The Three Stooges Collection, Volume One: 1934-1936
The Three Stooges were an
American vaudeville and comedy act of the mid 20th century best known for their
numerous short subject films. They were commonly known by their first names:
'Moe, Larry, & Curly', and 'Moe, Larry, & Shemp', among other lineups. The act
originally featured Moe Howard (born Harry Moses Horwitz), brother Shemp Howard
(born Samuel Horwitz), and longtime friend Larry Fine (born Louis Feinberg).
Shemp was later replaced by brother Curly Howard (born Jerome Lester Horwitz) in
1932. When Curly suffered a debilitating stroke in 1946, Shemp rejoined the act.
After Shemp's death in 1955, he was replaced by baldheaded comedian Joe Besser,
and eventually by Joe "Curly-Joe" DeRita (born Joseph Wardell). After Larry's
death, Emil Sitka, a longtime actor in Stooge comedies, was contracted to
replace Larry, but no film was ever made with him in the role, although
publicity photographs exist of him with his hair combed like Larry's posing with
Moe and Curly-Joe prior to Moe's death. Larry's death marked the end of the act.
Moe Howard was born on June 19,
1897, in Bensonhurst, New York, a small Jewish community on the outskirts of
Brooklyn. Moe's real name was Moses Horwitz. Moe's mother's name was Jennie
Horwitz, and his father was clothing cutter Solomon Horwitz. Moe was the fourth
eldest of five Howard brothers. Two of Moe's brothers, Jerome (Curly), and Shemp
performed with him as members of The Three Stooges. Moe's other two brothers,
Jack and Irving, never entered show business.
DVD Review: Sony (2-disc) - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
CLICK to order from:
|Distribution||Sony Pictures - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC|
|Runtime||19 X approx 18:00 each = 6 hours|
Average Bitrate: 4.10 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 2.0)|
Up until now the Three Stooges on DVD has been a real mix'n match hodge-podge of un-restored titles and illogical entries. This new Sony boxset - The Three Stooges Collection, Volume One: 1934-1936 seems to be the first concert effort to categorize their huge body of work chronologically with many shorts seeing the digital light for the first time. The 2-disc bare-bones DVD package represents 11 episodes on dual layered disc 1 and 8 episodes on single-layered disc 2. They are coded for regions 1 thru 4 in the NTSC standard. Specifically:
Disc One (made in 1934):
They looks as good as I ever remember and although there are no extras the 6 hour plus entertainment value should suffice most fans. Contrast is strong, detail fairly good although it wavers between episodes and there are no subtitle options. Audio shares some of the weakness but overall these look and sound exceptionally watchable.
Some of the highlights include - Punch Drunks (the only short actually written by the Stooges), the Oscar nominated Men in Black, Three Little Pigskins (featuring a young Lucille Ball), Restless Knights (first triple-slap in a Stooge history) and Slippery Silks (featuring the first Stooges cream dessert fight). They are so fun and addictive with zany plots and desperate physical visuals. Do we recommend? - 'Soitenly... Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk'.
Opening of two of the shorts include these title cards: