A THANKSGIVING BOUNTY OF SLAPS, POKES AND BOPS. INCLUDES ADUCKING THEY DID GO, HOT POLLOI, HALF-WITS HOLIDAY, HIGHER THAN A KITE, FALSE ALARMS, SPECIAL FEATURES: SUBTITLES IN ENGLISH, SPANISH: FRENCH:PORTUGUESE: LANGUAGES ... more »IN ENGLISH, SPANISH AND PORTUGUESE & MORE.« less
Anyechka | Rensselaer, NY United States | 07/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This disc contains 6 shorts, five of which are of excellent quality even if not all of them might be considered top bona-fide classics. The other one had the makings of a great short, but sadly is marred by the black cloud looming over it. Since a number of other reviewers have already described the plots, I'll skip the redundancy and go straight to my opinions on each.
'Hoi Polloi' (1935) is an absolute bona-fide classic, probably one which just about every fan has in his or her personal Top 10 favorites list. There's not a dull or wasted moment in here, and none of the numerous remakes of this short could ever come close to topping the classic original. This was their tenth short made at Columbia, and right around the time when they'd finally really perfected their screen characters, their comedy style, and their screen relationship. From this point on out they only got better and better.
'False Alarms' (1936) is another of my personal favorites. There are also too many great scenes in here to list; the entire thing flows so perfectly, with nary a dull or wasted moment in sight. To give just one example, I love the scene where, for one brief moment, you're made to believe that Moe actually stuffed Larry down the drain of the sink! I also love the scene near the end where Curly and Minnie (June Gittelson, his girlfriend Maisie's fat friend) are slapping one another back and forth, though if it were any other actor I'd be horrified and would view it as a shocking and unacceptable act of violence against a woman.
'A-Ducking They Did Go' (1939) is yet another perfect and hilarious classic, from their prime period. Perhaps it's not one of their top-notch classics, but I would consider it a strong second-tier classic. Among my favorite scenes are when Moe eye-pokes the inflatable duck and when Curly points a rifle at his own head so he can shoot a duck on top of it. However, the ending is recycled footage of the ending of 'A Pain in the Pullman' (1937), and feels really bizarre and out of place, particularly since it doesn't really have anything to do with everything else that just happened.
'Nutty But Nice' (1940), the title track, has a plot similar to that of 'Cash and Carry' (1937). A lot of fans don't really like either because they don't feel it's very funny or believable for the boys to be shown as chivalrous do-gooders, but it's nice to see a softer side of them, particularly knowing how much they did for disadvantaged children in real life. And seeing them as noble heroes is certainly a better fit than seeing them as cowboys in all of those Westerns they did, a role that never really fit their screen characters. Even if one doesn't care for how they're cast as do-gooders, at least one can appreciate the great fight they have with the bad guys. (On a side note, the line about the horse they encounter on the street possibly being the reincarnation of Betty's father was a bit disconcerting, since it calls to mind the premise of those unspeakably awful Besser-era shorts 'Hoofs and Goofs' and 'Horsing Around'; the less said about those, the better!)
'Higher Than a Kite' (1943) is a war-themed short, with some classic slapstick in the car repair shop and then some great satirising of the Nazis. It's much easier to watch WWII-era movies making fun of the Germans as opposed to the Japanese because the Germans were only made fun of for their horrible government, not on account of their race. The first half of the short is particularly great because we don't often see Moe getting so much physical abuse and punishment as opposed to being the one doling it out in spades. Although there is one small detail that begs for an answer, even though comedies aren't always supposed to make sense: How did that Bulldog from the US Marine Corps get behind the German lines?
'Half-Wits' Holiday' (made in 1946, though released in early 1947) is a remake of the far superior 'Hoi Polloi,' and actually could have been a pretty good short in its own right. There are some pretty good scenes, like the pie fight at the end and the dinner scene. It also was the wonderful Emil Sitka's debut as a supporting actor for the Stooges. However, it's incredibly hard to watch, heartbreaking even, knowing that Curly had his near-fatal stroke during filming (although at least he doesn't look or act as sick in this as he did in, say, 'Beer Barrel Polecats' or 'Three Loan Wolves'). It's hard watching him take physical abuse in this one regardless, knowing how sick he was. And when he walks offscreen shortly before the pie fight begins, it's a really sad feeling, knowing we'll never see him again except as in a brief cameo in 'Hold That Lion!' a few shorts later, that moments later he slumped out of the director's chair, unable to move, and crying because he was unable to speak. It's even more disconcerting to watch the pie fight, knowing that Harry Cohn, the slavedriver who ran Columbia, actually made Moe and Larry continue filming instead of going with him to the hospital. It must have taken their all to not show their real feelings during the final scene. The ending itself is also really sudden, like the director just decided to call it a day and end the film then and there, even though the ending was kind of in media res. I'm surprised the studio didn't just use stock footage of an earlier pie fight, given how enamoured they were of stock footage. Watching this short feels like being kicked in the stomach, and leaves a very heavy depressing feeling.
Still, apart from how difficult it is for most people to sit through the final short, the previous five are awesome, making this disc very recommendable."
Another great Stooges DVD
T O'Brien | Chicago, Il United States | 12/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Nutty but Nice is a great DVD containing six Stooges shorts, all of them with Curly. "A Ducking They Did Go" has the Stooges selling memberships to a phony duck hunting club with a great ending. "Hoi Polloi" and "Half-Wits Holiday" are virtually the same short as the trio are used to see if environment or heredity determines your social behavior. "Higher Than A Kite" has the Stooges as mechanics who end up hiding in a bomb and landing in a Nazi headquarters. "False Alarms" has Moe, Larry, and Curly as firemen trying to get out of work to meet up with their girls. "Nutty but Nice" has them searching for a little girl's kidnapped father. All six of these shorts are very funny with several classic Stooge routines like AMA, Amalgamated Morons Association, and two classic pie fights. All of the shorts are cleaned up and look great so don't miss Nutty but Nice."
VERY SOLID THREE STOOGES DVD
Tim Janson | Michigan | 02/04/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Nutty but nice is a very strong compilation Stooges DVD. It features one bona fide classic with Hoi Polloi and several more great early Curlys.
"Hoi Polloi" - 1935 - the Classic Stooges plot with A professor betting that he can turn the stooges into gentlemen. After many attempts to teach them etiquette, he brings them to a fancy society party. The stooges new found manners don't last very long, and the party quickly degenerates. a plot Used many times, this one is the best!
"Half-Wits Holiday" - 1947 - This is a complete remake of Hoi Polloi and unfortunately Curly suffered a stroke while filming this one and he's not even seen during the last half of this short making it bittersweet.
"Higher than a Kite - 1943 - The stooges are mechanics working for the in England. After wrecking an officers car they hide out in a sewer pipe which turns out to a bomb. They are dropped over Germany and Find themselves behind enemy lines. Moe and Curly disguise as German officers and Larry dresses as a seductive fraulein. While General Bommel chases after Larry, Moe and Curly steal the secret plans from the high command.
"False Alarms" 1936 - The stooges are firemen who are constantly getting in trouble, they've been warned that one more incident will cost them their jobs. Curly sneaks out anyway to visit his girlfriend. She has two friends who need dates, but the only way Curly can get Moe and Larry out of the station is to pull a fire alarm. The firetruck leaves without Moe and Larry, so they steal the captains new car to make it to the call first. They manage to get Curly and get back to the station, but in doing so wreck the car and must leave on the run.
"Nutty But Nice" 1940 - The stooges are waiters who are enlisted by a doctor to try and cheer up a little girl. The girl's father is a banker who was kidnapped with $300,000 worth of bonds. Failing to cheer up the girl, the stooges go out looking for the father and by a series of coincidences wind up in the bad guys hideout. The villains return and after a wild fight the boys free the missing man.
"A Ducking they Did Go" -1939 - The stooges are tricked by some con men into selling memberships to a phony Canvas Back duck hunting club. They end up selling all the memberships to the police department causing the con-men to skip town. The stooges are stuck at a hunting lodge full of cops and the mayor but no ducks!
Hoi Polloi is certainly one of the most famous stooges shorts and A Ducking they Did Go and False Alarms are both excellent as well. VEry good Stooges DVD!
Forget the other reviewer, it's great!
Real Music-Not Rap | Washington USA | 01/22/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't know if the other reviewer in Chicago saw the same DVD as I have, but don't be deterred by his questionable review. I didn't notice any graininess as he described (he must have been toying with a magnifying glass on his high-definition tv). Columbia, as they have in the last three Stooge releases, has used high quality masters, if not the original negative, for these compilations, and it is obvious. The sound (although somewhat muted) and picture are excellent. As for the skits, they are, as usual, hilarious! The only complaint I have is that "Hoi Polloi" and "Half-Wits Holiday" are virtually indistinguishable from each other, with the same identical story and some exact lines with each other. Otherwise, don't be afraid to buy this disc, you will not be disappointed!"
Excellent choice of films.
Kyle Cruse | Escondido, CA USA | 01/05/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD has six excellent shorts. NUTTY BUT NICE, HIGHER THAN A KITE, FALSE ALARMS, HOI POLLOI, HALF-WITS HOLIDAY, and A DUCKING THEY DID GO. The only one I don't like very much is NUTTY BUT NICE. But the other five are zany, fast-paced, and hilarious. I think the best one is A DUCKING THEY DID GO. The Stooges join a bogus duck club which hunts on a lake that hasn't seen a duck in years. The ending was excellent. One of the funniest endings ever. It's interesting that HOI POLLOI and HALF WITS HOLIDAY are on the same DVD. This is an excellent DVD, with only one weak short."