by many as small gems of unintentional humor.
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The Bootleg Files: King of the Pins

BOOTLEG FILES 813: “King of the Pins” (1950 short film).

LAST SEEN:
On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: A true obscurity.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE:
Not likely.

When people are asked to identify short films made by Columbia Pictures during Hollywood’s Golden Era, it is safe to assume that the majority of responses will be rooted in comedy – The Three Stooges, Andy Clyde, Buster Keaton, Charley Chase and Vera Vague will probably be cited most often.
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