The Three Stooges in Color, starring Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Curly Howard, Shemp Howard
- “Disorder in the Court” starring Moe Howard, Larry Fine & Curly Howard.
- “Malice in the Palace,”
- “Sing a Song of Six Pants,”
- And “Brideless Groom” all starring Moe, Larry and Shemp Howard)
they all lost their copyright due to an error on Columbia Pictures‘ part in the 1960’s. So, what sets this apart from the versions that you can purchase for $1.00 (U.S.) in dollar stores, Wal-Mart and elsewhere?
Primarily two things: First, the video and audio have been cleaned up enormously, to the point of looking as they must have in the theaters, if not better. Secondly, the shorts have been colorized, as you can see on the cover picture on the right. That’s an actual image from the DVD. It’s breathtaking – for the first time, it looks as if the movies had actually been filmed in color, and is eminently enjoyable. For a contrasting opinion, check the Editorial Review following. The DVD includes both black and white and colorized versions.
If that were all, I’d give “The Three Stooges in Color” a (rare) 5-clown rating. But I can’t. Before and after each colorized short you have the cast of Mystery Science Theater 3000 giving “commentary”. Attempts at comedy that mostly fall flat. In addition, one of the segments has one of the MST3K folks wear a dress, pretending to be a female Three Stooges fan. And it has them repeating things like: “I have no penis”. “I’m wearing women’s panties,” “I love the c**p out of those b*****ds”. Not the things I need my children running around the house repeating – especially my 5-year-old son. In a nutshell, it’s not a child-safe DVD, which is a total pity.
I rate it 3 clowns on a 5-clown scale
Editorial Review of The Three Stooges in Color, courtesy of Amazon.com
A quartet of Three Stooges shorts, with a 3-to-1 balance tilting toward Shemp over Curly. The 1936 “Disorder in the Court” is definitely an honor-roll Stooges entry, with Curly providing testimony in a murder case. Note to prosecutors: Do not bring a vise into the same courtroom as Curly Howard. The other shorts shift to the late 1940s, adding (and highlighting) returning Howard brother Shemp in place of Curly. “Brideless Groom” has Shemp inheriting a half million dollars if he can get married in a few hours. As Moe observes, this should be a snap: “When Shemp pours on the charm, no dame can resist.” Ooof.
“Sing a Song of Six Pants” is a lesser outing, with the boys running a tailor shop and getting mixed up with gangsters. It does provide an illustration of that Stooges truism: when a beartrap is located anywhere nearby, the law of probabilities favors an eventual convergence with Moe’s backside. “Malice in the Palace” takes place in an Arabian café, where Moe, Larry, and Shemp are waiters. The best sequence has the boys and their diners convinced that Larry has sacrificed a dog and cat for the evening’s entree.
This Fox DVD offers colorized versions of the shorts, but like the 2004 Columbia colorized discs, it also features the original black-and-white versions. The fake color looks pretty bad, with the lurid shades of the Arabian nights episode especially glaring. Stick with the improved black-and-white versions of these familiar shorts. Wraparound introductions are provided by Mike Nelson and a couple of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 crew–they’re hit and miss, but their mockery of poor, sputtering Shemp Howard is just a bit cruel. —Robert Horton