post

The Bootleg Files: Stevie

BOOTLEG FILES 835: “Stevie” (1978 British film starring Glenda Jackson and Mona Washbourne).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO:
On VHS video.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: It fell through the cracks.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE:
Hello, Criterion Collection?

The New York Times film critic Vincent Canby can be credited with writing the single most irresponsible and the single most beneficial movie reviews of all time. The irresponsible review was his November 1980 slam of “Heaven’s Gate” – the vitriolic fury that he hurled at Michael Cimino’s Western epic was the ultimate example of critical overkill, and his wrath was so powerful that it set off the chain reaction that brought down the film’s studio, United Artists.
Continue reading

post

In Search of William Beaudine

For too many years, filmmaker William Beaudine’s reputation was maligned with false stories of sloppy work and a “one-shot” approach to shooting. In reality, Beaudine was a talented and versatile creative artist who began his career with D.W. Griffith, directed such icons as Mary Pickford, Jean Harlow and W.C. Fields, and worked in the British film industry and for Walt Disney.
Continue reading

post

The Bootleg Files: The Westminster Passion Play – Behold the Man

BOOTLEG FILES 660: “The Westminster Passion Play – Behold the Man” (1951 British feature film).

LAST SEEN: It is on Amazon Prime, albeit for the wrong reason.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: Yes, but for the wrong reason.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: It is complicated.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely at this time.

In 2011, a DVD label called Synergy Entertainment made one of the most spectacular blunders in the history of the home entertainment industry. This label, which specializes in public domain titles, brought forth a release of the rarely-seen 1921 French silent film “Behold the Man,” which told the story of Jesus’ last days. But there was a problem: the print used for the Synergy Entertainment was not from the French silent film, but instead belonged to a 1951 British production originally titled “The Westminster Passion Play – Behold the Man.”
Continue reading