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The Bootleg Files: Zenobia

BOOTLEG FILES 581: “Zenobia” (1939 comedy starring Oliver Hardy, Harry Langdon and Hattie McDaniel).

LAST SEEN: An unauthorized posting from a TCM telecast is on YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: A 1997 VHS video release.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: A film that slipped through the cracks.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: It is not a priority.

In 1939, producer Hal Roach announced that he was creating a new film that teamed Oliver Hardy with Harry Langdon. This was not something that Hardy welcomed, but he had no choice. Hardy and his longtime partner Stan Laurel were signed to separate contracts with Roach – their teaming came about by accident rather than design – but after a dispute involving the production of the team’s 1938 feature “Block-Heads,” Roach terminated Laurel’s contract. With Hardy still under contract for another year, the producer looked about for a vehicle to fit his rotund comedy star.

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Jayne Mansfield: Va Va Voom!

One of the most fascinating figures in Hollywood history had one of the most fascinating figures in Hollywood history. On this episode, host Phil Hall celebrates the legacy of the ultimate blonde bombshell with Richard Koper, author of the biography “Affectionately, Jayne Mansfield.”

You can hear the episode at this link.

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The Bootleg Files: A Day at the Horse Opera

BOOTLEG FILES 576: “A Day at the Horse Opera” (1966 animated short inspired by the Marx Brothers).

LAST SEEN: An unauthorized video dupe is floating around Facebook.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: A possible problem with rights clearance.

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

On February 14, 1966, the trade publication Broadcasting Magazine carried an advertisement from Filmation Associates for a proposed series titled “The New Marx Brothers Show.” The series was to consist of 156 animated shorts featuring characters inspired by Groucho, Harpo and Chico Marx. (Yeah, no love for Zeppo, again!)

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Robot Monster Lives!

Has there ever been a more bizarre creature than Ro-Man, the extraterrestrial robot that looks like a gorilla wearing a diving helmet? On this episode, we learn the story behind the making of “Robot Monster” and the life of its mysterious creator, Phil Tucker, with our guest Anders Runestad, author of the book “I Cannot, Yet I Must.” We also get to discuss Tucker’s work with Lenny Bruce on the equally bizarre “Dance Hall Racket” and the stories behind his lost films “Space Jockey” and “Pachuco.”

The episode can be heard here.

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Think Pink: DePatie-Freleng Animation

This episode of “The Online Movie Show with Phil Hall” celebrates the Oscar-winning DePatie-Freleng Enterprises, the animation studio responsible for such beloved characters as The Pink Panther, The Ant and the Aardvark, Tijuana Toads and The Dogfather. Mark Arnold, author of “Think Pink: The DePatie-Freleng Story,” discusses the little-known history of the innovative artists behind these beloved animated shorts.

This program is produced at Platinum Wolfe Studios.

You can listen to the episode here.