The Three Stooges: Merry Mavericks [DVD]

Legendary slapstick screwheads The Three Stooges go digital in this hilarious release from Columbia/TriStar. Presented in 1.33:1 full screen and featuring a choice of English (closed captioned), Spanish or Portuguese Dolby Digital Mono audio, this release also offers optional English, Spanish, French or Portuguese subtitles. Episodes include Cactus Makes Perfect, Out West, Vagabond Loafers, Dopey Dicks, Punchy Cowpunchers and Merry Mavericks.
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Overview

Special Features

  • Digitally mastered audio & video
  • Full-screen presentations
  • Audio: English [mono], Spanish, Portuguese
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese
  • Episode selections

Synopsis

Dopey Dicks
Classic comedy is on the menu in this home video collection that serves up a trio of Three Stooges short subjects featuring Moe Howard, Larry Fine, and Shemp Howard. In Dopey Dicks, the Stooges happen upon a mad scientist who needs a human head, complete with brain, for his latest creation, a robot. He decides that one of the Stooges will do, apparently assuming that the brain won't be much taxed by the creature's habits. Scrambled Brains finds poor Shemp in a mental hospital, where he's suffering from hallucinations. He delusionally believes that the hospital's head nurse is a beautiful blonde, rather than the stout, severe-looking harridan she truly is -- and Shemp has asked her to marry him! Moe and Larry try to save him, but just get themselves in hot water. And the Stooges become the first dentists in the Old West in The Tooth Will Out, where they find their skills as painless tooth-pullers put to the test by an outlaw with a terrible toothache and no hesitance about using his gun. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Punchy Cow Punchers
Everybody is a comic in this Three Stooges picture. The killer Dillon clan are shooting up a Western town and Nell (Christine McIntyre) sends her handsome, but clumsy oaf of a sweetheart, Elmer, off to get help. Help comes in the form of the Stooges, who are playing a trio of cavalrymen so incompetent that their frustrated sergeant sends them on the mission only because he believes they won't return alive. The boys dress up as desperadoes and enter the town's saloon, doing their best to appear tough. While ordering drinks, Shemp asks for a milkshake "made with sour milk!" Their lack of prowess in all things Western is immediately apparent, and on top of that, the gang's leader (Kenneth MacDonald) figures out they are spies. The Stooges attempt a different kind of disguise. This time they're waiters, but their fake mustaches give them away in almost record time. Eventually they do emerge victorious over the bad guys, but it's only with Nell's help (she's upstairs, cold-cocking every bad guy who has the misfortune to enter her room), and Shemp's winning battle with two of the bad men and a stick of dynamite. Elmer shows up eventually and when he tells Nell that cowboys don't settle down, she beans him with a piece of crockery. This knocks some sense into him, ending the picture on something of a romantic note. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

Merry Mavericks
This Three Stooges comedy begins with a joke similar to their 1943 short Phony Express -- there's a poster of the Stooges, who are wanted for vagrancy. The reward is 50 cents each, or three for a dollar. To escape getting thrown in the hoosegow, the boys (Moe Howard, Shemp Howard, and Larry Fine) head west to Peaceful Gulch. As might be expected, things aren't too peaceful in Peaceful Gulch at the moment. Bad guys are shooting up the town and have virtually taken over the saloon. A couple of frightened bankers take the Stooges "wanted" photo and run it in the local paper, proclaiming them to be three famous marshals. The Stooges arrive at the saloon to clean up the place -- literally (they're looking for janitorial work), and the bad guys are actually intimidated for about two minutes before figuring out that the Stooges are dangerous only to themselves. The boys manage to round up the outlaws anyhow and put them behind bars. The sheriff, however, is crooked and releases them almost immediately. The bandits dress up as ghosts and head for the Horton house where the Stooges are guarding the bank's money. Moe and Larry are captured, but Shemp saves the day by stealing one of the outlaw's disguises and knocking out the other bad guys. The local cowboy "hero" shows up to admire the boys' work, but faints when he sees one of the unconscious crooks is bleeding. While not a complete rip-off like some of the other, later Stooges films, this picture is quite similar to 1950s Punchy Cow Punchers. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

Vagabond Loafers
This Shemp Howard-era Three Stooges short borrows quite a bit (both plot- and footage-wise) from 1940's A Plumbing We Will Go, made in the Curly days. The story opens with a wealthy couple throwing a party to celebrate the acquisition of a $50,000-dollar Van Brocklin painting. But there's a leak in the basement, so the wife calls the Day and Nite Plumbers. When Moe, who is reading a book called How to Be a Plumber, picks up the phone, you know the couple is in for a load of trouble. Those who have seen A Plumbing We Will Go know what happens next -- Moe toils in the basement while Shemp cages himself in a labyrinth of pipes in the bathroom and Larry digs up half the lawn in an attempt to turn off the water. The cook is in the kitchen, watching in horror as the stove and a lighting fixture gush water. But there's a new twist -- a couple of guests (Christine McIntyre and Kenneth MacDonald) are thieves who steal the Van Brocklin. The Stooges, surprisingly, are the first ones to identify the robbers and they capture the crooks and retrieve the painting. When the grateful hostess offers them a reward, Shemp says, "We don't want no reward! It'll put us in a higher tax bracket!" ~ Janiss Garza, 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

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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