The Three Stooges

film 10 of 26

Hoi Polloi

Film Review by Dean Duncan Jun 29, 2015

It’s the Stooges’ Pygmalion, which starts with a question about whether environment and heredity will always win out over nurture. A wager follows, of course. One of the correspondents says that he can prove his point with two men. “Make it three and I’ll accept your wager.” Gee. Any candidates?

The training part of the film is okay—it turns out, surprisingly, that the boys are not especially responsive to improvement. The party/test part of the film is tremendous. There’s some superb dancing business, and a bracing bit of violence toward women, or at least toward some very game woman actors. The supporting female players come off really well in these films, much more natural and capable seeming than most, say, of the Stan and Ollie girls. The really striking thing is in the film’s conclusion. The posh people get into a brawl, because the Stooges’ influence is way more powerful than superficial civilization. As usual, I’m sure the people who made this film meant nothing by it, philosophically or ideologically speaking. But isn’t this deeply democratic? Or, even better, stoogocratic? Pretense defeated by chaos.