ONLY FOR DIE-HARD STOOGES FANS
Christopher J. Jarmick | Seattle, Wa. USA | 06/28/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The title and box art is misleading. I am extremely disappointed with this DVD since the quality of the four shorts, trailers and car wax commercial are terrible and I expect much better quality from a DVD that carries the name Anchor Bay. If you are a real Stooges collector and a fan of Shemp, you will need to buy this DVD to have a decent copy of the Camel Comedy Caravan t.v. show. It is one of the worst looking DVDs I've ever seen and certainly the worst one ever put out by Anchor Bay.You'll notice that Curly is all over the box of this DVD, but Curly (Jerry Howard) is only on the (in public domain) short Disorder in the Court, in a tiny cameo in the Hollywood on Parade short and for a couple of seconds in clips from the old shorts in the trailer for the film Stop ! Look ! and Laugh !!!Disorder in the Court with Curly is still a great comedy classic even if the print is damaged and scratched and sound is tinny and problematic. Malice in the Palace is still one of the funniest Shemp shorts and features the truly bizarre gag of the Stooges dressed as three Santa Clauses. Sing a Song of Six Pants and Brideless Groom are re-hashes of stronger better shorts the Stooges did but are certainly enjoyable comedy shorts featuring the often underrated Shemp (who was actually the original 3rd Stooge and helped train his brother Jerry to become the beloved Curly). Also on the disc is Knife of the Party a very lame Van Buren comedy short which features Shemp and his Stooges (four of them) as supporting comic relief in a long 22 minute short. Shemp is in the short for maybe 5 or 6 minutes and strains for laughs with second rate stooge like gags. It's a terrible short.The reason you may want to own this DVD is because it contains the full length Camel comedy Caravan featuring Ed Wynn and guests Moe Larry and Shemp. They do a running bit with a few extended sketches throughout the show. They play network executives C, and B and S... and the early ribbing at t.v. executives sounds pretty similar to what Letterman still does. There's a little bit of slapstick and lots of very dumb puns. The Stooges live were every bit as funny as in their shorts as you can tell from this early LIVE t.v. program. Ed Wynn was in fine form for this show as well.Also on the program, though almost impossible to see (it's completely bleached out picture wise) is a very funny Car Wax commercial from the early 1960's featuring Moe Larry and Curly Joe DeRita (his only appearance on this disc).IMAGE AND SOUNDThe image quality on this DVD is among the worst I have ever seen and certainly the worst from a name label like Anchor Bay. I understand the available copy of the t.v. show Camel Comedy Caravan is going to be in questionable shape since it is a transfer of a mediocre film copy off of an old 1950 kinescope. However, I have seen pretty good copies of the 4 public domain Stooges shorts on the market and I expect that Anchor Bay would make an effort to transfer the best ones available and spend a few bucks on fixing them up a bit. I guess the people in charge of releasing the Stooges on the Anchor Bay label have no pride in the Anchor Bay name. That is a shame. The visual quality of the shorts is at best mediocre with lots of scratches and sound pops. At worst it's a copy of copy off an old ¾ video master and is in horrible shape. You can barely see any details on the Car Wax commercial, the Knife of the Party Short is in horrible shape, Sing a Song of Six Pants is in terrible shape as well. The only reason to buy this DVD is to have a viewable complete copy of the Camel Comedy Caravan T.V. Show. If you don't have to have that.. you're better off skipping this disc..
* * * * * * * * * * *Extra Features:There aren't really any extras since The DVD package is sort of like a DVD full of material that might have been extra material on several of the Columbia Studio Stooges Shorts packages if they bothered to put one iota of imagination into how they packaged those.I suppose the trailers would be considered extra. On the box it says: "...plus a big slap of Stooge Movie trailers, television commercials and more."More are some stills. There is one t.v. commercial included. There are two.. just two trailers for the films
Stop Look and Laugh and Have Rocket Will Travel. The box overstates what's on the DVD. It also appears at one point the collection was going to have the title The Three Stooges: Stooge Study... but references to the now rejected title remain on the box still and there's text under the new title 'Greatest Hits and Rarities' that reads: "A master's degree in mayhem for all fans, scholars and knuckleheads Everywhere." That fits fine if you call the DVD Stooge Study but not at all when you call your DVD Greatest Hits and Rarities. Clearly this DVD is an embarrassing mistake for Anchor Bay. Christopher J. Jarmick, is the author of The Glass Cocoon with Serena F. Holder a critically acclaimed, steamy suspense thriller."
Christopher J. Jarmick | 06/08/2002
(1 out of 5 stars)
"All of these episodes have a disgraceful quality. They have terrible sound and pictures. None of the episodes are crisp and clear. They are in bad condition. They also look like they were copied off a VHS tape. The rarity episode 'Knife of the Party' had a 1 second tracking problem. I am a big stooge fan. So take it from me. Don't buy this DVD. Buy the Columbia DVDs instead. They have better quality."
Die Hard Fans Will Love It
sloan123 | Toronto, Ontario, Canada | 02/06/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First things first: this collection, released by Anchor Bay, is not for any ordinary stooge fan or beginner. This is for the truly die hard fans.
There's a wealth of wierd, neat stuff here. The best of the batch is an appearance by Moe, Larry, and Shemp on the Ed Wynn show, "Camel Comedy Caravan." They play CBS executives who, basically, destroy the entire show.
Next up is a terrible little 1930s musical called "Knife of the Party." It features Shemp Howard as the "head stooge", and basically takes upon the role of Moe Howard (or more accurately, Ted Healy.)
There is a slightly shorter-than-usual version of "Hollywood on Parade" which features a few odd musical numbers and appearances by Ben Turpin and Jimmy Durante. It also features Ted Healy, Moe, Larry, and Curly (who gives, as the box claims, his first appearance as a stooge on film).
As usual, the four public domain Stooge shorts ("Malice in the Palace," "Sing a Song of Six Pants," "Brideless Groom," and "Disorder in the Court") are present, along with trailers for "Have Rocket Will Travel," "Stop! Look! and Laugh!," and an amusing car wax commercial with Curly-Joe DeRita.
The sound and picture quality are both pretty atrocious, and the only extra (according to the box) is a lackluster picture gallery, but die hard stooge fans will love this collection."
Barely even worth it
Anyechka | Rensselaer, NY United States | 10/12/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The so-called "greatest hits" this disc refers to are nothing more than the 4 public domain shorts ('Disorder in the Court,' 'Sing a Song of Six Pants,' 'Brideless Groom,' and 'Malice in the Palace'). Everyone has seen these 4 over and over again, and like with just about all of their releases and rereleases, the prints have terrible quality. Just because something is public domain isn't an excuse to use the worst prints possible. We've all seen better prints of them; it's not like we're talking about 90 year old films that were rescued from a deteriorating fourth-generation copy that was the only known surviving print! All 190 of their shorts have been on safety stock since 1974. There's no excuse for any of them, not even the public domain ones, to look this atrocious.
The "rarities" also aren't much to write home about either, and have just as awful prints. 'Hollywood on Parade' (1934, though often mistakenly given the date of 1932) is kind of interesting; though this is the longest clip of it I've seen thus far, there are other discs out there that also have the pertinent clip of Ted Healy and His Stooges (plus Bonnie Bonnell), and with better image quality no less. 'Knife of the Party' (1934) is a solo Shemp short in pretty abysmal quality; I'd almost suspect this came from a bootleg. It's a pretty dull musical short, although it is worth it to see Shemp (in very fine form) and his own pack of Stooges, whom he's the boss of. There are two trailers, one for the embarrassing bad kiddy movie 'Have Rocket, Will Travel' (1959), and the other for the awful 'Stop! Look! and Laugh!' (1960). Then there's a commercial for Instant Simoniz Car Wax, featuring DeRita as the third Stooge. The print quality on this one is just appallingly awful. One would think this were some 90 year old film with only one surviving copy left, not something from 1960! There is, however, a nice photo gallery, featuring all 4 Stooge lineups in addition to family pictures. However, that alone doesn't make this disc worth owning. Even their 1950 appearance on 'Camel Comedy Caravan,' hosted by Ed Wynn, no longer makes this disc worth it, since that appearance, in its entirety, is now also available on the bonus disc for 'The Men Behind the Mayhem,' an updated and extended version of A&E's Biography on the Stooges. I'd recommend skipping this turkey entirely, unless you absolutely must have 'Knife of the Party,' the photo gallery (even though a number of these pictures are available elsewhere), the Simoniz car commercial, and this particular cut of 'Hollywood on Parade.'"