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The Bootleg Files: Innocently Guilty

BOOTLEG FILES 868: “Innocently Guilty” (1950 comedy short starring Bert Wheeler).

LAST SEEN:
On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: It fell through the proverbial cracks.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE:
Unlikely, unless it is part of an anthology of miscellaneous Columbia Pictures shorts.

Bert Wheeler is remembered today as one-half of the Wheeler and Woolsey comedy team that starred in a series of comedy films beginning in 1929 with “Rio Rita” and ending with “High Flyers” in 1937. After the death of his on-screen partner Robert Woolsey in 1938, Wheeler struggled to maintain a solo career – he starred in the forgettable films “The Cowboy Quarterback” (1938) and “Las Vegas Nights” (1941) and then disappeared from the big screen to find work in nightclubs, on radio and on stage. Wheeler found a larger audience in 1950 when Jackie Gleason invited him to appear on his “Cavalcade of Stars” television show on the Dumont Television Network.
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The Bootleg Files: Hiss and Yell

BOOTLEG FILES 844: “Hiss and Yell” (1946 Oscar-nominated comedy short starring Vera Vague and Emil Sitka).

LAST SEEN:
On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS:
The rights holder will not make it available.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely.

In the late 1930s, comic actress Barbara Jo Allen invented the character Vera Vague for a radio show. This character was a chatterbox, featherbrained spinster who was always in pursuit of a man. Audiences quickly embraced the character, and her appeal was so strong that Allen adopted Vera Vague as her professional name.
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Rita Hayworth: The Love Goddess

You can put the blame on Mame, boys, because the 7th season of “The Online Movie Show with Phil Hall” has launched with a celebration of the ultimate Love Goddess, the one and only Rita Hayworth. Actor-writer Joe Mannetti returns as the guest for this season premiere episode.

The episode can be heard here.

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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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The Bootleg Files: Wacky Wigwams

BOOTLEG FILES 804: “Wacky Wigwams” (1942 animated short).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: It fell through the cracks.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE:
Probably not.

Unless you are a die-hard animation aficionado, there’s an excellent chance that you are unfamiliar with the output of Columbia Pictures’ Screen Gems animation studio in the 1930s and 1940s. Truth be told, their films were never as invigorating or innovative as those from the major Hollywood animation studios of the time, and their obscurity was compounded by not being part of the television rerun culture that ensured cult status for the Warner Bros. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer animation.
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The Andy Clyde Columbia Comedies

Andy Clyde starred in the second-longest series of shorts at Columbia Pictures (after the Three Stooges), with nearly 80 productions from 1934 to 1956. On this episode of “The Online Movie Show,” film historian James L. Neibaur, author “The Andy Clyde Columbia Comedies,” discusses the funnyman’s celebrated output.

The episode can be heard here.