The Three Stooges – The Ultimate Collection Volume 8 Disc 1 Review

volume 8

The Three Stooges

The Ultimate Collection

Volume 8 1955-1959

Disc 1

#159Fling in the Ring

Volume 8 Short 1

Released: January 6, 1955

Writer: Jack White

Foils: Richard Wessel, Claire Carleton, Frank Sully

Synopsis: The Stooges manage a fighter who’s next fight is for the championship. Big Mike and his gangster friends want the Stooges’ fighter to take a dive.

Impressions: This is a remake of 1947’s Fright Night, Shemp’s first short. There’s a new opening scene, with lots of recycled footage. I liked this story better than the original. The “new” Big Mike isn’t seen in the recycled footage while the “old” one is. If you’ve never seen the original, you’ll never know. Still this isn’t bad.

Rating: 3/5

 

#160Of Cash and Hash

Volume 8 Short 2

Released: February 3, 1955

Writer: Jack White

Foils: Christine McIntyre, Vernon Dent, Frank Lackteen, Kenneth MacDonald

Synopsis: The Stooges are suspects in an armored car robbery. To clear themselves they must capture the real crooks.

Impressions: This is a remake of 1948’s Shivering Sherlocks. I enjoyed this more than the original which is rare. We get to see our old friend Vernon Dent again in stock footage. The ratio of new to recycled footage is 50/50, if not more new. We say goodbye to our old friends Stanley Blystone and Christine McIntyre in their final original appearances. McIntyre appears in both new and recycled scenes and looks as if she’s aged in the few years.

Rating: 4/5

 

#161Gypped in the Penthouse

Volume 8 Short 3

Released: March 10, 1955

Writer: Felix Adler

Foils: Jean Willes, Emil Sitka

Synopsis: Larry and Shemp are drinking at the Woman Haters Club, telling stories of bad romances. Both their stories have a similar character, Moe.

Impressions: An original short, and these will be rare in this volume. We travel back to 1934 and the first Stooge short with the setting being the Woman Haters Club. I enjoyed this short a lot. Normally, when the trio splits up they lose they’re comedic dynamic. This short proves to be the exception to the rule. This might be the best short of the volume.

Rating: 5/5

 

#162Bedlam in Paradise

Volume 8 Short 4

Released: April 14, 1955

Writers: Screenplay by Felix Adler. Story by Zion Myers.

Foils: Vernon Dent, Philip Van Zandt

Synopsis: If Shemp wants to get into Heaven, he must reform Moe and Larry. He’ll have to battle dark forces to do it.

Impressions: This is a remake of 1948’s Heavenly Daze. I hated the original. This one is much better. There’s recycled footage, but half or more appears to be new. The new scenes and reworked story work better. Let’s not forget Larry’s injury, due to the pen cutting his forehead deep. Moe chased director Jules White around the set. White promised the gag was harmless.

Rating: 3/5

 

#163Stone Age Romeos

Volume 8 Short 5

Released: June 2, 1955

Writers: Screenplay by Felix Adler. Story by Zion Myers.

Foils: Emil Sitka, Virginia Hunter, Nancy Saunders, Dee Green

Synopsis: A museum hires the Stooges to prove that cave men still exist.

Impressions: This is a remake of 1948’s I’m a Monkey’s Uncle. There’s a new beginning, a new end, and a slightly different story. Recycled footage makes up the middle. I wasn’t sure where this was going, but I loved the new ending. I liked the original, but I liked this more.

Rating: 4/5

 

#164Wham-Bam-Slam!

Volume 8 Short 6

Released: September 1, 1955

Writers: Screenplay by Felix Adler. Story by Clyde Bruckman.

Foils: Matt McHugh, Alyn Lockwood, Doria Revier, Wanda Perry

Synopsis: Shemp is ill with bad nerves. Larry’s friend Claude A. Quacker comes to help.

Impressions: This is a remake of 1948’s Pardon My Clutch. I hated, absolutely hated the original. This short isn’t too bad. Like the previous short, there’s a new beginning, new ending, and recycled footage between them.

Rating: 3/5

 

#165Hot Ice

Volume 8 Short 7

Released: October 6, 1955

Writers: Screenplay by Jack White. Story by Elwood Ullman.

Foils: Kenneth MacDonald, Christine McIntyre, Barbara Bartay

Synopsis: The Stooges are in pursuit of the famous jewel thief Dapper Dan.

Impressions: This is a mash-up of two shorts from 1948 with a few new shots. The story is a remake of Crime on Their Hands while the opening is from Hot Scots. The new shots appear to be close ups of Kenneth MacDonald to advance the new story, and there is a new ending scene. This short didn’t do much for me as I liked the original better.

Rating: 2/5

 

#166Blunder Boys

Volume 8 Short 8

Released: November 3, 1955

Writer: Felix Adler

Foils: Benny Rubin, Angela Stevens, Kenneth MacDonald

Synopsis: The Stooges are detectives after the mysterious thief “The Eel,” a cigar smoking cross dresser.

Impressions: I love this short. It’s a spoof of the Dragnet television show with Moe doing the Joe Friday narration. This is an original story and short, the last of the “Shemp era.” Unfortunately, it’s the final short released during Shemp Howard’s lifetime. He died suddenly of a heart attack a mere 19 days after the release. It was a gem to go out on as this may be the best short of the “Shemp era.”

Rating: 5/5

 

#167Husbands Beware

Volume 8 Short 9

Released: January 5, 1956

Writers: Screenplay by Felix Adler. Story by Clyde Bruckman.

Foils: Maxine Gates, Lou Leonard, Dee Green, Christine McIntyre

Synopsis: After Shemp convinces Moe and Larry to marry his sisters, they form a plan to get even.

Impressions: This is a remake of 1947’s Brideless Groom. There’s a new opening and ending scene. I didn’t care so much for the original, but I enjoyed the new opening scene. I love watching the Stooges cook. The new ending isn’t bad either. The recycled footage between the two is hard to watch.

Rating: 2/5

 

#168Creeps

Volume 8 Short 10

Released: February 2, 1956

Writers: Screenplay by Jack White. Story by Felix Adler.

Foil: N/A

Synopsis: The Stooges tell their sons a bedtime tale of knights, ghosts, and murder. It’s about the time they met Sir Tom.

Impressions: This is a remake of 1949’s The Ghost Talks. I enjoyed the new opening and ending scenes. The Stooges play their own children, and early special effects are on display to show them as both adults and children. Otherwise, this is a flat, uninspired effort. The original was better, with a better story.

Rating: 2/5

 

#169Flagpole Jitters

Volume 8 Short 11

Released: April 5, 1956

Writers: Screenplay by Jack White. Story by Felix Adler.

Foils: David Bond, Vernon Dent, Mary Ainslee

Synopsis: The Stooges are working stiffs trying to pay for a neighbor’s operation.

Impressions: This is a remake of 1949’s Hokus Pokus. I didn’t like the original, and if it’s possible, I like this even less. This short is noteworthy for having the last original scenes filmed with Shemp Howard before his death.

Rating: 1/5

Fifteen discs down, five more to go. What did we get? Two top rated shorts that are competing for best of the volume and best of the “Shemp era.” There’s plenty of really good shorts here, and they’re remakes. The previous volume’s remakes were below average and nowhere near as good as the originals. This disc is a different story. There’s several average and above remakes that are much better than the original. The first half of the disc is quite good, yet the second isn’t so much. There’s an exception here and there of course. As a whole I enjoyed this disc. Unfortunately, we saw the final short to feature Shemp Howard in an original scene, and the final short released in his lifetime. The next disc will include the infamous “fake Shemp.” Of these 11 shorts, which one is your favorite?

 Copyright © Drew Martin 2016

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. gary loggins says:

    To me, these represent the beginning of a downward spiral in terms of Stooge short quality. Far too much recycled material going on in these. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say about the “Joe Besser’ era!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Drew Martin says:

      I’m not a :Joe Besser era.” I like his cartoon voice work. I think the second half of the next disc is Joe Besser.I enjoyed a few of these remakes. Blunder Boys is my favorite Shemp era short, spoofing Dragnet.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. gary loggins says:

        Yeah, that’s probably my favorite on this disc

        Like

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