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The Bootleg Files: Lambeth Walk – Nazi Style

BOOTLEG FILES 809: “Lambeth Walk – Nazi Style” (1942 short that riffs on “Triumph of the Will” with a soundtrack featuring an instrumental version of “The Lambeth Walk”).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: In public domain anthologies.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS:
Unauthorized use of Leni Riefenstahl’s film coupled with music clearance issues.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE:
It is out there, rights clearance be damned.

Some humor is timeless – think of Shakespeare’s comedies, Mark Twain’s novels and the Three Stooges’ knockabout. But with some humor, time is not an ally and it can difficult for later generations to appreciate what their predecessors were laughing about.
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The Holocaust and the Cinema

In the aftermath of World War II, filmmakers have been challenged to capture the depth and scope of the Holocaust in narrative and documentary productions. On this episode of “The Online Movie Show,” Rich Brownstein, author of the new book “Holocaust Cinema Complete,” offers insight on this difficult subject.

The episode can be heard here.

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The Bootleg Files: Our Job in Japan

BOOTLEG FILES 766: “Our Job in Japan” (1946 U.S. Army propaganda film.).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube and Internet Archive.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: In collections of U.S. World War II military films.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS:
No copyright was ever filed on this film, so it can be duped endlessly.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: A digital restoration for commercial home entertainment release is unlikely.

One of the most bizarre news stories of this year involved the decision by Dr. Seuss Enterprises to discontinue the publication of six books by the beloved children’s author due to racially insensitive illustrations of Africans and Asians. The books in question were minor additions to the author’s canon and were never adapted into films or television productions, but for many people the idea that a Dr. Seuss book would be taken off the shelves due to political correctness was the epitome of cancel culture run amok.
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The Bootleg Files: The Battle of China

BOOTLEG FILES 748: “The Battle of China” (1944 documentary in the “Why We Fight” series).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: On public domain labels.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: It never had a copyright, so anyone can make a crummy dupe.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE:
Condemned to public domain hell.

In 1942, the U.S. government commissioned Oscar-winning filmmaker Frank Capra to create a series of films that would explain the nation’s involvement and goals for World War II to both the American public and the servicemembers being sent into battle. The “Why We Fight” films became a seven-part series that primarily focused on the threats that Nazi Germany posed to the U.S. and to its British and Soviet allies.
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The Bootleg Files: Know Your Ally – Britain

BOOTLEG FILES 740: “Know Your Ally – Britain” (1944 U.S. War Department documentary).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO:
On public domain labels.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: The absence of a copyright allows anyone to make dupes.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: It’s been on DVDs featuring wartime documentaries.

In 1944, the U.S. War Department (the forerunner of today’s Department of Defense) produced “Know Your Ally – Britain,” a 45-minute documentary to be shown to American servicemembers. From today’s perspective, it might seem peculiar that this type of a film would be made relatively late in the war.
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The Bootleg Files: Tokio Jokio

BOOTLEG FILES 736: “Tokio Jokio” (1943 Looney Tunes cartoon).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: On public domain labels.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: A lapsed copyright allows anyone to make dupes of this animated short.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: The folks at Warner Bros. aren’t particularly proud of this one!

Tomorrow marks the 75th anniversary of V-J Day, when Japan’s surrender to the Allied forces brought World War II to a long-overdue close. To help observe this important occasion, we are presenting a short film that generated relatively little attention when it was first released during World War II but has since taken on greater visibility for some of the most impolite examples of political incorrectness captured in an animated short.
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The Bootleg Files: Keeping Fit

BOOTLEG FILES 680: “Keeping Fit” (1942 all-star short film).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: Not to my knowledge.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: Rare World War II-era film that had no postwar reissue value.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE:
Maybe in an anthology of wartime shorts or as a special feature on a DVD.

After the United States entered World War II, the Hollywood studios churned out a series of morale-building films were created to keep civilian audiences engaged in supporting the war effort. The studios often put their biggest names into these films to add a level of star wattage to the messaging.
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