First Stooges Starring Feature is their First Made for the Kiddies Movie!
The Three Stooges had about the longest run of any act in the Short Subject field. As an act on their own (after Ted Healy),their career went from 1934 ("WOMAN HATERS") to 1958, when the last of the 2 reelers featuring Joe Besser as the third Stooge was released. It was just about then that COLUMBIA PICTURES decided to release their backlog to Television.After all, the Stooges were now out dated, has beens.Curly and Shemp Howard, who both gave so much energy to the act, were both now gone.
Well, the shorts made it to local TV stations, and kids who had never heard of finger pokes and tearing out of tonsils rapidly became their greatest fans. Everyone was watching. All of a sudden, The Stooges were a hot item. Personal appearances,comic books, records, bubble gum cards and all sorts of other merchandising appeared on the scene.
Ironically, the Stooges got no financial rewards for their old Columbia Shorts being shown on TV. But if it weren't for their timely release, none of the rest would be possible.
Naturally, there would be more motion pictures, but the short subject field was really nothing by now. So, it was decided that "the boys" would go into feature films. The first, HAVE ROCKET WILL TAVEL was produced and played the neighborhood shows in 1959, in the Autumn I think.
Well, when we saw the advertisements on TV, we (there were 5 of us Ryan Kids)let out a cheer. It was at our neighborhood theater, and it was Saturday. We went to the Matinée that day. Well, it was us and every other kid in the neighborhood at the Ogden Theater that day. The Stooges' comeback was in full swing now.
As a Stooges'picture,it was both familiar and different. They had been in features before, but not as the starring act. They went through the sci-fi story well enough. The story did incorporate a lot of schtick from their old 2 reeler days. The 3rd Stooge was now veteran Burlesque Comic Joe DeRita (nicknamed 'Curly Joe') who bore some general resemblance to Curly Howard, who of course died in 1952. The story had a sort of romantic sub-plot between two of the professors at the space institute. (the female character called 'Dr. Ingrid', played by Anna Lisa a Scandanavian actress who looked sort of like a 'road show' Ingrid Bergman. They even had a short musical interlude, using a forgettable song.Oh well,at least it gave us a good time to slip out to the lobby and get some popcorn.
When we left the show that Saturday, we were a little disappointed with Have Rocket Will Travel (the title a spoof of a popular western TV series of that day). Just about every kid thought that it could have been better.But, on the other hand, it was a new Stooges picture, and that was truly good news.
Perhaps the greatest irony of this "comeback" film was that it is the first Stooges film that was made for the juvenile trade. Even though it was those kids who were responsible for the Stooges' resurgence, their previous movies were made for general audience viewing.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?