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The Three Stooges Collection volume 5 (1946-1948)

The Three Stooges Collection, Volume 5: 1946-1948 starring Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Curly Howard, Shemp Howard

The Three Stooges collection volume 5Buy from Amazon.com The Three Stooges Collection, Volume 5 is a bittersweet collection of the slapstick comedy that is the Three Stooges.  It contains Curly Howard‘€˜s final 10 short films, before a stroke forced him to retire from films.  His older brother, Shemp, who had originally been one of the Stooges during their vaudeville days (and made their first feature film,Soup to Nuts, as part of the Three Stooges act during their time with Ted Healy) returned to the group to fill in until Curly was healthy enough to rejoin the act — which, sadly, never happened.

Not everyone is a fan of Shemp, although I’ve always respected his strength in being his own man, and not attempting to fill the shoes of his youngest brother.  In addition, he made many truly humorous films — with W. C. Fields, with Abbott and Costello, and here with the Three Stooges.  Brideless Groom is a personal favorite, as is Sing a Song of Six Pants, both remastered and included in this collection.

Contents of The Three Stooges Collection volume 5

1946

1947

  • Half-Wits Holiday
    • Curly’s last Three Stooges short film, and ironically “fourth” Stooge Emil Sitka‘s first. A remake of Hoi Polloi with a pie fight instead of a slap fight at the end. Curly is absent in the final 5 minutes or so of the film, having suffered a major stroke while sitting off camera waiting for his next scene.
  • Fright Night
    • Classic Three Stooges short where Moe, Larry, and Shemp are trying to train their prize fighter amidst temptation, cream puffs and crooks
  • Out West
  • Hold That Lion!
    • The only Shemp film to feature a cameo by Curly – with a full head of hair!
  • Brideless Groom (a favorite Shemp short film)
  • Sing a Song of 6 Pants
  • All Gummed Up

1948

Editorial review of The Three Stooges Collection, Volume 5: 1946-1948, courtesy of Amazon.com

Fans of the Three Stooges tend to fall into two camps–those that love Shemp Howard, and those that, quite simply, do not, but one might believe that the pristine presentation of the 25 postwar shorts gathered in The Three Stooges Collection Volume 5 will sway even the most ardent anti-Shemp viewer to reversing his position. Shemp’s involvement with the Stooges goes back to their days in vaudeville with Ted Healy, whose questionable business practices forced him to leave the act and seek stardom on his own, which he achieved in one-reelers and features throughout the ‘30s and ‘40s. He returned to the fold after brother Curly suffered a series of strokes, which forced him to bow out of all shorts after 1947’s “Half-Wits Holiday” (on Disc One). Shemp became a full-time Stooge again in the trio’s 98th short, “Fright Night,” and almost immediately established his persona in the group–a blend of Curly’s volcanic man-child and an easily amused goof whose skewed sense of humor drew the wrath of Moe. Whether his performance will win new converts remains to be seen, but some of his best work with the Stooges are compiled on this two-disc set, including “Brideless Groom” (Shemp must get married in 24 hours or lose his inheritance; Stooge supporting player Emil Sitka’s oft-quoted line, “Hold hands, you lovebirds!” from this short is overheard in Pulp Fiction); “Sing a Song of Six Pants” (the boys attempt to corral a fugitive bank robber for the reward money); “Shivering Sherlocks” and “Hot Scots” (two of their best haunted house scenarios, with the hunchback Angel in “Sherlocks” a bizarre highlight); and “Hold That Lion,” which features the final screen appearance of Curly Howard in a surprise cameo. As with all previous Three Stooges Collection DVDs, Volume 5 includes a number of shorts that have never been released to disc, including “Lion,” “All Gummed Up” and “Pardon My Clutch.” —Paul Gaita

Product Description of The Three Stooges Collection, Volume 5

This fifth collection of The Three Stooges, which features 25 digitally remastered shorts from 1946-1948, marks the end of Curly’s career with the Stooges and the return of original Stooge Shemp. Curly suffered a stroke on the final day of filming Half-Wits Holiday and retired at age 43. Moe realized there was only one person who could fill baby brother Curly’s shoes: his older brother Shemp (who, ironically, Curly had replaced in 1932). The Three Stooges were born in 1925 when Moe and Shemp met Larry Fine. But the 1930’s Shemp left to pursue a film career in Hollywood. By the time Moe called in 1946, he was starring in films with the likes of W.C. Fields, John Wayne and Abbott and Costello. But he accepted Moe’s offer, and the original Three Stooges reunited. Shemp’s first short upon his return was Fright Night. And Curly did recover enough to make an appearance in Hold that Lion, but his health continued to deteriorate and he unfortunately passed away in 1952 at age 48. The Three Stooges Collection Volume 5 is bittersweet for the change but filled with more fun than ever – and the added bonus of not only Larry, Moe and Curly, but Shemp too!

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