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The Three Stooges Collection, Vol. 7: 1952-1954
The Three Stooges Collection, Vol. 7: 1952-1954

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Manufacturer: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Publisher: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Starring: Moe Howard, Shemp Howard, Larry Fine

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Product Description:
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Binding: DVD
Brand: Paramount
EAN: 0043396329195
Feature: Factory sealed DVD
Format: Multiple Formats
Is Autographed: 0
Is Memorabilia: 0
Item Dimensions: Array
Label: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Languages: Array
Manufacturer: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Model: 5820784
MPN: 12490844808
Number Of Discs: 2
Number Of Items: 2
Picture Format: Anamorphic Fullscreen
Publisher: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Region Code: 99
Release Date: 2009-11-10
Running Time: 389
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Product Features:
Factory sealed DVD
Editorial Review:
These 22 digitally remastered shorts from 1952-1954 were made during a tumultuous time for The Three Stooges. First, in 1952 Curly succumbed to the illness brought on by his stroke six years earlier; he was only forty-eight when he died. Shemp had really hit his stride by this time and he is at the top of his game in the new shorts from this period, but budget cutbacks at Columbia forced director Jules White to recycle some old footage, so although the work in this collection is first-rate, one can't help but wonder what could have been done if they'd had the opportunity to develop more new material. Fortunately, this era did leave us with such classics as the Stooges' first 3-D short, SPOOKS! (1953) and PARDON MY BACKFIRE (1953); SHOT IN THE FRONTIER (1954) a parody of the classic film High Noon; and Larry's hilarious spook of Brando in CUCKOO ON A CHOO CHOO (1952). These shorts are all presented as they were projected in the theatres; some in widescreen for the first time since their
What chills, what thrills! While the Three Stooges' best days were behind them, these 22 slaphappy shorts produced between 1952 and 1954 demonstrate that the enduring comedy team still had a lot of hair-pulling, eye-gouging, and head-banging life in them yet. You can be forgiven a certain amount of déjà vu when watching some of the shorts. Studio budget cuts necessitated the use of recycled footage. "Booty and the Beast," for one, contains Curly's now-poignant cameo in "Hold That Lion." Still other shorts recycled plots from the team's Curly days ("A Missed Fortune" is a remake of "Healthy, Wealthy and Dumb"). While none of these shorts rank in the Stooges pantheon or are likely to change anyone's anti-Shemp bias (can't we all just get along?), they are knockabout fun for die-hard fans. The highlights of this set are "Spooks!" and "Pardon My Backfire," the team's pioneering forays into 3-D. An engagement anniversary cake, water, fire, and hypodermic needle comin' at ya are crude but effective. Other shorts offer sublimely surreal silliness. In "Cuckoo on a Choo Choo," a T-shirted Larry storms around like a Marlon Brando wannabe, while a soused Shemp hallucinates a giant canary. The vaudeville tradition lives on in "Tricky Dicks," with god-awful gags (the old "wooden leg named Smith" bit) and bizarre dialogue ("How dare you look like someone I hate," a woman greets Larry). The political satire "Three Dark Horses" is a fine example of the classic Stooges formula, in which villains seek three patsies "who are too dumb to think and will do what we tell them. Now where do we find such guys?" Enter the Stooges. But others, like "He Cooked His Goose," break convention by presenting Moe, Larry, and Shemp as individuals rather than a team. While the Stooges themselves may be showing their ages, the slapstick, expertly timed and exquisitely choreographed, never gets old. --Donald Liebenson
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