Snow White and the Three Stooges (1961) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
40 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
A Fairy Tale first; a 3 Stooges film a distant number 2
raphael6526 February 2006
It would seem that I agree with about half of the other reviewers of this film. It HAS been unfairly blasted by Stooges fans because the emphasis is on the fantasy and not on the slapstick humour of the much-beloved trio. Personally, although I enjoyed their antics as a child, I was never a fan of the Stooges and would never put them in the same class as Abbott and Costello, for example. Nevertheless, they prove in this film that they are not bad actors at all. The sets and opulent costumes boost this film considerably, as do the presence of the very dark, traditional elements of European folklore, and I think this movie would have been a GREAT fantasy film if there had been seven dwarfs in it! I would agree that Carol Heiss is not a very good actress, but the character of Snow White does not call for the use of great thespian skills. I think that Patricia Medina makes this movie: she is gorgeous and exudes delicious villainy as the Queen/Witch. She was the major draw for me when I watched this film as a child. Guy Rolfe, as Count Oga, is also very effective, and the siege on the castle well-mounted. Fantasy film fans are bound to like this better than Stooges fans.
18 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Once Upon a Wonderful Movie!
phillindholm31 January 2005
''Snow White And The Three Stooges'' was the most lavish film the famous comedy team was ever associated with. (not counting their brief cameo appearance in ''It's A Mad,Mad Mad Mad World''). Released in 1961, ''Snow White'' had a budget of 3.5 million dollars. Originally, director Frank Tashlin, who had directed Jerry Lewis in the fairy tale farce ''Cinderfella'' was set to helm the film. However, when production got underway in late 1960, he had been replaced by famed director Walter Lang, known for the many musicals he made during ''Hollywood's ''Golden Age''.In fact, ''Snow White'' was his last film. Somehow, 20th Century-Fox, who were then in serious trouble after a series of expensive duds (and pouring tons of money into the fiasco ''Cleopatra'') gave the OK for the 3-plus million dollar budget, which was originally set at a mere $750,000. The star of the film was Olympic skating champion Carol Heiss. She was 20 years old at the time and had won her Gold Medal the year before. In fact, ''Snow White'' was always intended as a vehicle for her skating talents, with the Stooges aboard merely as support. Cast in the dual role of the Wicked Queen and the Witch she turned into was veteran leading lady Patricia Medina, who had recently married the actor Joseph Cotten. Edson Stroll, a virtual unknown, played Prince Charming, while British character player Guy Rolfe (beating out Martin Landau) was the evil Count Oga, henchman to the Queen.Also present were Blossom Rock, sister of Jeanette MacDonald, who would gain fame later as ''Grandmama'' on the ''Addams Family'' TV series, as the Prince's onetime Nurse, and Herbie Faye as the Head Cook.And look for veteran ''codger'' Burt Mustin (''Detective Story'') cast as a disgruntled spectator in the ''Medicine Show'' sequence. The plot is basically the same as the Grimm fairy tale, with the skating sequences added to showcase Carol Heiss' talents on ice. The Stooges are substitutes for the vacationing Seven Dwarfs, and are ultimately responsible for uniting Snow White with her Prince. He has grown up with the Stooges, who have a traveling medicine show, and he becomes part of the act after they rescue him from an assassination attempt engineered by the Queen. ''Snow White And The Three Stooges'' has long been reviled by critics, fans of the Stooges and even the Stooges themselves, who felt cheated by the rather subordinate roles they play. When it was released in the summer of 1961, it proved yet another flop for the beleaguered studio. It is, however, a wonderful fantasy with fine performances by Carol Heiss, who made a lovely Snow White in what was both her film debut and her swan song, the beautiful Patricia Medina (as the Wicked Queen) who conveyed the evil in her character without overdoing it, Guy Rolfe, as sinister a villain as one could wish for, and Edson Stroll, a ''charming'' Prince of whom little was heard from since, outside of a part in the ''Mchale's Navy'' TV series. He and Ms. Heiss have a few songs together (though both are dubbed) and have good chemistry in their romantic scenes. Ms. Heiss sings courtesy of Lawrence Welk's ''Champagne Lady'' Norma Zimmer. Stroll's ''ghost voice'' was none other than Bill Lee, who dubbed for, among others, Christopher Plummer, in ''The Sound Of Music. The voice he uses in his ventriloquist act is that of Mel Blanc (''Bugs Bunny''). As for the Stooges, they are fine in their parts, and prove they can be touching as well. The CinemaScope production is truly beautiful. with sets and costumes in gorgeous color, which convey the perfect fairy tale mood, as well as establishing where a good deal of the budget went. The music score by Lyn Murray, and the songs by Harry Harris and Earl Brent are delightful as well. Two of them, (''Snow White And The Three Stooges'' and a number by the Stooges themselves ''Looking For People Looking For Fun'') were sadly deleted from the final cut, though the latter tune can be heard on the Columbia soundtrack album, and the former on a 45 backed with the title tune, ''A Place Called Happiness''. Although the film was also criticized for toning down the Stooges antics, there is, after all, little room for all-out slapstick in a fantasy of this kind without destroying the mood. There is a brief pie-throwing scene, of course. But though it's better appreciated by fans of fantasy than Stoogephiles, the film is successful as a lavish and satisfying adaptation of a classic fairy tale, and no apologies need be made for it.
43 out of 48 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Wonderfully entertaining!
Pashtet-227 July 1999
As I lover of the Stooges, ice skating, romance and fairy tales, I was so thrilled with this movie that I plan to purchase it. While the amazing costumes and scenery and unique twists on the Snow White story would have been enough to entertain me, seeing the Stooges acting in tender roles make them all the more lovable.

The ice skating scene as Snow White lies crying in the snow is absolutely the most visually stunning effect I've ever seen in a movie.

The only drawback to this film is that the Moe/Larry/Curly Joe combo never has the same magic for Stooge fans as the Moe/Larry/Curly or Moe/Larry/Shemp lineup.

Everyone in my family, even the 9 month old baby, enjoyed this movie tremendously.
19 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
As a Kid I loved this movie and I still do!
davidphilbarbara30 May 2008
Why are some people so down on this movie? I saw it when I was only 7 or 8 years old and I loved it. I was already a fan of the 3 Stooges and I found this a great change from their usual slapstick. I even thought Joe DeRita was Curly Howard, they looked so much alike. What I don't understand is that often the Stooges were attacked by critics who claimed they were not funny, that all they did was hit each other in the heads. Yet for once they made a movie in which they did less hitting and played up fantasy,romance, and adventure instead. And then the critics complained that they did not do enough! It just goes to show you can't please everyone. All I can say to the people who hate the Stooges, if you don't like them then go watch something filthy on Comedy Central. I say the 3 Stooges rank right up with Laurel and Hardy as classic comedians. God bless them for bringing me so much happiness as a child!
21 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A Fantasy-Romantic-Adventure
Chazzzzz5 October 2000
If you, like most of the critics, were expecting to see a comedy, forget it! The Stooges, in their only color film, tried to do it straight and I think they succeeded. They were starting to get a bit older at this time, and I think they wanted to show the world that they could act and carry off a beautiful fairy tale. Sure, there are some funny spots... but this is an adventure, with romance and fantasy thrown in for good measure. Carol Heiss and Patricia Medina are excellent as Snow White and the Queen/Witch. Nice wide screen photography, FX, and action. THIS IS A GOOD FILM!
19 out of 23 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The Queen In Exile Served By Three Stooges?
bkoganbing6 July 2009
Though nothing as memorable as the musical score from Walt Disney's animated Snow White comes out of this film, this children's story has one thing the other doesn't have. Well three things actually.

Instead of seven dwarfs to serve her exiled majesty in the forest, Snow White has Moe, Larry, and Curly Joe at her beck and call. Snow White And The Three Stooges was a film especially designed to make Olympic ice skating star Carol Heiss, the Sonia Henie for a new generation. It didn't quite work out that way for Heiss who got to show her stuff on the ice through an imaginary dream ice ballet. You can also plainly see that other than some establishing shots during that sequence it's not her less ice talented cast members in the ballet with her.

Of course the Three Stooges are up to their usual monkeyshines. In those last years of feature films with Curly Joe, it was a kinder and gentler Moe slapping the other two around. I well remember in the late Fifties when WPIX started running those old Stooge shorts from Columbia there were many complaints about how violent they were, that little kids were imitating Moe doing all kinds of nasty things to their littler brothers and sisters. I think Columbia had them tone it down a bit in those last years.

Edson Stroll who later served on the PT-73 with Ernest Borgnine and the rest of that crew in McHale's Navy makes a stalwart Prince Charming. And Patricia Medina and Guy Rolfe as the villains are feasting on all the scenery available, but it's those kind of parts and they both look very happy. As for Carol Heiss as Snow White, she was a great figure skater and might have in a few more films become competent as an actress as Sonia Henie did. But she preferred the ice to the soundstage and probably was happier for it.

Snow White And The Three Stooges is a nice charming filmed fairy tale and it's for Stooge fans of all ages.
6 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A nice movie for children during the holiday season.
Little-Mikey11 May 2009
This movie has been slammed by disappointed fans of the 3 Stooges for good reason! However, with all things considered, this movie set out what it was meant to do. It put Carol Heiss in the limelight, focusing more on her incredible skills as a champion ice skater and a little less on her not-so-incredible skills as an actress.

This movie was standard matinée material in 1962. It was meant to be shown in movie theaters full of children.

Considering that the movie was made in a time when the PTA was a very powerful force to reckon with, the 3 Stooges wisely limited their slapstick routine, though not entirely. Moe is still the boss. Larry and Curly-Joe still get in the way. There was still some fun slapstick and some pie-in-the-face comic mayhem, though there are no poking in the eyes.

In an early scene, the 3 Stooges are trying to sell their product, called "Yuk". An old spectator in the crowd, heckles the Stooges, calling them "frauds". Was that old spectator played by Lou Archer? (Lou Archer played "Good Time Charlie" in the 1935 Stooge short, UNCIVAL WARRIORS.)

The movie showed promise in the beginning. An introduction with the story book, its pages turning with the Stooges showing up in the wrong time, much to the irritation of the narrator, leads the viewer to believe that this is the makings of a "fractured fairy tale". Sad to say, this was not the case.

This is not a 3 Stooges movie to be shown at any Stooge Filmfest. In spite of all this, I must give this movie a High Six after all, this film was intended to entertain a younger audience, which it did!

The movie trailer for this movie (an added feature on the DVD) accurately described the movie with promises of lots of ice skating, swashbuckling sword fights, love & romance, and (of course) the 3 Stooges.
8 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Delightful Fantasy Film
WWalrus25 August 2001
There is only one problem with "Snow White and the 3 Stooges" and that is the title. It leaves people expecting a typical slapstick comedy and this is not that kind of film. If it has been made with three other comic actors, it would have been much more widely accepted. But mention the 3 Stooges and most people expect hit 'em in the face with a hammer kind of things.

The story becomes the main focus here, not the usual Stooges prat falls. They prove that they were capable of doing a delightful and respectful version of the Snow White legend. They are lovable guardians of the princess. They are capable of playing real characters, not the usual cardboard cut outs they normally play.

I saw this film at least 6 times when it was first released in the theaters and bought the tape when it first came out. It is a beautiful, funny delight. The ice skating if wonderful. The sets and costumes exactly what a fairy tale calls for.

Don't listen to those people who only wanted the usual Stooges black and white short type of film. Anyone who loves fairy tale fantasy films will find a lot to like in this production.
18 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
It's not enough that Snow meets the Stooges and not the dwarfs, but she skates, too??
Poseidon-315 September 2004
That title threatens, at all times, to put this film in the same category as "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" or "King Kong vs Godzilla", so disparate are the names Snow White and The Three Stooges. However, though the pairing is as oddball as the others, the film is not quite as badly made or ludicrous as it may sound at first. Olympic gold medal skater Heiss plays Snow White. She is the apple of her father the King's eye, but an obstacle to his evil wife Medina. When he expires, Medina locks Heiss away so that she can claim the throne for herself. Meanwhile, Stroll, a prince himself who doesn't realize it, is working alongside the Stooges in a traveling minstrel show. It seems he was betrothed as a youth to Heiss in order to join their kingdoms, but the Stooges foiled an assassination plot (never realizing who he was) and have raised him ever since as their own. When Heiss escapes Medina's wrath and winds up in the cottage of the seven dwarfs, it turns out that they're away for the season and Stroll and the Stooges are there as guests! Apart from this unique twist, the story follows the fairy tale relatively closely, including Medina's transformation into a horrible witch and Heiss's bite of the famous poisoned apple, until the requisite happy ending. Heiss is attractive, but predictably amateurish in her acting. She gets two glittery, extraordinarily colorful skating numbers that, if nothing else, exist as something fun to show her grandkids now. The Stooges (actually playing characters called The Stooges!) don't have an opportunity to do a great deal of the brand of pratfalls and comedy they are famous for and when they do indulge, the results are pretty sub-par for them. They do provide a few easy laughs occasionally, though, and actually attempt to act as real characters rather than just appear as pawns for slapstick. (This may displease some of their die-hard fans.) Stroll is handsome (sort of a softer Hugh O'Brian), but is given some ridiculous things to do (such as play with a goofy ventriloquists dummy.) Medina doesn't pull any punches in her bitter, driven role. She looks great and clearly enjoys herself both as the queen and the wart-covered witch. The impossibly slender Rolfe provides some sinister support as her magic-dabbling right-hand man. The film lacks the effervescence, wit and overall talent to be a true classic, but it's not offensively bad either. A certain amount of care and money went into the making of it. It's colorful enough and fast-paced enough to entertain small children, but has the merit of Medina's vinegar and some striking costumes, sets and fight sequences to keep some adults interested as well.
15 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Delightful Departure!
imdbjunkiegal23 May 2007
I thought this was a highly entertaining, sweet, and though somewhat of a departure for the stooges, fresh picture. I thought they played their parts well, adding the correct emotional drama, which was really amazing to see from slapstick comedians. I completely enjoy this film, and have watched it over and over again. A die-hard fan of the Three Stooges, I was not at all upset, but rather pleased with their attempt to reach out and try something more. There are plenty of laughs hidden in the film, just pay attention to the dialog rather than wait for Moe to reach out and slap someone. If you're looking for a film that will please the entire family, not just the adults, this is also a great choice. It's funny, clean and elating to watch, as all the Three Stooges pictures are. All in all, this is an excellent film in every way, and, if you're not looking for traditional Stooge laughs, you will be quite pleased!
11 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
8/10 ****/5 ~ Set aside the Disney Classic and enjoy this delightful fantasy.
Doctor_Mabuse31 July 2001
20th Century Fox's colorful live-action version of the oft-retold fairy tale is a lavishly-produced fantasy extravaganza featuring the Three Stooges as the star comics.

Cast as Snow White is charming Olympic Champion ice skater Carol Heiss who dances two ice ballets. The film's wintertime setting makes it ideal old-fashioned holiday family entertainment.

The imaginative adaptation by Noel Langley (The Wizard of Oz, 1939; Scrooge/A Christmas Carol, 1951) elaborates the famous story to include romance and swashbuckling adventure. The film is a worthy variant of the fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm and need not suffer direct comparison with the Disney version, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937).

Fans of the Three Stooges have long expressed hatred and contempt for this film, which is not neither a slapstick comedy nor a true Stooges vehicle. This prevailing attitude need not detain others (especially those who can't stand the Three Stooges) from being entertained.
11 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Is it really that bad?
slymusic11 March 2010
Warning: Spoilers
From 20th Century Fox comes a highly expensive motion picture musical extravaganza that turned out to be a major disappointment: "Snow White and the Three Stooges". General consensus among Stooge fans is that there are not enough appearances by the famed slapstick trio in this film, hardly any slapstick at all, in fact. It's no wonder the Stooges themselves were not happy with it. It seems that the primary aim of "Snow White and the Three Stooges" was to capitalize on the ice skating prowess of Carol Heiss, who fits the role of Snow White even though she is not known to be an experienced actress. Personally, although I am indeed a Stooge fan, I believe this film is quite charming and not as bad as others say.

My favorite sequences from "Snow White and the Three Stooges" include the following (DON'T read any further if you have not yet seen this movie). In the very first scene before the opening credits, the Stooges invade the storybook and interrupt the narrator. When the Stooges and their adopted son Quatro (Edson Stroll) stage a performance for Snow White, Quatro's ventriloquist dummy Quinto (voiced by the great Mel Blanc) sings the beautiful tune "Because I'm in Love", accompanied by Larry on violin, Moe on flute, and Curly Joe on concertina. The Stooges throw pies at the Queen's cook (but there's no sound effect for the splats). Curly Joe unknowingly grabs the magic sword and wishes that the Queen (Patricia Medina) would go down to Hades; at that moment, the Queen is disguised as a witch riding a broom, and she indeed goes downward!

"Snow White and the Three Stooges" is not without its flaws. For instance, some fairly bad acting when Hordred the Huntsman (Buddy Baer) tries to kill Snow White; a faked sword going through a soldier's arm (although I am thankful because I cannot handle the sight of blood); obvious Stooge doubles taking the ice; not to mention a few phony magic tricks. On the other hand, I am deeply touched by the kindness of Rolf (Michael David), one of the Queen's guards who looks after Snow White and tells her in her darkest hour never to lose hope; her happiness will come.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Snow White And The Three Stooges (Walter Lang, 1961) **1/2
Bunuel197628 December 2007
Lavish if overlong version of the popular fairy-tale (most famously incarnated on screen via the 1937 Walt Disney animated milestone) which incorporates a skating star (whose numbers go on forever), the comic trio's brand of violent slapstick (replacing the Seven Dwarfs – though they feel constrained by the material, much like the Laurel & Hardy of THE BOHEMIAN GIRL [1936] and SWISS MISS [1938]) and saccharine songs; the familiar plot is further enlivened by an amiable ventriloquist act and numerous swashbuckling routines. It's colorful and pleasant – certainly more enjoyable than I had anticipated, and wholly undeserving of Leonard Maltin's unflattering BOMB rating – emerging, all in all, to be perfect unassuming entertainment for the festive season.

Guy Rolfe and Patricia Medina convey appropriate comic-book villainy in their respective roles (each receive their just desserts in memorable fashion – but while his is particularly gruesome, hers is done in a rather clever way); burly Buddy Baer is their evil henchman who subsequently has a change of heart. Incidentally, this was the first of five belated feature films starring The Three Stooges – the others being the equally improbable THE THREE STOOGES MEET HERCULES (1962), THE THREE STOOGES IN ORBIT (1962), THE THREE STOOGES GO AROUND THE WORLD IN A DAZE (1963) and THE OUTLAWS IS COMING (1965).

Frank Tashlin is said to have contributed to the film under review but, at any rate, the producers involved did have their hearts in the right place by employing director Lang (whose last effort this proved be) – having been responsible for the splendid Shirley Temple fantasy vehicle THE BLUE BIRD (1940) – and screenwriter Noel Langley – who had co-scripted the classic MGM version of THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939). By the way, this viewing of SNOW WHITE AND THE THREE STOOGES came in anticipation of my acquiring a 2-Disc collection of the comic trio's vintage shorts...
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A nice enjoyable movie
rebeccaps12 December 2004
No, this is not your usually Stooge fair. I grew watching them on Saturday afternoon. I was 9 years old when this movie came out. I thought this is going to the stupidest movie ever and ruin the Snow White story. I live in Central Florida where there was a drive-in movie every ten miles. We went to the movies once a week. I saw the movie and surprised that I liked it. I and my children like this movie. No it is not great Stooge comedy or great acting. I still like the movie and watch it from time to time. It is entertaining, pleasant, and no cursing. I like the skating sequences, they much to the movie and my enjoyment of it.

Based on IMDb ratings I would give a 5 Star rating.
8 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Good Three Stooges movie!
Movie Nuttball11 July 2005
Snow White and the Three Stooges is a very good film that has a good cast which includes Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Curly Joe DeRita, Carol Heiss, Edson Stroll, Patricia Medina, Guy Rolfe, Michael David, Buddy Baer, Edgar Barrier, Peter Coe, Marie Blake, Mark Bailey, Bill Blackburn, and Mel Blanc! The acting by all of these actors is very good. The Stooges are once again great! The comedy is really good and some of it is surprising. The movie is filmed very good. The music is good. The film is quite interesting and the movie really keeps you going until the end. This is a very good and hilarious film. If you like The Three Stooges, the rest of the cast in the film, Comedy, Classic, Fantasy, Dramas, and interesting films then I strongly recommend you to see this film today!
8 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
This bored me even as a little kid...
moonspinner556 April 2005 what's a joker to make of such a product, rife as it is with warmed-over fairy tale baloney? Poor skater Carol Heiss looks positively in pain as Snow White, which may provide some unintentional comic relief from the sub-Disney nonsense on hand. As for the Three Stooges, they are wasted in what must be the three most unfunny comedic roles in kiddie film history. As an adult now, I guess I liked the torture chamber best (the burly woodsman whines like a little girl on the rack) which just goes to show what little else there is on display here. What a waste of celluloid, and what was Twentieth Century Fox thinking? *1/2 from ****
15 out of 29 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Watch it if you ever wanted to be an ice skater!
echernoffw-16 October 2011
I have a VHS tape of this movie and the reason I recorded it was because of the beautiful ice skating of Carol Heiss. I am a Three Stooges fan, to this day, but we all know from the other reviews that this movie wasn't about the Stooges and their kind of slapstick comedy, but a fantasy, fairy tale with ice skating. I saw this movie when I was a young, impressionable 11 year old girl and I think that after I had seen it, I only wanted to ice skate. Even now as an adult (who doesn't ice skate), my dream would be to ice skate in the beautiful, winter-land, smoky ice pond that Snow White (Heiss) skated on. It was one of the most beautiful scenes in a film. What girl wouldn't want to have her "Prince Charming" skate with her happily, forever after!
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Not bad, a certain fairy-tale charm but odd vehicle for The Three Stooges...
Doylenf29 September 2006
I suppose The Three Stooges were getting a little fatigued by the time they did their work in SNOW WHITE AND THE THREE STOOGES because they're less exuberant than usual, in fact you might even say their slapstick is much more restrained. But this is good because Fox never intended this to be a showcase for them--rather, it introduces Olympic Skating Champion Carol Heiss and features Edson Stroll doing a nice job as Prince Charming.

Walter Lang did the directing and he's given an A budget on which a lot was obviously spent on costumes and settings, so from a strictly pictorial viewpoint the film is pleasant to look at in stunning technicolor. Gorgeous PATRICIA MEDINA has fun with her role as the wicked Queen who disguises herself as an old hag.

Just to make sure Miss Heiss' ice-skating is not totally ignored, they've given her two big production numbers and both of them are skillfully filmed and performed in winter wonderland type of settings.

Fans of The Stooges may be disappointed, but actually this is not a bad re-telling of the fantasy using a totally different approach. The four songs are rather unmemorable but this is merely a pleasant enough diversion for young folks.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
What's left of the Stooges? Not much
Plissken-62 April 1999
I am a big Three Stooges fans, been watching them ever since I was a little kid, and I loved each and every short they did. This movie is a terrible adaptation of the Snow White stories and the Stooges don't help any. The final stooge Curly Joe DeRita does not have any chemistry with any of the stooges like Curly and Shemp did. This movie is a bomb and I mean a big bomb. Not one part of this movie is entertaining or funny. In fact it is kind of sad to see this once great comedy team confined to this foolishness of a film. To sum it up, don't waste your time with this film. Go back to the 17 minute shorts with Curly and Shemp and have a good laugh.
11 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
KatMiss19 April 2001
What happened? This had the makings of a great film here! You have The Three Stooges, one of the greatest comedy teams of all time. The director, Walter Lang, made the great "Can-Can" with Frank Sinatra the year before. Cinematographer Leon Shamroy supplied some of the most stunning cinematography of all time (his titles include "Leave Her to Heaven", "The Robe", "The Egyptian" and "Cleopatra") and one of the most decorated (he won 4 Oscars)The script was written by Elwood Ullman, who wrote many of the Stooges' very best shorts ("Dutiful But Dumb" comes to mind) What went wrong?

According to Moe Howard, a lot went wrong. The original director was Frank Tashlin, a former animator for Warner Bros. who became a feature director and had directed many excellent comedies such as "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?" and "The Disorderly Orderly".His style would have fit the Stooges like a glove. He was replaced by Walter Lang, who was not a comedy director and didn't fit the Stooges style. Another problem was the casting of Olympic ice skater Carol Heiss in the role of Snow White. She was pretty, but couldn't act. And of course, once she came on board, Lang became obsessed with creating elaborate ice skating sequences for Heiss. This leads me to the third problem:budget. Tashlin's budget was 750,000 dollars which was reasonable. Lang was given carte blanche (big mistake and it was decisions like that that nearly bankrupted Fox) The final cost was 4 million dollars.

Was it worth it? Absolutely not. Despite the title, The Three Stooges are hardly given a chance to do what they do best. In fact, they don't do much at all. But when they do, at least it provides a laugh. But the film is a real snoozefest, with butt numbing ice skating sequences that inspire yawns rather than ahhhs, boring musical numbers and a plot with enough holes that could make Swiss Cheese jealous. If you want to see the Three Stooges in their prime, see some of their classic shorts or even their later features. Skip this. You'll thank me later.

* 1/2 out of 4 stars
14 out of 30 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Haw!Haw!Har!Har! But Seriously, I Really Love This Movie
johnstonjames29 December 2010
Warning: Spoilers
i love this movie. true it is more of a Snow White flick more than a Stoogefest, but i like Snow White and fairy tales and i thought the Stoogies were really cute if not at their comic best. i'm not into the whole 'Sonja Henie' ice skating movie genre, but i thought Olympic skater Carol Heiss was graceful and a real treat to watch.

i'm not sure this movie deserved the 1961 WGA award for best musical, but it is a lot better than most of it's scornful critics would have you believe.

it also helps to like the Stoogies. as a little kid i was always sort of put off by the Stooges and kind of afraid of them. they always seemed so manic and sort of violent and dangerous. most of their antics, like eye poking and scalding their hands and so forth, left me more than a little disturbed. i even had a dream as a kid, i remember, where The Three Stooges were coming to get me. scary. as i matured (matter of opinion), i found their form of comedy low level and aimed at the lowest common denominator. i preferred the more eloquent and sophisticated humor of Chaplin or the Marx brothers. finally my brother, who always thought the Stooges were a riot, won out. i was watching the Stooges with him on DVD and i had to admit i thought they were pretty darn funny. i especially like the 'Orbit' one where they fly in a rocket over Disneyland in Anaheim.

i'm not going to pretend that this movie requires brain work to watch it. but there is enough quality and wholesome charm in it that it won't kill any nerve tissue and leave you brain dead. this film was directed by the gentle and delicate director of 'The Bluebird', Water Lang. cinematically it's very sweet and softly colored.

this is also a great film for kids and the whole family. there is no swearing or suggestive material, and, unfortunately, none of the Stooges trademark, scary violence. this is one of those wholesome delights that present clean living families with an alternative to all the jaded and suggestive material that plagues so many films in our culture today.

also, if you are into that whole 'Skating with The Hasbeen Stars' thing, this was one of the first and best.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Not for Stooge fans, but kids might be entertained
LCShackley8 January 2009
In 1961, the Stooges had a problem. It was a GOOD problem. During the late 50s, their popularity took a huge leap, because Columbia had sold many of their old film shorts to TV and they had become standard fare in kids-show blocks across America. My own parents didn't like me watching the Stooges, because they were afraid I'd poke my sister in the eye or hit someone on the head with an anvil. But it was just those kind of antics that made them popular.

But the problem was that Hollywood now saw them as kiddy-show heroes. And nobody wanted to make the kind of shorts that established the Stooges, doing the kind of violent schtick that defined who they were. So they were packaged into several awful movies to appeal to the little people, which were 180 degrees away from the style and content of their classic shorts.

This is a perfect example. What is Stoogey about this movie? Hardly anything. There's a teeny pie fight which isn't much of a fight, since only one guy gets hit. There's an occasional whack or pratfall. But it's as though someone's offstage warning Moe and the gang not to do anything that might make the mommies in the audience uncomfortable. They have to play sweet little "mountebanks" in a subordinate role to a flash-in-the-pan Olympic skater. They are a pale shadow of their real selves.

In the meantime, we get to watch a very lavish fairy tale with mammoth sets, script by the guy who wrote the WIZARD OF OZ film, and direction by one of Hollywood's prime musical directors. If you have little girls who love Disney Princess movies, they might like this. But Stooge fans will snore their way through sappy songs, lengthy skating numbers, and even a lackluster sword fight. Trivia bit: you'll recognize Mel Blanc right away as the voice of the ventriloquist dummy. And one of my favorite 60s character actors, Burt Mustin, has a few good lines in an early scene.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A nice enjoyable movie
rebeccaps12 December 2004
No, this is not your usual Stooge fair. I grew watching them on Saturday afternoon. I was 9 years old when this movie came out. I thought this is going to the stupidest movie ever and ruin the Snow White story. I lived in Central Florida where there was a drive-in movie every ten miles at that time. We went to the movies once a week. I saw the movie and was surprised that I liked it. I and my children like this movie now. No, it is not a great Stooge comedy nor is it great acting. I still like the movie and watch it from time to time. It is entertaining, pleasant, and no cursing. I like the skating sequences, they add much to the movie and my enjoyment of it.

Based on IMDb ratings I would give a 5 Star rating.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
mltaylor14 November 2001
This was a truly pitiful performance by one of the greatest comic trios in cinematic history. As a huge stooge fan, it was a heartwrenching film to watch. I kept waiting for SOME interpretation of the signature slap-stick comedy that makes the stooges so great, but I was sorely disappointed. At no point in the movie did the stooges display ANY ounce of humor, but instead made feeble attempts at more serious stage roles. The script is pathetic, and as a result, the stooges had no chance at making an even remotely entertaining film. DO NOT waste your time by seeing this movie, but not make the mistake of basing any opinions of the stooges solely on this film. The stooges are incomparable geniuses, and should be remembered for their outstanding work - their short films - and not for utter embarrassments such as Snow White and the Three Stooges.
13 out of 28 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Highest Cost...Least Funny
teddles-315 June 1999
If you enjoy the Three Stooges then don't watch this film.

Snow White and the Three Stooges was the most expensive and the least funny of all of the Three Stooges films or shorts. In order to cater for a younger age group, Moe, Larry and Curly-Joe were forced to cut out their slapstick humour. Lets face it, The Three Stooges ARE the legends of slap stick. This is definitely a film to avoid if you want a laugh. It is more of a melodrama. Even at that it fails.
6 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed