The Three Stooges Collection, Volume Three: 1940-1942
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 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
CLICK to order from:
|Distribution||Sony Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC|
|Runtime||23 X approx 18:00 each = about 7 hours|
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Bitrate: Disc 1|
|Bitrate: Disc 2|
Average Bitrate: 4.12 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 2.0)|
Up until these competent Sony DVD packages (Vol. 1 reviewed HERE, Vol. 2 HERE) the Three Stooges on DVD had been a real mix'n match hodge-podge of un-restored titles and illogical entries. Sony are giving us the first concert effort to categorize, chronologically on digital, their huge body of work with many shorts seeing the digital light for the first time. The 2-disc bare-bones DVD package represents 13 shorts on dual layered disc 1 and 10 on dual-layered disc 2. They are progressively transferred and coded for regions 1 in the NTSC standard. There are no extras. Specifically:
Disc One (made in 1940 and 41'):
An Ache in Every Stake (1941), In the Sweet Pie and Pie (1941), Some More of Samoa (1941), Loco Boy Makes Good (1942), What's the Matador (1942), Cactus Makes Perfect (1942), Matri-Phony (1942), Three Smart Saps (1942), Even as I.O.U (1942) and Sock-a-Bye Baby (1942)
They are better looking than I ever remember from Saturday mornings and although there are no extras the. almost, 7 hour entertainment value (at only $17) should suffice most fans. There is one less short from Vol. 2 - 23 as opposed to 24 - and accordingly the price is $3 cheaper. Image quality continues to be strong although a couple of shorts have a kind of sepia/green to them marring the perfect contrast. Considering the age though, detail looks remarkable at times with no heavy or even moderate damage. This package has no subtitle options. Audio has has some weaknesses but nothing that renders them any less viewable. They continue to impress me with their visual appearance for stuff made over 65 years ago.
If I am tired and bored with just about everything in my life - spinning one of these discs snaps me right out of my funk. It works every time. My grins turn to snickers and the surreal world of absurdity created by the Stooge antics continues to be a great way to start any film night till the popcorn pops! The Stooges body of work is so immense you can watch these at anytime and it may feel brand new. The gags repeat but they are always funny. Ex. sleeping together in one bed as it floats down the gutter is mesmerizingly humorous - even when you know exactly what will happen next. Being all 'Curlys' adds to the appeal and the zany plots and desperate physical visuals are purely addictive. The price sure is right at about $2/hour of vintage fun. So do we continue to recommend? - 'Why Soitenly... Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk'.