The Three Stooges

film 13 of 26

Movie Maniacs

Film Review by Dean Duncan Jun 29, 2015

That three-in-a-bed dolly-in is really nice. Curly’s song! “Barrymore?” “Kiss me, my Caliban!” Where on earth does this kind of stuff come from? It’s forward to SCTV, if you want, or The Simpsons, or MST3K, or Spongebob. These productions might seem, might actually be all sorts of low-brow. But the range of reference! Sometimes, as Mr. Stephen Johnson suggested, everything bad really is good for you. Larry really takes care of that pair of pants. The messes these guys make! In this they’re very similar to Stan and Ollie, and they are similarly, disturbingly, profoundly linked to the gravity and entropy of real and everyday life  Of course the studio head gets a telegram about Mr. Smith and his two assistants coming to take over the studio. This is A Comedy of Errors, isn’t it? Or, no comedy is, or needs to be, new.

Curly’s escalating pencil joke is crazy. It works. “Hiya, Toots,” he says to the posh lady. Watch Larry and that tall woman. “Oh, Mr. Howard.” The mother joke is funny. The hands and arms routine is amazing.  The tongue chop is new. Now Curly takes over. Grotesque! The film entire ends up being a good burlesque on romance conventions.