I'm a little
late coming to "The Three Stooges" DVD party. I missed
the first two sets, so now I'm catching up on the antics
of Moe, Larry & Curly.
"The Three Stooges Collection: Volume Three 1940-1942" is now available on DVD.
I haven't seen "The Three Stooges" in years. Actually, I have. I bought my daughter a 75th anniversary collection a few years ago, but the video and sound quality wasn't very good. I don't know much about the history of the Stooges video and copyright issues over the years. My best guess is that this particular DVD set was done using old prints, and possibly, the films were in the public domain. Thankfully, Sony has gone in and made the Stooges shine more clearly with better prints (or digital "restored" versions). This set, 1940-1942, is presented in the original theatrical release order. Yes kids, before the Stooges went onto syndicated television many years ago, their films were shown in theaters.
Never being a Stooges fan, I sat down with my daughter to watch their "high-larious" antics. The Stooges were crude and obnoxious. They always seemed to be looking for work, and once they found it, they screwed things up. High society was poked at with genuine glee by the Stooges. In other words, the Stooges were one of us regular wise guys. My daughter and I laughed at many of the situations that the Stooges got into in this DVD volume. My snobby and critical side scoffed at those boys causing trouble. But I found myself laughing out loud when Curly tried making a bunk bed ladder out of tables and chairs.
The Stooge movies from this two year period were crudely made. Wires can be seen hooked up to Curly in "How High Is Up?" The flying insects are clearly done on fishing wire. The camerawork is sometimes rough and doesn't have the smoothness of today's Steadicam. You know what? So what! These films were made on the quick and made to make people laugh.
The Stooges were regularly shown on syndicated television when I was a kid. I know. I refer a lot to my days of youth on this site, but it's a point of reference on some of the DVDs reviewed here. If there was nothing else on television (we didn't have cable), I'd watch The Three Stooges. I didn't understand why so many people, especially guys, loved 'em. I still find their antics to be repetitive. I still find them to be somewhat obnoxious. I'd take the Marx Bros. over The Three Stooges if I had to. Yet the Stooges had their charms.
Curly has always been my favorite Stooge. He's the most likable with his innocence, his facial expressions, and his funny sounds. I find myself saying "nyuck-nyuck" on occasion. Moe is the boss and makes sure to keep Curly and Larry in line. Moe used to scare me as a kid with that scowl and his rapid slaps to the face. Larry has been the straight man in the Stooge line up. I never found him funny, but I suppose there wouldn't be a Three Stooges without him. Out of all the Stooges' line ups, this one is my favorite.
Without the crazy trouble that The Three Stooges got into on-screen, I don't believe that much of today's comedy would be the same. After watching Moe, Larry & Curly create mischief, I began to notice some of their routines and jokes in some of my favorite comedy movies. Check out most of the comedies from the 1980s, for example, you can see the influence of the Stooges.
Special thanks to Ana Lopez and CSPR
The Three Stooges™ is a trademark of C3 Entertainment, Inc.
Photos: © Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. All rights reserved.
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