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The 10 Most Intriguing Lost Screen Tests of All Time

For every sure-bet in movie casting, there are scores of questionable decisions on whether an actor can handle a certain role. And that’s where the screen test comes in.

A screen test provides the opportunity for a director and producer to determine whether a specific part should go to an actor who might not be the obvious choice for the role. David O. Selznick memorably shot scores of screen tests to find the right actors that would bring Margaret Mitchell’s characters to life in the film version of “Gone with the Wind” – except for the role of Rhett Butler, which was always envisioned for Clark Gable. Several decades later, George Lucas brought together a line-up of promising under-the-radar talent to test for his “Star Wars.”

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Pinocchio (2022)

Disney continues their latest studio motto of remaking and sequelizing everything that they’ve ever produced. The last being the horrendous “Lion King” CGI remake. Of course the Devil’s Advocate will explain that “Pinocchio” is more of another adaptation (one of three in 2022!) of the 1883 tale, but it’s a remake of the 1940 animated movie. Every character look like their animated counterparts, right down to Tom Hanks as Geppetto. God love Tom Hanks, he certainly tries his best here, and even does his best with the musical number he’s given. But it’s all an uphill battle for a lot of what is established here.

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The Bootleg Files: The Big Fisherman

BOOTLEG FILES 791: “The Big Fisherman” (1959 Biblical epic starring Howard Keel).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS:
No one is rushing to get it into home entertainment release.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Unlikely.

During the 1950s, Biblical epics came back into vogue with a vengeance. Some of these films were monster box office hits – widescreen epics such as “The Robe” (1953), “The Ten Commandments” (1956) and “Ben-Hur” (1959) generated millions of dollars in ticket sales.
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The Bootleg Files: Circus Capers

BOOTLEG FILES 755: “Circus Capers” (1930 animated short).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: On public domain labels.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: A copyright infringement lawsuit, coupled by a lapsed copyright on the film.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Hopefully not.

Everyone’s heard of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, but did you ever hear about Milton and Rita Mouse? If not, that’s because Walt Disney heard about them first and put a stop to them before they caught on with the public.
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Disney After Walt: 1966-1985

Following Walt Disney’s death in 1966, his namesake company entered a tumultuous period that showed great achievements in film, TV and theme parks, as well as a harrowing time when the company faced a hostile corporate takeover. On this episode of “The Online Movie Show,” the guest is Mark Arnold, author of “Frozen in Ice: The Story of Walt Disney Productions, 1966-1985.”

The episode can be heard here.

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Fantasia Will Amaze Ya

Walt Disney’s 1940 masterpiece is in the spotlight on this week’s edition of “The Online Movie Show,” with film critic Jerry Roberts offering his input on the creation of this avant-garde animated feature and how it evolved from a box office flop into a timeless classic.

The episode can be heard here.

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The Bootleg Files: Tetched in the Head

BOOTLEG FILES 645: “Tetched in the Head” (1935 animated short film featuring Barney Google).

LAST SEEN: It is on YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: A semi-lost film.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE:
Not until the original version is located.

In 1930, Columbia Pictures was a relatively minor player in the Hollywood scene. The studio’s cred received a boost that year when it signed an agreement with Walt Disney to distribute his popular animated short films. However, in 1933 Disney ended his relationship with Columbia due to a financial dispute.
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The Bootleg Files: Fantasia – The Censored Centaurs

BOOTLEG FILES 599: “Fantasia – The Censored Centaurs” (deleted characters from Disney’s 1940 masterwork).

LAST SEEN: It is on YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: Racially motivated humor that the Mouse Factory does not want you to see.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Oh, Lawdy!

In many ways, Walt Disney was way ahead of his times: his pioneering work in sound and color animation set new standards for filmmaking, and his genius for merchandising laid the foundation for contemporary Hollywood’s marketing machinery.

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