The Three Stooges: Nutty But Nice [DVD]

This disc contains a half-dozen films featuring the Three Stooges. A-Ducking They Did Go, Hoi Polloi, Half-Wit's Holiday, Higher Than a Kite, False Alarms, and Nutty But Nice are all presented in standard full-frame transfers that preserve their original theatrical aspect ratios. English, Spanish, and Portuguese soundtracks are rendered in Dolby Digital Mono. Subtitles are accessible in all three of those languages as well as French. Production notes round out this fine package from Columbia/TriStar that should be of worthwhile for any Stooges enthusiast.
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Overview

Special Features

  • Digitally mastered audio and video
  • Full-screen presentation
  • Audio: English [mono], Spanish, Portuguese
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese
  • Episode selections
  • Production notes

Synopsis

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

False Alarms
The Three Stooges play firemen in this comic short. While the other firemen are off fighting a fire, the Stooges are still in the shower. As a result, the Captain wants to fire them, but they beg for another chance. He gives in, but orders them to clean the hoses. Curly rolls them out onto the street, where they are sliced into little pieces by a couple of passing trolley cars. Then, one evening, while the boys are supposed to be on duty, Curly sneaks out to spend time with his girl, who has invited two of her friends to come along. The hefty friend is especially boy-crazy and very disappointed that the other Stooges couldn't make it. Curly gets the bright idea of making a false alarm to get the boys over. Not surprisingly, all the firemen head off to the call, but Moe and Larry get left behind and lock themselves in a room. After breaking down the door and finding the others gone, they decide to borrow the Captain's shiny new car and race down there. They beat their fellow firemen to discover that it was just Curly wanting them to come party. The girls and the Stooges pile into the Captain's car and after a number of hair-raising misses, the inevitable happens -- the car is wrecked. There's an interesting variation on the traditional Stooge eye poke in this comedy -- Moe gives it to Curly over the phone. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

Hoi Polloi
This is one of the earlier Three Stooges shorts, and one of the funniest. It opens on an exclusive restaurant where two wealthy gents are having an argument -- what really makes the man, heredity or environment? They wager ten thousand dollars and take off in search of three men to use in their experiment. They haven't far to go -- right outside the establishment they are pelted with garbage flung by none other than Larry, Moe and Curly. But when the pair offer to make gentlemen of the boys, they aren't interested -- "I'll disgrace us!" bemoans Larry. Reluctantly they finally agree to go along with the plan and spend three months at the home of one of the men while he tries to teach them some manners. After two months, they are little better than when they started -- in fact their benefactor resorts to slapping them! Dancing lessons are even less effective when a bee flies into the instructor's cleavage and the boys try to imitate her St. Vitus dance. Nevertheless, the Stooges make their debut in society, and it is predictably manic. The highlight is Curly's dance with a extra-large maiden. -- a couch spring has affixed itself to his behind, so whenever his partner knocks him down with her heft, he bounces right back up. Although the Stooges' benefactor loses the bet, there apparently is something to be said about the effects of environment because by the end, everyone at this fancy dress party is gleefully knocking each other about, Stooges-style. The idea for this short came from Moe Howard and his wife, Helen. Helen was offered either screen credit or money -- she went for the cash. ~ Janiss Garza, 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

Higher Than a Kite
The Three Stooges are literally dropped on wartime Berlin in this two-reel comedy, one of their weakest. They play auto mechanics hiding from an enemy in what they think is a pipe. It is actually a bomb and soon they find themselves, unscathed, behind enemy lines. They disguise themselves as German officers, dallies with a pretty fraülein and steal enemy secrets from under the nose of Axis General Bommel (Vernon Dent). ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

A-Ducking They Did Go
As so often in their comic shorts, The Three Stooges start off here in the ranks of the gainfully unemployed. After an unsuccessful attempt to steal a watermelon, which lands them in trouble with a cop, the boys wind up at the offices of the Canvas Back Duck Club. The club needs some salesmen and the Stooges insist they're "the best salesmen that ever saled" (the same line they used in Dizzy Doctors). They have no trouble getting the job because, unbeknownst to them, the whole thing is a scam. Dressed in duck-hunting gear, Larry, Moe, and Curly invade the police station and barge right into the office of the chief (Bud Jamison). They convince him and the mayor -- and the whole police force for that matter -- to join up. By the time the group arrives at the lodge, the "club owners" are long gone, and an old man assures them that there are no ducks to be found. In a panic, Moe and Larry try to solve this dilemma by hurling decoys over the pond. Curly arrives at last with a large flock of ducks and leads them into the water. The delighted cops shoot away, and the Stooges decide to get some ducks for themselves. They row a boat out into the pond, where Curly and Larry promptly shoot holes in its bottom. Curly has an altercation with a duck that spits water in his face. When the old man shows up ranting that he owns all the ducks that were shot, the cops realize they've been swindled and point their guns at the Stooges. The boys leap over a bush, land on a trio of bucking steers (the same shot that ends Pain in the Pullman), and dash off. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

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