The Three Stooges

film 5 of 26

Horses’ Collars

Film Review by Dean Duncan Jun 29, 2015

This is more threadbare nonsense, narratively and industrially speaking. But for a number of reasons— our viewers’ affection for these boys is already coalescing and increasing, gag comedy doesn’t need much rationale or verisimilitude, and some of these gags are really tremendous—it works beautifully. There’s Curly, sitting there doing the old eyes painted on his eyelids number. Superb. As with the previous “pop goes the weasel,” the sight of a mouse sends same Curly into conniptions. “Whenever he sees a mouse he goes crazy.” “Why?” “Because his father was a rat.” They vary and pay that conceit off quite nicely, actually. Before then, we get a completely threadbare western scenario, the better to appreciate the jokes and enjoy the company.

Note: the demolition of the picture of that guy’s wife; the amusing gun barrel results of that first quick draw; the dust storm that blows in when our heroes reach the saloon; the pleasant anonymity of the villain’s minions; Curly’s anomalously but kind of  courageous (S. Laurel?) facing down of the bad guy; the celery fight (!); a truly inspired sequence of multi-coupled choreography, complete with a bold and happy detour into gender ambiguity (note also the great dialogue); the very pleasant registration of the saloon girls; a very brief, very pretty lapse into three-part singing; the happy hanging, in which battling Curly inadvertently sets his pals a-swinging; the way Larry so gleefully jams that cheese into Curly’s maw;  the nicely paced safe-cracking sequence; the sublime final fight. Is that limburger conclusion kind of predictable? After you, gentlemen.

I tweeted: Saw #HorsesCollars, in which the noble Stooges reveal links between battery, fraternity, chivalry …

… and dairy produce. NB: Curly’s eyes!