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The Three Stooges Collection, Vol. 3: 1940-1942 [2 Discs] [DVD]

Release Date:08/26/2008
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    Special Features

    • Closed Captioned


    An Ache in Every Stake
    The Three Stooges play ice delivery men in this comic short. It's a hot day, and they've been cooling off in the back of the truck; in fact, Curly has gotten his head stuck inside a block of ice. After the other two Stooges free him, he bowls a strike with another block of ice and some milk bottles. Finally he is put into service carrying some ice up a long, long flight of stairs (no, they're not the same stairs used in Laurel and Hardy's short, The Music Box, but they seem to be located in the same area of Los Angeles -- the Silverlake district). By the time Curly reaches the top, the ice block has melted into an ice cube. As a solution the boys bring the ice box down the stairs and load it up at the bottom -- a good idea except that near the top the filled cabinet goes barreling down the steps and smashes into a man (Vernon Dent) holding a cake. Up at the house, the Stooges annoy the cook into quitting, and the dismayed matron has no one to fix dinner for her husband's birthday party. The well-meaning Stooges volunteer their services, with the predictably disastrous results. The finale is a fresh cake, which the boys have pumped full of gas because it fell. With a huge blast it explodes, sending the Stooges back down the long, long flight of stairs. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

    So Long Mr. Chumps
    In the 190 comic shorts that the Three Stooges made for Columbia, they worked at just about every blue-collar job imaginable (that is, when they were gainfully employed). Here they're street cleaners, and not very good ones. But at least they're honest -- when they find an envelope filled with oil bonds in the trash, they return them to their owner, B.O. Davis. The grateful Davis offers them a 5,000-dollar reward if they can find an honest man with executive abilities. The boys' search for an honest man seems to be in vain -- the only one who returns the decoy wallet they leave lying on the sidewalk is a dog. But the dog leads them to a weeping girl who explains that her honest sweetheart has been unfairly jailed. The best way to talk to him, the Stooges figure, is to get arrested themselves. This is easier said than done, as all their antics get other people arrested. Finally, they land in the clink and track down their man, Percy Conroy. With some black paint, they make their prison outfits up like guard uniforms and make their escape. But as they're on their way out, Davis is coming in -- it turns out that he's really a bond swindler. The Stooges wind up back in jail, breaking rocks over Curly's head. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

    From Nurse to Worse
    This Three Stooges comedy is loaded with funny gags. The boys are painters who run into their old friend Jerry, an insurance salesman. He promises them that if they take out a policy on Curly and they prove that he has gone insane, then they can collect 500 dollars a month. So Moe wrestles the money for the policy away from the reluctant Curly and Larry ("This is my favorite dollar!" Curly protests, "I raised it from a cent!"). Their plan works too well -- Moe and Larry bring Curly on a leash to the office of Dr. D. Lerious (Vernon Dent). Curly's pretending to be a dog and his behavior are so outrageous that the doctor decides he must operate. When they hear this, the Stooges panic and run away. Dr. D. Lerious and a policeman chase after them. The boys hide in the back of a dog catcher's truck and are soon infested with fleas. They escape while the truck is being fumigated, and are soon captured by the doctor. Curly is whisked off to the operating room, and Moe and Larry dodge the cop to rescue him. After much mayhem, the trio gets away on a gurney which they sail through the city streets. They run into a man and knock him into a trough of cement. When they pull him out and see it is Jerry, they throw him back in. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

    No Census, No Feeling
    At the start of this comic short, the Three Stooges are unemployed. They've been sleeping in the awning of a swap shop and are rudely awakened when the shop owner unrolls it. After turning the store into a disaster area, the trio run away. They escape to city hall and exit as census takers. Excited over their four-cents-per-head fee, they get working. One place they invade is a mansion during a party. Curly, who has been flirting with the maid in the kitchen, mixes the punch and sweetens it with alum, which he mistakes for powdered sugar. Meanwhile, Moe and Larry somehow get collared by the hostess into playing bridge. When the card players drink the alum-saturated punch, their mouths shrivel up, which makes bidding very difficult. Curly and the maid get into a spat and the hostess, who is in the wrong place at the wrong time, winds up with a dress soaked with punch. The Stooges dash off and find a stadium full of spectators watching a football game. The potential income from all these surveys is very appealing, so the boys sneak into the stadium and start off by trying to survey the players. This doesn't go over very well with the team, and after The Stooges have disrupted the game, the players chase them out of the stadium and into the street. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

    Loco Boy Makes Good
    This Three Stooges comedy opens with the boys being tossed out of a flea bag hotel -- they were eight months behind on the dollar-a-month rent. To make money, they scheme to go to a posh hotel and have Curly slip on a bar of soap, then they can sue the establishment and really clean up. Unfortunately the owner of the place they choose is a sweet, grandmotherly type who's in dire financial straits herself. The boys watch as a creditor threatens her and they decide to help her out. They spiff up the place (but not before causing a bit of Stooge mayhem), and then help out at the nightclub by acting as waiters, and as the main act (they're billed as "Nill, Null and Void, Three Hams Who Lay Their Own Eggs"). Dinner is attended by Waldo Twitchell (a play on Walter Winchell), a columnist who can make or break the hotel's reputation. The Stooges nervously do what they can to entertain him, and disaster is only averted because Twitchell is amused by their antics. That is, until Curly, who has accidentally donned a magician's coat, pulls a skunk out of one of the inside pockets. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

    Because there's not much plot to this Three Stooges short, it has almost a sitcom-like feel. It's late at night and a tearful woman leaves a baby on the doorstep of a home -- which happens to be where the Stooges live. The infant's cries rouse the boys out of a sound sleep, and once they find the tot, it takes over their lives. It sleeps on the bed while the Stooges wind up on the floor. Though well meaning, the Stooges are not exactly knowledgeable when it comes to taking care of a baby -- the meal they prepare for him includes radishes, celery, spaghetti and artichokes. They're not much better in the diaper-changing department. Then they see a newspaper item about a kidnapped baby and become convinced that the baby was left on their doorstep by the kidnappers. When the police come knocking at their door, they rush out the back in a panic. The Stooges drive off with motorcycle cops in hot pursuit. Although the policemen never do catch the Stooges, they do find the baby -- which was all they wanted. One of the cops is the child's father, who had had a terrible fight with his wife the night before. Unaware that they perfectly safe, the Stooges sneak off under a trio of haystacks. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

    What's the Matador
    Parodying the previous year's Blood and Sand, this two-reel comedy starred the Three Stooges as vaudeville entertainers involved with a fiery senorita (Suzanne Kaaren) and her dangerous husband while performing south of the border. The Stooges used both plot and copius stock footage from What's the Matador? in their last two-reeler, Sappy Bull Fighters, replacing the brunette Kaaren with Nordic bombshell Greta Thyssen. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

    I'll Never Heil Again
    Even though The Three Stooges, as dictators of Moronica, get eaten by lions at the end of 1940's You Natzy Spy!, they're brought back to terrorize the world once again for this comic satire on Hitler and the other Axis rulers. This time, the munitions manufactures from the first short have come to regret putting Moe Hailstone (Moe Howard) in power, and decide to help out Moronica's deposed King Herman 6 7/8. The King's daughter offers to go to the Stooges disguised as an astrologer, the "Seeress of Roebuck." Meanwhile, the boys are looking at a map of Europe (or a pun-filled variation thereof) and making plans to invade "Great Mitten." The princess shows up and convinces the Stooges that the other members of the Axis nations are plotting against them. She also sneaks an explosive-filled ball onto the pool table. During a meeting between the Stooges and the heads of the Axis nations, things come to a head and they start fighting over possession of the world -- actually the globe sitting on the table. The Stooges manage to knock out their foes, but the globe also gets smashed to bits on Moe's head -- "You nitwit!" he screams. "You shattered my world!" It gets blasted to pieces even more when the billiard ball explodes. The Stooges wind up with their heads mounted on the wall and once again Herman 6 7/8 rules over Moronica. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

    All the World's a Stooge
    When wealthy Mrs. Bullion informs her husband, Ajax that they are adopting a "little refugee" -- a common event amongst society people during World War II -- he is less than thrilled. But a trip to the dentist changes his perspective. Instead of getting his tooth pulled by his regular guy, Dr. I. Yankum, he winds up with three building janitors -- none other than The Three Stooges -- working on his mouth. Later, when he finds them hiding out in his car, he decides to take them home to Mrs. Bullion as not one, but three, long-awaited refugee children. But Bullion doesn't realize what he's in for -- Johnnie (Moe Howard), Frankie (Curly Howard) and Mabel (Larry Fine) steal his cigars and play craps with the butler. Mrs. Bullion throws a party to introduce the little darlings to her friends, but the festivities are interrupted when her furious husband chases the Stooges from the house with an ax. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

    Some More of Samoa
    The Three Stooges are tree surgeons in this comic short. An irascible old man is driving both his wife and his nurse up a wall. But instead of being concerned about his own illness, he's worried about his tree, a rare "puglis persimmon." The Stooges, also known as the Elite Painless Tree Surgeons ("the biggest Grafters in town"), show up, force the nurse out of the room, and get to work. The wife and nurse believe The Stooges are real surgeons and they panic when they hear that Moe is determined to "saw off a limb." Actually, the tree isn't really in need of surgery -- it's just lonely. The only female puglis persimmon, however, is located on the South Sea island of Rhum Boogie. The old man offers the boys ten thousand dollars to bring it back, so they head for the island. Once they get there, they discover Rhum Boogie is infested with cannibals -- and unless Curly marries the chief's ugly sister, they will be the next meal. The guys manage to get away, but the little boat they escape in promptly sinks. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

    Three Smart Saps
    Three lovely young ladies have to rely on their fiancés -- the Three Stooges -- to get their father out of prison. Surprisingly, their trust is not misplaced. The girls' father is a prison warden who has been overthrown and put behind bars by a gangster. The Stooges decide that their best tactic is to get tossed behind bars themselves, but they find it harder than they expected. A cop they annoy tells them, "Our jail is for important people!" Finally they manage to sneak in and locate their father-in-law to be. He explains that there is a party going on inside the prison and suggests that they surreptitiously take a lot of incriminating photos. So the boys crash the party, after they've managed to steal some tuxedos, and go to work. Unfortunately, Curly's tux proceeds to fall apart in front of his dance partner. By the time he's down to his underwear, Moe has enough pictures and they escape. The real crooks are served justice, and the Stooges marry their sweethearts. They head off for their honeymoon, but not before showering Curly with a rain of shoes. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

    Dutiful But Dumb
    The Three Stooges star as inept photographers in this comic short. When they screw up their latest assignment -- getting a clandestine photo of a movie star and his new bride -- their boss (Vernon Dent) has had about enough of them. He sends them to Bulgaria for their next job -- mainly because taking pictures there is against the law and all the other photographers he sent there wound up being shot. It looks like that's going to be the fate of the Stooges, too -- it only takes them a few moments to get caught. But as the firing squad is setting up, Curly requests one last smoke -- and the cigar he pulls out is a couple of feet long. The wait puts everyone to sleep, and enables the threesome to escape. They spend the rest of the film trying to elude their captors. Curly gets the best gags -- while hiding in a radio, he plays music and pretends to be an announcer, and then in a cafe he orders a bowl of oyster soup, containing one very fresh oyster. His surreal battle with the wayward mollusk was repeated in several Stooges shorts, and the gag can be traced back to Mack Sennett days. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

    Even as I.O.U
    In one of their all-time most hilariously insane comedy two-reelers, the Three Stooges save a destitute mother and her child by winning the big race -- with monies "borrowed" from the child's piggy bank. They are then cheated by a ventriloquist into buying a retired race horse, in effect losing all their winnings. Curly, however, saves the day by swallowing horse vitamins and giving birth to a colt. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

    In the Sweet Pie and Pie
    Hard-working Columbia starlets Mary Ainslee, Dorothy Appleby, and Ethelreda Leopold take center stage in this Three Stooges comedy, one of the year's best two-reelers. They play society girls, who, to get their hands on an inheritance, marry three death row inmates (guess who?). When the boys are pardoned by the governor, the devious debutantes think up any manner of ways to get rid of their irritating new spouses. Soon, the pies are flying. In fact, the pie throwing sequence of this film later wound up in Pest Man Wins (1952), one of the Stooges best later shorts.In the Sweet Pie and Pie marked the final Stooges short of supporting actor Richard Fiske, who joined the Army. Sadly, Fiske was lost in battle in France in 1944. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

    This Three Stooges short takes place in the days of "Ancient Erysipelas," where the lusty Octopus Grabus is emperor and Ye Olde Pottery and Stone Works is run by Mohicus, Larrycus and Curleycue, "the biggest chiselers in town." The emperor is on the search for a new wife, but the young lovely that is chosen by one of his men just doesn't want to have anything to do with him. The Stooges try to help her out by hiding her in one of their pots, but they are all caught and brought to the palace. The Stooges are to be thrown to the lions but they manage to escape their captors. Moe and Larry convince Curly to dress up as Octopus's prospective bride while the real one escapes. Luckily the emperor's eyes are bad and Moe and Larry break his glasses, so he's never any the wiser. Finally the boys break for freedom by jumping out one of the palace's windows, but they wind up getting caught, upside-down, on the spears of three guards. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

    Nutty But Nice
    The plot to this particular Three Stooges short actually makes some sort of sense! The boys are singing waiters, known as the "Hilarious Hash Slingers," at Ye Colonial Inn. Two doctors who are having lunch are delighted at their antics and think that perhaps they can cheer up a sick little girl who is pining for her father. The father, a bank cashier, disappeared with three hundred thousand dollars' worth of bonds and is believed kidnapped. The Stooges show up at the hospital dressed like little girls but while their act makes the doctors and nurse laugh, the child barely notices. So the Stooges decide to find the girl's father, armed with the following description: he's 40 years old, 5'10" in his stocking feet, has a bald spot and an anchor tattoo, and can yodel. The boys accost a number of strangers on the street, checking for bald spots, pulling off shirt sleeves to look for tattoos and measuring for height. Eventually their search narrows when they hear yodeling. It's just a radio, but it happens to be coming from the room where the father is being held captive. The Stooges find the father and overpower the crook who's present, but before they can make their escape, the rest of the gang shows up. In the nick of time, they take the dumbwaiter to the basement. They try to find a way out and battle the crooks, who have found them, in a hilarious set of blackouts as lights keep getting turned on and off. The bad guys are finally vanquished and the little girl is reunited with her father. Back at Ye Colonial Inn they watch the Stooges sing a song (pie fight included). ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

    Boobs in Arms
    World War II was just heating up, but the U.S. hadn't yet entered the fighting when the Three Stooges made this comic short. It opens with the boys selling greeting cards on the street, none too successfully. One surly guy in particular is a victim of the Stooges' harassment. To get away from his wrath, the boys dash into an apartment building, where they find a weepy young woman who thinks her husband doesn't love her anymore. To help her out, the Stooges offer to try to make her husband jealous. The woman's spouse turns out to be the very same man they harassed a few minutes earlier. To get away from him -- again -- the guys get in what they think is a bread line, but it's really a recruitment line for the Army. In a flash the Stooges are in uniform -- only to discover that their sergeant is the very same angry husband. They manage to make it through basic training and are sleeping through bomb blasts when they're woken up and sent on a mission. The sergeant has been captured and they're supposed to bomb enemy headquarters with laughing gas. Naturally, the gas shell explodes on them and they're captured. At the enemy headquarters, they manage to knock everyone unconscious while laughing uncontrollably. The place is being shelled by the American troops, and the Stooges, still laughing, ride one of the shells as it soars out of the building. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

    A Plumbing We Will Go
    One of The Three Stooges best Columbia shorts, this picture begins with the boys in a typical situation -- they're down and out and on trial for stealing chickens. They manage to get off, but find themselves in trouble once again when they go a pet store's fish tank. They escape from a cop with the use of a magician's disappearing act and drive off in a plumber's truck. The estate the trio land on has a leaky pipe, so the Stooges do their best to fix it -- which means they just about destroy the whole house. One of the best gags shows Curly Howard in the bathroom, screwing pipe onto pipe onto pipe until he's caged in -- the answer to his dilemma, of course, is to drill through the floor. Later, the lady of the house shows off her new "television receiver" to some guests (quite a novelty in 1940!). A live shot of Niagara Falls turns into a real-life Niagara as a gush of water smashes through the screen. Not surprisingly, a chase results from the mayhem. Th! e magician from earlier in the short is part of the afternoon's entertainment, and the Stooges emerge from his disappearing box -- as do a number of cops and a couple of police motorcycles. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

    Rockin' Thru the Rockies
    A constant in nearly all Three Stooges comedies is at least one pretty girl -- this short has three. One of them, billed as Linda Winters, would become better known as Dorothy Comigone -- by then she would work her way up from supporting the Stooges to supporting Orson Wells in Citizen Kane. The Stooges are three half-baked hoofers, circa the late 1800s, who are helping (if you can call it "help") a trio called Nell's Belles travel across the rugged plains of the Midwest, through the Rockies and up to San Francisco, the location of their next date. None of the girls have much faith in the boys, and Nell, the matron who watches over them, has even less. They stop their wagon to fix up some grub, but are interrupted by a threatening group of Indians who urge them to get off their land as quickly as possible. Leaving is easier said than done, as Curly scares off the horses when he discharges his gun. They are stuck there for the night and it snows while they are asleep. A bear has eaten all their food, so the Stooges go to a nearby lake and cut three holes through the ice so they can fish. This proves to be the funniest scene in the picture, as Curly and Larry pull Moe through one hole and out the other -- "Hey, this fish looks like Moe," Curly remarks. "It is Moe! We're sorry, Moe" says Larry in abject apology, "I thought you was a fish." Moe, of course, responds with the usual Stooges violence. Their adventure is interrupted by Nell, in a panic because the Indians have kidnapped the Belles. The ladies manage to escape on their own, and everyone jumps on the wagon. The Stooges unfurl a sail they have made out of a backdrop and off they go. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

    You Nazty Spy!
    The United States had not yet entered World War II when The Three Stooges made this short (and its 1941 sequel, I'll Never Heil Again). Lampooning the Third Reich had not yet become commonplace and, in fact, this comedy two-reeler even came out before Charles Chaplin's The Great Dictator. Three munitions manufacturers in the country of Moronica -- Messrs. Ixnay, Onay, and Amscray -- decide to drum up some business by overthrowing the king and turning the country into a dictatorship. As their pawns they choose their wallpaper hangers, who happen to be the Stooges -- Moe Hailstone, Curly Gallstone, and Larry Pebble. Predictably, Moe winds up in charge, with Curly as Field Marshal and Larry as Minister of Propaganda. There is much politically-based silliness -- Moe giving a speech to the masses as Larry holds "applause" and "cheers" cards; burning books (except for one listing the phone numbers of Curly's girlfriends); and sending a poor unfortunate to a "concentrated camp." The king's daughter (Adrian Booth Bryan) shows up in disguise and tries to put a halt to the Stooges' shenanigans. Curly is supposed to execute her but winds up shooting Moe's backside instead -- "You shot me in the excitement, you fool!" Moe roars. It's too late, anyhow -- the king has gathered up a mob and they're storming the Stooges' palace. The boys decide that their only choice is to abdicate and they do -- right into a den of hungry lions. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

    Cuckoo Cavaliers
    "It's gotta have class and gotta have beauty," the Three Stooges tell a Mexican real estate dealer in this hilarious two-reel comedy. They are looking to buy a saloon; what they get, naturally, is a beauty salon. Produced and directed by Jules White, Cuckoo Cavaliers actually had an even better working title, "Beauty á la Mud." ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

    Cactus Makes Perfect
    The first part of this Three Stooges comedy is pretty amusing, but it's even funnier if you realize that the actor playing the Stooges' long-suffering mother is writer Monte Collins in drag (he co-wrote the story to this picture). Ma Stooge lives with her boys in a humble farmhouse, but Curly has a plan to make them wealthy -- he has invented a "gold collar button retriever." The Inventors Association sends him a letter calling the contraption "incomprehensible and utterly impractical." With that bit of encouragement, the boys leave their ma, the cow and the chickens, and go to the big city to make their fortune -- the big city happens to be just across the street. Immediately a conman gets a hundred dollars out of them by selling them the rights to a lost mine -- and the map that tells them how to get there. Out in gold country, Curly puts the collar button retriever to use as a gold locator and sure enough, they come upon the lost mine. They also run into a dangerous pair of desert rats who want the mine's gold. Once inside the mine, getting the gold is easy enough -- the Stooges find a lever they can pull like a slot machine. But they still have to get away from the desert rats and they hide in the safe of a closed-down hotel. The rats drill a hole in the safe and push a stick of dynamite through. The Stooges push it back. The rats push it in again and the Stooges are blown through the hotel's wall. One bit of trivia -- this short is on a compilation reel along with Whoops! I'm an Indian and Rockin' Thru the Rockies, and in all of them Curly is wearing the same skunk (not coon) skin cap! ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

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