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The Three Stooges Collection, Vol. 5: 1946-1948 [2 Discs] [DVD]

Release Date:03/17/2009
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    Special Features

    • Closed Captioned


    Mummy's Dummies
    This time we're in ancient Egypt, where the Three Stooges own a used-chariot dealership ("I'm Honest Moe, he's Honest Shemp, and that's...that's Larry"). When they bamboozle the Captain of the Royal Guard (Ralph Dunn) out of 400 shekels for a defective chariot, the Stooges are arrested and brought before the mighty King Rootentooten (Vernon Dent). Sentenced to be thrown to the crocodiles, the boys save themselves by curing the King's toothache, whereupon they are appointed Royal Chamberlains--and in this capacity, our heroes expose a crooked tax collector (Philip Van Zandt). Highlights include Shemp's disguise as the mummy of the late, great King Put-n-take-it. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Uncivil Warbirds
    In this two-reel comedy, the Three Stooges found themselves caught in the middle of the war between the states, a setting not visited by the zany team since 1935's Uncivil Warriors. This time around they keep changing allegiance until three Southern Belles (Faye Williams, Eleanor Counts, and Marilyn Johnson) change their minds for them. Curly Howard's increasingly obvious health problems made this effort one of the team's weakest to date. Uncivil Warbirds was a remake of Buster Keaton's Mooching Through Georgia (1939), and contained quite a bit of footage from that earlier comedy. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

    The Three Troubledoers
    While it was not one of the best latter-day Curly Howard comedies, this Three Stooges short still had enough amusing moments to get by. It opens up with the boys, dusty and worn out, reaching Dead Man's Gulch. The population of the town is rapidly dwindling, as evidenced by the sound of gunfire and ever-shrinking numbers on the population sign. Badlands Blackie and his gang are the culprits -- they've killed six sheriffs in five months (and that doesn't count deputies). Now the blacksmith has been kidnapped and Blackie is threatening to do away with him unless his daughter, Nell (Christine McIntyre), agrees to marry him. The desperate townsfolk make Curly sheriff, and Moe and Larry deputies, and their first task is to help out Nell -- especially since she has promised to wed Curly if he saves her father. The Stooges manage to vanquish the bad guys -- only because Blackie is not any brighter than they are -- and they save Nell's dad. But when the girl informs him that she has promised to marry Curly, the blacksmith replies, "I'd rather be dead!" Curly gives him a stick of dynamite and the Stooges run off. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

    G.I. Wanna Go Home
    The postwar housing shortage played a large role in this Three Stooges two-reeler, which cast the boys as returning G.I.s who cannot marry their fiancées (Judy Malcolm, Ethelreda Leopold, and Doris Houck) until they find proper living quarters. Despite the fact that popular Stooges veterans Ethelreda Leopold and Symona Boniface both returned to the series after an absence, G.I. Wanna Go Home had little more than a typically clever title to recommend it. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

    Pardon My Clutch
    In their second two-reel short of 1948, the Three Stooges plan to ease Shemp's toothache by going on a camping trip. From buying a used car to the trip itself, everything that can go wrong does, including a bill collector who proves to be a fugitive from an insane asylum. The Stooges remade the story in 1955 as Wham Bam Slam. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

    Shivering Sherlocks
    While this Three Stooges short meanders with little rhyme or reason, it does contain a number of good gags. The cops are on the lookout for a trio of armed car robbers. Instead they find the Stooges in a trash can. They drag the guys in for a lie detector test but the biggest liar turns out to be the police captain (Vernon Dent). The Stooges have fibbed that they work at the Elite Cafe but when they discover that its owner, Gladys (Christine McIntyre), can't make ends meet they offer to work for free. Once again the boys prove that they should never be left alone in a kitchen. After a few minor disasters, they sit down to eat, and over a bowl of clam chowder (with a very "fresh" clam), Moe virtually plays homage to Curly, who had retired from the group two years before. He even imitates Curly's bark. Gladys receives a letter from someone who wants to buy the old homestead for a thousand dollars. The Stooges think she's being cheated, so they go with her. It turns out that the crooks (led, as usual in the Stooges shorts, by Kenneth MacDonald) are using the place as a hideout. The Stooges find their way into the house only to be pursued by a freakish, humpbacked killer named Angel. But Shemp manages to capture all the crooks by standing on a ledge over a doorway and dropping barrels on them as they come through. The cops show up and cart the bad guys off, but Shemp isn't done dropping barrels -- the last one, filled with flour, lands on Moe and Larry. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

    Square Heads of the Round Table
    The Three Stooges play troubadours of the Middle Ages in this comic short. It opens with Shemp stuck in his armor suit -- "I kept busting rivets so I had my tailor spot-weld me," he explains. It turns out that Cedric the blacksmith is hiding in their home to avoid beheading -- he has fallen in love with Princess Elaine (Christine McIntyre), who is betrothed to the Black Prince (Phil Van Zandt). To help him out, the Stooges accompany him to serenade the fair princess but they are all caught by the king (Vernon Dent) and jailed in the dungeon to await execution. But the princess saves them with a loaf of bread filled with files, saws, and hammers. The Stooges escape their captors and don suits of armor (or "steel step-ins," as Moe calls them). The Black Prince is planning to kill the king as soon as he's married to the princess, and Cedric is to be beheaded when the trumpets announce the forthcoming wedding. But the Stooges hurl fruit into the trumpets to keep them from sounding and reveal the Black Prince's nefarious plot. Cedric is saved, and the King allows him to wed the princess. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

    Monkey Businessmen
    The Three Stooges are inept electricians in this comic short. That's no surprise since their last jobs were as peanut brittle breakers. After everyone, including the boss, gets shocked at least once, the boys are finally fired. This trying experience inspires them to take a vacation and they wind up at Mallard's Rest Home. But Dr. Mallard (Kenneth MacDonald, a frequent Stooges' villain) is a quack and only wants to take money from his rich patients. He assigns two nurses to the Stooges, which sends them into paroxysms of ecstasy until the nurses enter -- they're men. The next morning, in the gym, the Stooges promptly knock their male nurses silly with some weights, and then discover that the place is a sham and have to escape Mallard and his henchmen. Curly cures a wealthy man's bad foot when he collides with his wheelchair, and the grateful man gives him a thousand-dollar reward. When Curly suggests using the money to take a nice, long rest, his pals bean him. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

    Fiddlers Three
    A pair of furloughed British sailors and a Wren go for a visit to Stonehenge, get caught in a violent storm and end up in ancient Rome. This comedy chronicles their exploits that begin when they try to curry the emperor's favor by predicting the future. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

    The Hot Scots
    The Three Stooges are wannabe detectives in this comic short. They show up at Scotland Yard wearing fake facial hair to answer a wanted ad. Inspector McCormick is puzzled by this until they remind him that the notice requested "experienced yard men." So he sends them out to locate some "missing papers" -- in other words, clean up the trash outside of Scotland Yard. The boys get their chance to crack a case when an assignment blows off the inspector's desk and lands at their feet. Dressed in kilts and talking in phony Scotch accents, the Stooges head for Glenheather Castle. After introducing themselves as McMoe, McLarry, and McShemp, they are given the task of guarding the prized possessions of the castle's owner. This is a stroke of luck for the crooks, who, dressed as spooks, proceed to ransack the joint and terrorize the Stooges. Eventually, the Stooges, through no real talent of their own, manage to knock the crooks (who turn out to be the servants) unconscious. The last one to be captured is Lorna Doone (Christine McIntyre), who is making a run for it when the castle's owner returns. To reward the boys, he offers to treat them to some 200-year-old Scotch, but when he opens the cabinet they find a skeleton playing bagpipes. This scares the Stooges witless and they dive out the castle's windows. The beautiful and obviously expensive castle set was not built for this film (or the other two Stooges pictures where it can be seen). It was actually a set for the Columbia feature Lorna Doone, and the shorts department borrowed it. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

    Beer Barrel Polecats
    In their first released two-reel comedy of 1946, the Three Stooges are jailed for bootlegging. Their combined efforts to escape makes up the bulk of the comedy, which was heavily augmented with stock footage from So Long Mr. Chumps and In the Sweet Pie and Pie, old footage becoming an increasing occurrence in the series. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

    Sing a Song of Six Pants
    According to their storefront, The Three Stooges are "unaccustomed tailors" who do "Cleaning, pressing and altercations." But maybe not for long -- their equipment is in danger of being repossessed. When they hear that bank robber Terry Hargan is on the loose and there's a reward for his capture, Shemp believes that's their way out of debt. Moe is dubious but the crook actually does dash into the store while running from a detective. He poses among a group of mannequins and the oblivious Stooges strip him of his suit. Hargan shows up at his hideout in his underwear, but it's no laughing matter -- the combination to the next safe he has to crack was in his pants. The result of his attempts to get that slip of paper back is a melee between the Stooges and the crooks. The crooks are no match for the Stooges and the detective arrives just in time to handcuff the unconscious Hargan. The Stooges' reward turns out to be tickets to the policeman's ball, but all is not lost -- they ! snatch a wad of hundreds (and a fifty) from Hargan's coat. Much footage from this comedy -- and the whole substance of its plot -- was recycled for the Stooges 1953 picture, Rip, Sew and Stitch. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

    Crime on Their Hands
    Even with a combined I.Q. that's in the negative column, The Three Stooges still manage to outwit a gang of crooks. The bad guys, led by Dapper (Kenneth MacDonald), have stolen the famed Punjab diamond and the heist has hit the front pages. At the newsroom, editor J.L. Cameron warns the Stooges, "This is a tough assignment. Can you cover it?" But he's not talking about the heist -- the Stooges are janitors and he is handing them a mangled chair cushion. They're more than happy to do the job, but would rather be cub reporters. While Cameron is out of the office, a tip comes in regarding the diamond's whereabouts and our boys are on their way. They show up at McGuffy's cafe asking for Dapper and convince everyone in the joint that they're cops. In an upstairs room they find Dapper's moll (Christine McIntyre), who has hidden the diamond in a candy dish. Shemp swallows the gem along with some mints and then the moll finds out the Stooges are reporters. She calls in Dapper and his henchman and everyone tries to get the diamond out of Shemp. Nothing works, so Dapper decides to cut him open. Moe and Larry are stuffed into a closet while their pal is tied down to a table. Luckily there happens to be some tools in the closet, and Moe and Larry saw their way out -- right into a gorilla's cage (why the gorilla is there is completely irrelevant to the story). The gorilla storms into the closet and winds up tossing the crooks around like they're rag dolls. In Shemp, however, the beast finds a kindred spirit. By the time Moe and Larry have gotten help, the crooks are knocked out and Shemp and the gorilla have bonded. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

    I'm a Monkey's Uncle
    One of the better Three Stooges comedy two-reelers of the "Shemp era," I'm a Monkey's Uncle featured the boys as cavemen chasing after a trio of prehistoric lovelies, Aggie, Maggie, and Baggie (aka Columbia starlets Dee Green, Virginia Hunter, and Nancy Saunders). The latter seems to have spent her days at Columbia trekking endlessly back and forth between the Stooges and B-Western star Charles Starrett. the Stooges recycled footage from I'm a Monkey's Uncle for Stone Age Romeos (1955). ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

    Out West
    The Three Stooges returned to the wild and woolly West in this above-average two-reel comedy, the second to feature Shemp Howard as the third member of the team. They are visitors to a lawless frontier town and run afoul of the infamous Doc Barker (Jack Norman aka Norman Willis) and his gang. To their rescue (and that of Christine McIntyre) come not only the handsome young "Arizona Kid" (Jock Mahoney in his first of many appearances with the Stooges) but the entire cavalry. A reworking of Harry Langdon and El Brendel's 1945 Pistol Packing Nitwits, Out West was remade by the Stooges as Pals and Gals in 1954. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

    Hold That Lion
    A fine Three Stooges two-reel comedy, Hold That Lion is proof positive that the underrated Shemp Howard was a worthy replacement for the ailing Curly Howard and no mere stop-gap measure. The three dimwits play heirs going after the villain, Ichabod Slipp (Kenneth MacDonald), who absconded with their inheritance. Written by the clever Felix Adler, the comedy uses every train gag ever invented and marked a welcome return to the series of African-American supporting comic Dudley Dickerson. All but recognizable and complete with a toupee, Curly appears briefly as a man sleeping on the train. According to producer/director Jules White, the ailing comic was visiting his old haunts when cajoled into doing this silent bit. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

    Heavenly Daze
    Moe Howard, Larry Fine, and Shemp Howard unleash their unique blend of comic chaos in this collection of three vintage Three Stooges short subjects. In Heavenly Daze, Shemp dies and meets his maker, who informs him that if he wants to get into heaven, he must first get con men Moe and Larry to clean up their act -- at the moment, they're selling a bogus fountain pen that they claim can write through whipped cream (and who wouldn't need a pen that can do that?). The Stooges are moving men in The Ghost Talks, and as they haul furniture out of an old house, they're shocked when a suit of armor comes to life. It seems that the spirit of its owner, Sir Tom, still walks, and would like a reunion with his old friend, the beauteous Lady Godiva. Hocus Pocus finds the Stooges falling under the spell of stage hypnotist the Great Svengarlic; he convinces them to do a high-wire routine from a 20-story building, but the boys are plenty startled when the spell is broken mid-way through their walk. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

    Half-Wits Holiday
    Filmed in 1946 but held over until January of 1947, Half-Wits Holiday proved a rather sad occasion for the Three Stooges. A remake of the earlier Hoi Polloi, in which a professor wages that he can turn the three dimwits into perfect gentlemen. Sadly, Curly Howard, who had been ailing all year, suffered a stroke on the last day of filming. Supporting actor Emil Sitka, who made his debut with the team in this film, remembered: "No one -- including Moe, Larry, and Jules White -- ever told us how serious his condition was. It was only after the picture had been completed that I found out he took ill." Producer/director White managed to finish the last scene -- the inevitable pie-fight featuring the Stooges' main victim Symona Boniface (as Mrs. Smythe-Smythe) -- by dividing the action between Moe Howard and Larry Fine and inserting reaction shots of the various bystanders. Curly Howard never returned to the series as a member of the team -- he later agreed to a couple of cameos while visiting his former workplace -- and was replaced by brother Shemp. Perhaps the most beloved Stooge, Jerome "Curly" Howard died at the young age of 48 in 1952. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

    Fright Night
    After Curly Howard suffered a stroke, his brother Shemp quickly stepped in and joined the Three Stooges so that there was little time lost between pictures. Although this was his first Columbia short as part of the trio (he had made films for the studio as a solo), it wasn't the first time Shemp was a Stooge -- he had been one of the originals when they were with Ted Healy and had left in the early '30s. Coincidentally (or perhaps not), the plot to this comedy involved one of Shemp's favorite sports -- prize fighting. The Stooges play trainers to Chopper Kane, a lazy bum who would rather read magazines than work out. They finally convince him to "start on the dummy," which he believes means Shemp. The dummy they're really referring to is far more inanimate, but nevertheless manages to knock all three Stooges silly, much to Chopper's amusement. A reluctant Shemp then goes into the ring to spar with Chopper. But the boys are faced with a dilemma -- a pair of tough guys warn them that their man must throw the fight or else. So the Stooges soften Chopper up by hooking him up with Larry's girl, Kitty, and feeding him rich pastries. It's all working out quite well until the night of the fight. Kitty has dumped Chopper for his opponent, Gorilla Watson, and he is ready to kill. Because Moe has tossed a cream puff at Gorilla, the fighter angrily slugs a brick wall and injures his hand. The fight is called off, and the tough guys take the Stooges for a ride. They wind up in a warehouse and after a frantic chase, Shemp trips up the bad guys on mothballs and knocks them out one by one. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

    Brideless Groom
    Shemp Howard plays a vocal coach in this Three Stooges short. His most adoring student is a homely young miss who cheerfully mangles "The Voice of Spring." As soon as her lesson is over, Moe and Larry show up and inform him that his Uncle Caleb has left him a half a million dollars -- provided that he is married by six o'clock that evening. Shemp needs a bride in a hurry, so he heads to a phone booth with his little black book and a handful of nickels, but he only manages to get tangled up with Moe. Then he sees a pretty girl (Christine McIntyre), who's a new resident in the building, but she turns out to be a violent psychopath. Shemp has no choice but to take his awful voice student to the altar, but as the justice of the peace (Emil Sitka) is preparing to wed them, an angry group of Shemp's former girlfriends show up -- Moe ran a notice in the paper announcing his dilemma. The women battle furiously to become Shemp's bride, and the Stooges are all the worse for wear. The semi-conscious Shemp manages to say "I do" to the singing student, and when he comes to and realizes what he's done, his response is to scream, "Help!" If this short bears a few similarities to the Buster Keaton silent Seven Chances, it could be because writer Clyde Bruckman worked on both films. Emil Sitka's line, "Hold hands, you lovebirds," was immortalized in Pulp Fiction -- it can be heard while John Travolta is pumping a hypodermic full of adrenaline into the overdosed Uma Thurman. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

    A Bird in the Head
    This is the first Three Stooges short that Edward Bernds directed. However, Curly Howard had begun suffering the series of strokes that would eventually sideline him, and he wasn't up to speed here. To save Bernds' job, producer Hugh McCollum held the film back until the director and the boys made the far superior Micro-Phonies. That's not to say that this wasn't a fun short; it certainly has its entertaining moments. The Stooges are paperhangers, or at least they say they are. "You won't recognize the joint when you get back," Moe Howard assures his boss. That's for sure -- when the boys are done, the room looks like it was haphazardly papered with napkins. The boss is furious and to escape him the boys dash into the laboratory of the mad Professor Panzer (Vernon Dent). Panzer wants to put a human brain into a gorilla's head, but he hasn't been able to find a brain small enough...until he meets Curly. He entices the boys to stay in his home, but they discover what he plans to do. They also discover the gorilla. Curly finds a kindred soul in the ape and soon they're destroying Panzer's lab. Panzer tries to stop them with a machine gun, which the gorilla snatches away and begins firing. After the professor is knocked cold, the boys beat a hasty retreat -- and Curly makes sure that the gorilla comes along. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

    Rhythm and Weep
    The Three Stooges -- Moe, Larry, and Curly -- become suicidal when thrown out of the 26th vaudeville theater in a row in this average two-reel farce from Columbia Pictures. Deciding to "off" themselves from the roof of a high-rise building, they encounter a trio of chorus girls (Gloria Patrice, Ruth Godfrey, and Nita Bieber) who have reached the same conclusion. While discussing how and when to jump, the sextet is rescued by Mr. Walsh (Jack Norton), a gentleman "afflicted with millions," who auditions them for his upcoming musical show. Unfortunately, the theatrical backer is as "nutty as a nest of cuckoos" and is summarily taken away to the loony bin. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

    Three Little Pirates
    This was Curly Howard's next to last film as a member of the Three Stooges. He would collapse from a stroke while filming Half-Wits Holiday, and his illness would end his career. Even though he wasn't well during his last few shorts, Curly's comic timing was usually flawless, and he's especially hilarious here disguised as a Rajah. The time is supposedly 1642, but when the Stooges are washed up onto Dead Man's Island from a wrecked garbage scow, they are dressed as sailors circa 1946 (when the film was made). Curly immediately displeases the governor (Vernon Dent) by flirting with his fiancée, Rita (Christine McIntyre), and he sentences all three of them to death. Rita doesn't want to marry the governor, so she gives the boys tools (including an electric drill) so they can escape from their cell. Unfortunately, they choose the wrong wall and wind up right back in their cell. So Rita disguises them as "wayfarers from a strange land" -- apparently somewhere around India. They talk in gibberish and offer the governor a raspberry lollipop, which he mistakes as a ruby (he's delighted because he's never been given the raspberry before). Only after they're gone does he discover that they are the sailors he wants dead. He enlists the help of Black Louie the pirate, and the boys wind up in a tense situation at a saloon. But they battle it out, and with Rita's help they emerge victorious. Moe, however, has decided he wants to stay; he proclaims himself emperor and a mallet immediately comes down and smashes him on the head. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

    All Gummed Up
    In this classic Three Stooges comedy short, the boys play drug store operators who help the boss' wife by inventing a youth serum, which turns her into a young girl. The husband, however, overdoses on the stuff and becomes an infant. With Emil Sitka, Christine McIntyre, and the wonderful Symona Boniface in support, this Jules White-directed effort doesn't fail to amuse. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

    Three Loan Wolves
    A rather lackluster Three Stooges comedy short (mainly because of Curly Howard's ill health), Three Loan Wolves featured the team as owners of a pawnshop ("Here Today, Pawn Tomorrow") who suddenly become foster parents to an infant left in their store by a gangster's girlfriend (Beverly Warren). ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

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