Leap Day Update: Don’s Plum is currently available on Dale’s Facebook page. I will remove this update if it becomes unavailable.
Producer, Dale Wheatley uploaded a little 2-decade-old indie film to the video sharing site, Vimeo in hopes of finally sharing it with the world. Just one month later, it was removed following a copyright claim. But that’s not stopping Wheatley from sharing it with film fans everywhere.
The film in question, Don’s Plum, was shot over the course of six days between 1995 and 1996, and features well-known actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire.
Some say it’s unique and excited, having been done almost entirely through improvisation, others say it could give The Room a run for its money. However, the quality of the film’s quality, or lack there of, is not the reason it has been repeatedly removed from video sharing sites and barred from screening publicly. Rather, this film has been banned from screening both the US and Canada since 1999. Not because the filmmakers, the ones who actually own the copyrights to the film, don’t want you to see, but because two of its stars became famous soon after filming wrapped and are seemingly embarrassed.
In 1996, following successful early screenings and distribution offers, DiCaprio and Maguire fought with the film’s director and two producers. As a result, the actors with their fame steadily rising set out to tarnish the filmmakers’ reputations while refusing even speak with them about it. They have made it their mission to get this film removed from each and every site that hosts it, and usually I would be right by their side.
I vehemently oppose anything resembling piracy, especially when it comes to independents. In this case, it’s not piracy. The film can’t be shown any other way and is been offered freely by the people who made it possible in the first place, so it could be seen by the people it was made for.
This battle has raged for nearly two decades now and it doesn’t show any signs of stopping soon. DiCaprio and Maguire haven’t mentioned Don’s Plum in years. Maybe they were hoping the film’s makers would just give up and move on.
While the film itself is no longer available at the site above, it’s just an email away. See the FreeDonsPlum.com homepage for the contact info and while you’re there, read Wheatley’s open letter to DiCaprio where he argues his side of the story against what DiCaprio and Maguire have claimed.
Edit: Since this post was written,
we have had the chance to see Don’s Plum for ourselves.
Click here for our review!
What do you think about the whole situation? Have you seen Don’s Plum? Let’s discuss in the comments!