Author Topic: The Three Stooges Collection: 1937-1939  (Read 1413 times)

Offline Antares

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The Three Stooges Collection: 1937-1939
« on: May 03, 2010, 12:03:43 AM »
The Three Stooges Collection: 1937-1939

Year: 1937
Film Studio: Columbia Pictures
Genre: Comedy, Classic
Length: 415 Min.

Curly Howard (1903) as Curly
Larry Fine (1902) as Larry
Moe Howard (1897) as Moe

       By 1937, The Three Stooges had cemented themselves as kings of the slapstick world. Prior to the arrival of this highly successful trio, the slapstick genre of comedy was populated with scores of viable and assorted acts, mostly from vaudeville. But in a scant few years, they would all fall by the wayside as the brothers Howard (Moe and Curly) and Larry Fine elevated the slapstick form to an art. For decades, film scholars and historians have debated as to why the Stooges became so successful in this most violent of comedy styles. To me, the answer is obvious; the Stooges were basically live action cartoon characters. If you compare their comedy shorts to Looney Tunes cartoons, the similarities are glaring. Saws, hammers, scissors or just about anything that Moe could get his hands on, would impart no more pain to his partners than a mere flea bite. And always, each action was punctuated by a plethora of amusing sound effects, which set each comedian as a Superman of sorts in this silly, surreal world.

       The years represented in Sony’s second edition of re-mastered comedy shorts would be the Stooges most successful and prolific. By 1937, each of the members of the troupe had their character’s eccentricities firmly established. Moe was the ‘brains’ of the group, while Larry most often played the middle man to Moe’s leadership role and Curly’s crazed, but innocent man child. Although each of the Stooges was gifted with comedic timing, it was Curly Howard’s talent and physical grace that set him apart from almost every other comedian working at the time. His ease at pratfalls, facial contortions and sound effects, in my eyes, elevated him to the summit of being the second greatest physical comedian of all time, behind Buster Keaton.

       Featuring 24 comedy shorts spread out over 2 discs, this second volume in the Three Stooges Collection keeps up the quality of the first release. Sony has cleaned up the images of these seventy year old shorts to an almost pristine rendering. My only complaint with this collection is that once again, Sony has decided to forego any supplements to the comedy shorts. Now, I’m not usually too keen on extra’s on most discs, but for God’s sake, the Stooges are comedic icons that deserve either featurettes or commentaries to their work. With this being the second time that Sony has omitted any supplements, it doesn’t bode well that they will have a change of heart in future installments.

       That being said, The Three Stooges Collection: Volume 2 is a necessary addition to any film fan’s library. Having survived the test of time, the Three Stooges are just as relevant in the comedic landscape as Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy or the Marx Brothers.

Review Criterion
5 Stars - The pinnacle of film perfection and excellence.
4 ½ Stars - Not quite an immortal film, yet a masterpiece in its own right.
4 Stars - Historically important film, considered a classic.
3 ½ Stars - An entertaining film that’s fun or engaging to watch.
3 Stars – A good film that’s worth a Netflix venture.
2 ½ Stars - Borderline viewable.
2 Stars – A bad film that may have a moment of interest.
1 ½ Stars – Insipid, trite and sophomoric, and that's its good points.
1 Star – A film so vacuous, it will suck 2 hours from the remainder of your life.
½ Star - A gangrenous and festering pustule in the chronicles of celluloid.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2010, 06:42:46 PM by Antares »