VIDEO: Robert De Niro's Humble, Hacky Soft-Core Beginnings Emerge Online
If/when you happen to have a spare 86 minutes, have we got a treat for you: Sam's Song, a/k/a the early, unfinished Robert De Niro film spliced together with soft-core porn to create an experience rivaling Little Fockers for sheer unwatchability. How did this ever happen?
Give credit to Cannon Films, that schlockiest of schlockmeisters that acquired footage from De Niro's 1969 film Sam's Song -- which was apparently abandoned when the filmmakers ran out of money -- and interwove it with some barely sentient material that became the 1979 release The Swap. The completed product has made the VHS and DVD rounds for years (and nearly prompted De Niro, then about to win his second Oscar for Raging Bull, to sue), but is just now emerging online for all to see. If you can stand it.
Honestly, this film's piecemeal storyline and provenance are about as puzzling as its sudden appearance on YouTube; conflicting commentaries are all over Sam's Song's IMDB page, calling the movie both "a sloppy promotion for a film company that took 15 minutes of footage from an unfinished film and slapped them in between scenes from another" and "a pleasant story about two couples: one that just met en [sic] one that has been together for years, seemingly destined to live happily ever after." Which is it? There's only one way to find out...