|Index||6 reviews in total|
A true stooge aficionado will crack up every time he or she hears that
term--it's one of the key points in this drama. Dr. Panzer, played to
sinister perfection by Vernon Dent, is looking for a brain small enough
to transplant into the skull of his pet gorilla. When he hears Moe call
Curly this familiar epithet, it takes on an entirely new meaning!
Dent virtually steals the show with his performance. He looks truly eerie, and when he starts to laugh as the boys realize what he's up to, it's something that might stay with you for a long time.
One odd thing about the short is when the gorilla starts firing the gun, he hits the boys in their posteriors (naturally); but he also clearly fatally wounds Panzer in the back. Maybe the only obvious death in the stooge film library? (Well, we never see him actually die.) The film is marred, as many stooge films are, by the lack of a concise ending. Otherwise, it's enjoyable to watch the boys misadventures, ranging from a classic botched wallpaper job to how they evade Dent and his furry friend. And it has one of my favorite exchanges of all time, as Moe and Larry observe the doctor studying Curly's skull:
Larry: That guy must be a headhunter!
Moe: If he's a headhunter, he's huntin' small game.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
While Curly's performance is different here from his more buoyant performances from before, I wouldn't use the term "marred" because this particular performance works very well in this film. His slower speech enhances this film while it doesn't enhance others. His delivery of the line "Hey, you're smart" to the ape wouldn't be as funny (imho) if delivered in the normal "classic" Curly way. It is interesting to note that Director Ed Bernds felt that Curly's performance was troublesome. There seems to be 2 versions of this film floating around. On a store bought collection, immediately after Vernon Dent (the mad scientist) says to his helper, that they'll go in through the back, there is a jump cut to them doing just that. On a TV airing of this episode that I happened to have taped, after Vernon says this line, there is a bit of business in the locked laboratory where the Stooges are. The ape gets drunk. Then you see the mad scientist come in the back entrance.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"A Bird in the Head" is not a bad Three Stooges short, considering that
Curly Howard's health was waning and he couldn't hide it. This film
marks the directorial debut of the highly capable Edward Bernds,
although it was released AFTER Bernds' second Stooge short, called
"Micro-Phonies" (1945). Mr. Bernds is considered the best director ever
to work with the boys, and I highly agree. He would go on to direct
some of the Stooges' best shorts with Shemp Howard and even a couple of
Stooge feature films with Curly-Joe DeRita.
Highlights from "A Bird in the Head": In the opening sequence, Larry traps Moe's head through a stepladder, and Larry & Curly wallpaper Moe's face. Prof. Panzer (Vernon Dent) gives Curly a "screen test" by examining his puny brain; there's a cuckoo clock inside (with a little help from animation). When Igor the gorilla gets a hold of the professor's machine gun, all hell breaks loose!
I think it's very wacky for the gorilla to develop a strong affection for Curly in this short, but that's only my opinion. "A Bird in the Head" not only features a juicy role for Vernon Dent but also features Robert Williams and Frank Lackteen in small roles as, respectively, the Stooges' paperhanging boss and Prof. Panzer's butler.
A Bird in the Head (1946)
** 1/2 (out of 4)
Moe, Larry and Curly are working for a man hanging some wallpaper. This leads to a disaster but soon the three find themselves being hired by a nutty professor (Vernon Dent). What the boys don't realize is that the doctor plans to put Curly's brain into the skull of a gorilla.
A BIRD IN THE HEAD isn't the greatest Stooges' short that you're going to see but there are enough funny moments to make it worth sitting through. The highlight for me were some funny skits with the gorilla where it's standing behind the boys and they don't realize it. We've seen this type of scene in various shorts from the boys as well as others but I thought the comic timing was quite good. The entire first portion with the wallpaper is pretty flat in terms of laughs.
The Three Stooges has always been some of the many actors that I have
loved. I love just about every one of the shorts that they have made. I
love all six of the Stooges (Curly, Shemp, Moe, Larry, Joe, and Curly
Joe)! All of the shorts are hilarious and also star many other great
actors and actresses which a lot of them was in many of the shorts! In
My opinion The Three Stooges is some of the greatest actors ever and is
the all time funniest comedy team!
Bird in the Head is a very funny Three Stooges short. Vernon Dent was excellent as Prof. Panzer! So was Robert Williams as Mr. Beedle. Also Frank Lackteen and Art Miles is in this one. The gorilla looked really different compared to other gorillas in the Three Stooges short. This is a very funny Three Stooges short especially the wallpaper scenes! I recommend this one!
An average stooge short, somewhat ruined by Curly's performance due to a
stroke that he recently suffered and it clearly shows on this
The stooges start off as wallpaper hangers, the stooges boss Mr. Beetle tells the boys to do a good job and he walks into Professor Panzer's office, Panzer wants to find a human brain small enough to fit inside the skull of a gorilla, then there's a funny scene when Larry accidentally gets Moe's head stuck between a ladder and the steps break and when Curly and Larry grab some wallpaper and they cover Moe's face inside and after Mr. Beetle shows up, he gets angry after the boys doing an awful job and he decides to not only fire them, he decides to tear them limb to limb.
Then the boys enter inside Panzer's office and Panzer decides to do an experiment on Curly's head and he tells the boys that they'll be living the life of luxury as long as they live and the boys find the gorilla and they start running for their lives and there's a memorable scene when Panzer does a screen test on Curly's head and it's a bird coming out of the clock going cookoo then the boys decide to run from the professor.
This short was also the debut of former stooge soundman Edward Bernds as a director even though his next short Micro-Phonies was released before this one, on Micro-Phonies, Curly was in much better health compared to this short and the short was one of the stooge's greatest performances.
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