Get ready for more outrageous antics as The Three Stooges return in this second collection of chronological masterpieces. These 24 shorts, filmed from 1937-1939, are digitally remastered for the highest quality - every sig... more »ht, gag and knuckle-cracking sound can be seen and heard with the utmost clarity for maximum effect. This period is considered to be when Larry, Moe, and Curly hit their stride and perfected their craft, when all the elements came together perfectly: the writing, directing, pacing, and performances. It's no wonder The Stooges made some of their best films during this period, proving laughter really is the best medicine in such classics as Dizzy Doctors, Saved By The Belle, and Calling All Curs. And audiences agreed - at least most of them did. By now The Stooges were wildly popular and their personal appearances were mobbed, but there were some who thought they were too violent and who over analyzed their eye-poking, pie-throwing behavior.« less
"We Three Stooges fans will be looking forward to another great collection of adventures of Moe and Curly Howard and Larry Fine. This set is an even two dozen instead of just 19 shorts like the first set contained. In GRIPS,GRUNTS & GROANS,Curly(real name Jerome Lester Horwitz) is elected to sub for an ill wrestler who bears physical resemblance to Curly. In DIZZY DOCTORS,the boys are ordered by their wives to go to work instead of just eating and sleeping all the time. They sell a potion called Brighto which they think is an all-purpose cleaner but is actually an internal medicine. In GOOFS AND SADDLES,the boys are out west and Curly is playing cards with a few other guys(not Moe or Larry). In BACK TO THE WOODS,the boys are pilgrims hunting for food. In THREE DUMB CLUCKS,The boys,in jail,receive a note from their mother saying the boys' father has divorced her and is engaged to a younger woman(Curly plays a dual role in this film as himself and the father). The boys do all they can to prevent the wedding from taking place,and Daisy,the father's fiancee,accidentally marries Curly! Clyde Bruckman's script for this film was later recycled for the 1953 remake UP IN DAISY'S PENTHOUSE with Moe's and Curly's brother Shemp playing the dual role. In CASH AND CARRY,the boys ransack garbage in a landfill and discover $62 in a tin can that actually belong to a physically disabled boy and his mother(they are collecting $500 for the boy's operation for Jimmy,the boy,to walk freely again). The boys pay a pair of crooks they meet,$200 for the privilege of digging up a hidden treasure. It turns out the boys accidentally broke into the U.S. Treasury,which is felonious and results in life inprisonment. Since the act was unintentional,the boys were pardoned by President Theodore Roosevelt(he served in 1937). In PLAYING THE PONIES,the boys sell their restaurant to go into horse racing after learning in a newspaper that a horse-race driver received ten grand for winning a race. A spicy snack called Pepperinos made the boys' pet horse(driven by Larry) rapidly run and win. In THE SITTER DOWNERS,the Stooges build a home for their new wives as well as themselves. They go on strike much to the womens' disdain. In TERMITES OF 1938,the boys,like they did once before,wreck havoc at a dinner party trying to kill the infesting unwelcome visitors. The Stooges are Frenchmen in WEE WEE MONSIEUR. They rescue a shah who was held hostage. In TASSELS IN THE AIR,the boys are painters and Moe impersonates an artist named Omay. The real Omay later appears,enraged. HEALTHY,WEALTHY & DUMB has the boys as guests at the posh Hotel Costa Plente after Curly wins $10,000 in a poetry contest. They wreck a bed and furniture and after taxes,the boys go broke leaving them nothing to pay the hotel bill with. Three beautiful girls who are occupying a room near the boys',want the money. This was later remade as A MISSED FORTUNE with Shemp playing Curly's parts. In VIOLENT IS THE WORD FOR CURLY,the boys are gas station attendants,posing as three professors at a girls' college(the professors themselves were the Stooges' customers). In THREE MISSING LINKS,the boys are janitors who are fired and hired for supporting an actress in a movie. In MUTTS TO YOU,the boys are dog-bathers who discover an unattended baby who they put in their care until his parents reclaim him. In THREE LITTLE SEW AND SEWS,the boys are tailor shop attendants as well as navymen. Curly poses as an admiral after the real admiral's suit shows up at the shop. FLAT FOOT STOOGES has the boys again as firemen(first use of the children's song THREE BLIND MICE which became the signature theme thru the last of the short series). In WE WANT OUR MUMMY,the boys are detectives who are sent to Egypt to bring back a mummy for a museum curator's collection. The boys join a phony duck-hunting club in A-DUCKING THEY DID GO. The club was organized by a pair of swindlers. The city mayor and a few of his colleagues are members. In YES WE HAVE NO BONANZA,the boys dig up money that was actually stolen by a pair of crooks. In SAVED BY THE BELLE,we see the boys in some foreign country,with the help of a beautiful girl named Rita,locating a lost map that leads to a treasure. In CALLING ALL CURS,the boys as veterinarians,search for and find a dog stolen by a pair of crooks. The crooks show up at the veterinary clinic,posing as newspaper reporters. The sick dog's owner was so horrified after learning of the dog's kidnapping. But Garcon(gar sone),the dog,is found,alive and well,in parenthood with his mate and their litter. In OILY TO BED OILY TO RISE,the boys succeed in saving a woman's property. She sold it and later regretted it. A trio of crooks were about to have the deed recorded,and the boys swindle it away from them in time so the recording would never happen. Curly,a wishing wizard,has all his wishes granted. Cigars,apple pie,meeting three beautiful girls(the woman's daughters named April,Mae and June) and marrying them! This was later remade with Joe Besser as OIL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL in 1957. In THREE SAPPY PEOPLE,the boys are switchboard operators who attend a black tie birthday party. The birthday woman,who is relentlessly happy and laughing,is believed by her husband to have a mental disorder. So the boys,as psychiatrists,look the woman over. She loves Curly's silliness as well. I dedicate this item to the memories of Moe(1897-1975),Larry(1902-1975) and Curly(1903-1952)"
Sony speedily releases volume two of The Three Stooges
calvinnme | 03/20/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was happy to see volume two of The Three Stooges released so quickly after the first volume. Here we get more of Moe, Larry, and Curly in the late-Depression pre-war years. Once again the individual episodes are being released chronologically, which is good. Not so good, though, is that once again it appears we will get no commentary or extra features. The first volume had first rate video and audio - far superior to anything I had seen on any other DVD set featuring the trio - so I expect this set will also be excellent in that regard. The following is the listing of the episodes that will be available in this set:
Disc 1: Back to the Woods Cash and Carry Dizzy Doctors Goofs and Saddles Healthy, Wealthy and Dumb Playing the Ponies The Sitter-Downers Tassels in the Air Three Dumb Clucks Violent is the Word For Curly Wee Wee Monsieur Grips, Grunts and Groans Termites of 1938
Disc 2: A Ducking They Did Go Calling All Curs Flat Foot Stooges Mutts to You Oily to Bed, Oily to Rise Saved by the Belle Three Little Sew and Sews Three Missing Links Three Sappy People We Want Our Mummy Yes, We Have No Bonanza"
Stooges in their prime
stooged and confused | 05/19/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"THIS DVD HAS BEEN VIEWED IN FULL FROM AN ADVANCED COPY I RECEIVED FROM SONY PICTURES ON 5/16/08:
Either you get the Three Stooges or you don't. There is no middle ground. It seems that everyone from Jay Leno to University of Arizona Professor Jon Solomon have chimed in on the subject. Essays, numerous books and college lectures have addressed the topic. There are two distinct classes of people. Those that love the classic comedy team and others who scratch their head and wonder why.
During their impressive career, The Three Stooges made 190 short subjects for Columbia Pictures. Add to that their 6 full length features; film cameos; television appearances and 156 cartoons with live wraparounds and their output is staggering.
With last year's Three Stooges Collection Volume One 1934-1936, Sony/Columbia Pictures finally began releasing the Stooges' crown jeweled two-reelers fully restored and in chronological order. Fans rejoiced! Naysayers found something else to get excited about.
There is good news in Stoogeville as Sony's second volume of restored shorts hits the street on May 27. The Three Stooges Collection Volume Two: 1937-1939 contains 24 titles presented in their original release order.
Each short in this compilation has been digitally remastered and the soundtrack has been fully restored. Never before have these 70+ year old films looked or sounded so good. Gone is each pop, scratch, hiss, splice and wobbly frame. The contrast has been lovingly corrected. Granted, there are times when the picture fluctuates in contrast (when the camera is sped up to make images move faster), but that was limited to the technology for the time.
Most importantly, it shows the team at their peak. Moe, Larry and Curly were never more vigorous than during this period. While there are a few shorts that miss their mark here, many are high energy romps. The fact that numerous directors were in and out of the mix during this era didn't hurt the series.
Here's a blow by blow (no pun intended) analysis for the shorts included on Volume 2:
"Grips, Grunts and Groans" (****) opens the set and previous VHS and DVD releases were grainy and terribly dark in contrast. The soundtrack was flat and there was no bass on it, giving it the sound of an AM transistor radio. It's one of the best shorts on the set and shows just how far the pacing had come along since many of the shorts that it preceded. If you ever wondered where they got the idea for the world of WWF wrestling, look no further. After Larry and Curly brain prize fighter Ivan Bustoff (played to perfection by Harrison Greene), with a set of dumbells and a falling locker, the boys substitute Curly to wrestle in his place. With the aid of Wild Hyacinth perfume, Curly becomes a force to be reckoned with. CLASSIC LINE: "Wait a minute. If I'm gonna get beat up, I want to get paid for it."
"Dizzy Doctors" (***) This fan favorite has the Boys selling Brighto. Naturally, they don't know it's medicine and peddle the stuff from car polish to spot remover. When they discover Brighto's proper use, they invade Los Arms Hospital and run amuck trying to cure assorted patients. CLASSIC LINE: "You boys really want to know what it's for? It's for sale, now get busy selling it."
"Three Dumb Clucks" (***) is a great idea that could have been executed better. The premise is promising: the Boys have to break out of jail to stop their father (played by Curly in a dual role) from marrying some golddigger and return him to 'Ma'. The short suffers from pacing problems that keep it from becoming a true classic. CLASSIC SCENES: The hat fitting and elevator/hallway chase.
"Back To The Woods" (**1/2) suffers from slow pacing and too many scenes that weigh it down. It does have it's highlights, but they are too few and thus is one of the weaker titles in the cannon. The Stooges are sent to help the colonies against Indian attacks. CLASSIC LINE: "All my life I've been looking for a maid like thee, toots!"
"Goofs and Saddles" (***1/2) The Stooges are Wild Bill Hiccup, Buffalo Billious and Just Plain Bill in hot pusuit of Longhorn Pete in this western parody. The Boys made several western themed shorts, with this entry being one of the standouts. CLASSIC LINES: "You got your special deck of cards?""Soitinly". "We won't need 'em." CLASSIC SCENE: Passing cards under the table with their feet.
"Cash and Carry" (***) While pathos worked better for Chaplin, there's plenty of gags and snappy dialog to make up for the corny Jimmy and his illness subplot. The Stooges invest Jimmy's leg operation money in a map that leads to finding "buried teasure" in a house (conveniently located next to the US Treasury Building). CLASSIC LINE: "$500, hmm, that's almost a million."
"Playing the Ponies" (***1/2) Down and out restauranteurs Moe, Larry and Curly trade their business for Thunderbolt and enter him in a race. Curly discovers that the nag runs fast after eating the hot peppers he swiped from the eatery. CLASSIC LINE: "Adam and Eve on a raft." "Hey, scramble those eggs." "Wreck 'em."
"The Sitter Downers" (****) This classic has it all. Great gags, fine pacing and a solid storyline. The Stooges go on strike and camp out in their fiancees' home, much to the dismay of their father. The nation sympathizes and gifts come pouring in. When their ready made house has to be assembled, the wives lay down the law: no honeymoon until the house is built. CLASSIC SCENE: Moe and Larry's chase sequence.
"Termites Of 1938" (****) In a mix up, Mrs. Vantwitchet hires the ACME Exterminators instead of ACME Escorts. Thinking they are hired to rid pests at an upscale party, the Stooges wreak havoc on the guests and the posh home. CLASSIC LINE: "I wish to hire your best men." "We're all pest men."
'Wee Wee Monsieur" (***1/2) Behind on their rent, Curly hopes to sell his painting, but when he clobbers the landlord over the head with it during an argument, the Boys are on the run and sign up for the Foreign Legion (thinking it's the American version). Recruited to guard General Gorganzola, he is kidnapped under their watch. They need to bring him back alive or it's cutains for the Stooges. CLASSIC SCENE: The Stooges dressed as dancing harum girls.
"Tassels In The Air" (****) One of my favorites! Hired as janitors, the Stooges get in a jam by stenciling the wrong office door titles. Moe is mistaken for Omay, a famous interior decorator. The Curly goes bananas theme (pop goes the weasel; seeing mice; Wild Hyacinth perfume) is reworked when he sees tassels (he was tickled with a pussy willow as a child). The pig Latin bit is priceless! CLASSIC LINE: "You mean I'm umday in pig language?" "You're umday in any language."
"Flat Foot Stooges" (**) One of the flatter (no pun intended) shorts. The Stooges are inept firemen.This short misses its mark with a silly story line that involves a gun powder eating duck (silly, even by Stooge standards), who lays an exploding egg and a weak ending that had no effort put into it. Significant for the first use of 'Three Blind Mice' as the opening theme music.
"Healthy, Wealthy and Dumb" (****) A great Three Stooges vehicle. After winning the Coffin Nail Cigarette radio contest, the Stooges check into the snazzy Hotel Costa Plenty, get plastered; ruin the suite; get terrorized by a monkey; duck the hotel manager, and get railroaded by three comely female golddiggers. All this in 17 minutes! CLASSIC LINE: "Gentlemen, this bed goes back to Henry The Eighth." "That's nothing. We had a bed that went back to Sears Roebuck The Third."
"Violent Is The Word For Curly" (***1/2) This fan favorite is best known for the 'Alphabet Song'. The Boys are gas station attendants mistaken for three college professors. They wind up at Mildew College to teach the all girls school a thing or three. CLASSIC LINE: "You'll just love our student body." "Your's wouldn't be so bad either if you took off 20 pounds."
"Three Missing Links" (**) One of the weaker films in this set (not to mention the Curly era). After being fired as studio janitors, the Stooges are hired as actors and are shipped to the jungle for the shoot. Uninspired gags, weak pacing and a silly sub plot involving 'love candy' drag this one down. CLASSIC LINE: "There's great grammer for ya. I'm not me."
"Mutts To You" (***1/2) Moe, Larry and Curly run the K9 Dog Laundry Service, a great place with Rube Goldberg type contraptions. When the Stooges find a baby on a doorstep, they take the tyke home fearing he's been abandoned. Lots of great gags, one liners and wild pacing allow the Boys to shine while relying less on their signature slaps and pokes with winning results. CLASSIC LINE: "Is he on the bottle yet?" "I should say not. He don't smoke, drink nor chew."
"Three Little Sew and Sews" (*1/2) A disappointing and uneven short that even a manic Curly can't save. The Stooges pass themselves off as Admiral Tailor and his two assistants in hopes to catch a German spy. There is one good gag that rehashes the spring in the butt and one CLASSIC LINE: "I'm gonna change my socks--what an experience."
"We Want Our Mummy" (****) Everything that makes a great Three Stooges short is packed in this classic. Hired by a museum to find the remains of King Rootentooten, the Stooges hire a taxi to Cairo and hook up with crooks who are trying to beat them to the punch. Lots of great gags (Curly's mirage sequence is a standout) and CLASSIC LINES: "And if the curse does strike them, it will be a blessing to humanity." "I can't be a mummy, I'm a Daddy."
"A Ducking They Did Go" (***1/2) The Stooges are on the run for swiping watermelons and elude the cops by stumbling into the office of the Canvas Back Duck Club." Run by two swindlers, the Stooges rope the police force (and the mayor) to join. When the resort is void of ducks, it's up to the Boys to round some up, pronto. CLASSIC LINE: "Have you ever sold anything?" "Why, soitinly. Anything we could get our hands on." "The gentleman said sold, not stole." NOTE: Sadly, there is a period when the sound is out of sync.
"Yes, We Have No Bonanza" (****) One of the best of 1939, which was a stellar year for the Stooges. The boys work in a saloon and find the buried treasure that their boss stole from the First National Bank. CLASSIC LINE: "Me, coming home from a hard day's work. I whistle for the dog and my wife comes out." NOTE: There is a period when the soundtrack loses its low end that results in a flat/tin sound. It should be noted that it is still an improvement over previous releases of this short.
"Saved By The Belle" (***) This is one of the forgotten nuggets in the Stooges' arsonal. Stranded at their hotel in Valeska, the Stooges are aparral salesmen who get mixed up as spies. With the aid of the lovely Rita, they try to save their hides by delivering the map needed to win the cause. CLASSIC LINE: "Oh, no you don't. What kind of fool do you take me for?" "Why? Is there more than one kind?"
"Calling All Curs" (***1/2) The Stooges are the owners of a dog hospital. When their VIP patient is kidnapped, it's a madcap chase to track down the dognappers. CLASSIC LINE: "Success." "Success." "Mazel Tov."
"Oily To Bed, Oily to Rise" (****) When Jules White (as Director) wanted to, he could helm gems like this without relying soley on the cartoony, slapstick violence he was so fond of. To help Mrs. Jenkins get her deed back from three crooks who gyped her (they discovered oil on her propery), the Stooges are burning the trail to retrieve the deed. CLASSIC LINE: "Don't look now, but I think we're about to be killed."
"Three Sappy People" (****) Once again, Jules White directs a classic that ends the era of the '30's. Posing as Dr's. Ziller, Zeller and Zoller, the Stooges are hired to cure a rich, spoiled heiress (played with finess by Lorna Grey) of her eccentric ways. This is one of the best of their 190 short films and is loaded with great gags: the statue reflex scene; the powder puff/biscuit bit; the tamale scene; the cream puff fight. CLASSIC LINE: "Why don't you get a toupe with some brains in it."
The shorts: A- The restoration: A "
Masters of Disasters
Steven K. Szmutko | EWING, NJ USA | 05/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The latest release (with widespread release scheduled for May 27) shows the boys, particularly Curly, at the prime of their physical and comedic abilities. The opportunity of previewing an advance copy reflects the attention to detail in the re-mastering and restoration of the shorts. The shorts are among the funniest, with Moe, Larry and Curly's unique brand of comedy both firmly established and finely honed. Their personalities are well-established by this time, and much of the humor is derived from the anticipated reactions of each of the stars. You know what's coming, and it makes it even funnier. The shorts are uncut and pristine, with superb picture and audio. Although some critics may bemoan the lack of "bonus features," the price of the collection is quite reasonable.
The greatest asset of these shorts is that they are varied, showcasing the distinctive styles of different directors (Del Lord, Charley Chase, Jules White), while avoiding the blatant repetition of plot and gags of later years. There is no disputing taste, but my personal favorites are: Termites of 1938, Violent is the Word for Curly (The Alphabet Song), Calling all Curs, and Dizzy Doctors (Brighto). Why? No reason - just like them.
This is a worthy successor to Volume One, which introduced the Stooges as masters of slapstick. One can always dispute the style of comedy. However, one can never dispute that they were not masters of their craft. "
A Truly First-Class Top-Quality Stooge Collection
Bradley Davis | Texas | 05/29/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wow, after years of crummy bootlegs and over-priced unsatisfactory compilations, Sony is finally doing the Three Stooges on DVD the right way, and they have my thanks. The restoration on these shorts, as in Volume 1, is absolutely gorgeous. Some of my personal favorites, like "The Sitter Downers" and "Yes We Have No Bonanza" are included on this set, with Curly at the height of his numb-skull powers. With this and the previous collection you can now own 43 out of 190 total classic Three Stooges short subjects in chronological order for an amazing low price in the absolute highest quality, most pristine condition they've been seen in since they were new in theaters. Again, great work Sony!
As a small trade-off there are no extras or commentaries on these sets. I would still pay more for these sets if they contained such material, but to be honest most Three Stooges facts and trivia have been revealed and analyzed hundreds of times over during their various TV incarnations and specials over the years. I say, keep 'em coming just the way they are Sony, please! I want to own them all! Curly, Shemp, Joe -- at these prices and this quality level I'll buy as many Stooge sets as they'll put out until I have all their shorts. I encourage all true knuckleheads to purchase these collections ASAP."