New DVD

Three Stooges

Includes:Derby Day (1923) Mary, Queen of Tots (1925) The Fourth Alarm (1926) School's Out (1930) The Golf Specialist (1930) Bear Shooters (1930) Fly My Kite (1931) The Dentist (1932) The Pooch (1932) The Fatal Glass of Beer (1933) Disorder in the Court (1936) Our Gang Follies of 1938 (1937) Waldo's Last Stand (1940) Hi, Neighbor (1942) Brideless Groom (1947) Sing a Song of Six Pants (1947) Africa Screams (1949), MPAA Rating: NR Malice in the Palace (1949), MPAA Rating: NR Jerks of All Trades (1949) Jack and the Beanstalk (1952) Derby Day The Our Gang kids set up a concession stand across the street from the local racetrack. Befriending Mary Kornman, the daughter of a wealthy horse-owner, the youngsters gain free access to the track, and thrill to the sight of a race in progress. Thus inspired, the kids set up their own track and stage their own "champeenship" race, with the youthful jockeys astride such beasts of burden as cows, goats, and donkeys, and with the action covered by a junior-grade newsreel team (grinding away with a cigar-box camera). Inevitably, the race degenerates into a comic free-for-all and a climactic chase, but not before little Allen "Farina" Hoskins crosses the finish line on his trusty tricycle. Originally released in November of 1923, Derby Day was chosen some 37 years later as the "pilot" film for The Mischief Makers, a TV package primarily comprising abbreviated Our Gang silent comedies. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Mary, Queen of Tots Ignored by her parents and browbeaten by her governess (May Beatty), poor little rich girl Mary Kornman finds comfort only in her collection of dolls, which bear a striking resemblance to the familiar Our Gang kids. And well they should: The dolls were carved by an Italian gardener who used the kids as his models. After an enchanting sequence in which Mary dreams that her dolls have come to life, who should arrive at her home to deliver a basket of laundry but the Our Gang-ers themselves. The nasty old governess, who previously threw away Mary's dolls, gets her comeuppance when the presence of the real kids convinces her that she's gone crazy. An uneasy combination of charming whimsy and traditional Our Gang slapstick, the silent, two-reel Mary, Queen of Tots was originally released on August 23, 1925. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Fourth Alarm While the Our Gang kids are beating the summer heat with their own elaborate version of a "slip-n-slide," a fire alarm rings, and the men from the nearby firehouse race to the conflagration. Tagging along, the youngsters manage, through a series of incredible coincidences, to put the fire out themselves. Impressed, the fire chief deputizes the kids and helps them organize their own fire brigade. As usual, the gang takes its new responsibilities with the seriousness of any adult: They even build their own fire engine, which though unwieldy is certainly fast and efficient. But will the gang be able to extinguish a fire in a chemist's lab and escape being blown to bits by a hidden reserve of dynamite? Largely filmed on the familiar Hal Roach Studios back lot (sharp-eyed comedy fans can spot such "landmarks" as the A to Z Pawnshop and the Pink Pup Café), The Fourth Alarm was originally released on September 12, 1926. The film was meticulously remade in 1932 as Hook and Ladder. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide School's Out In this sequel to the 1930 "Our Gang" comedy "Teacher's Pet," the Gang members eagerly await each school day, so that they can bask in the beauty and charm of their new schoolteacher Miss Crabtree (June Marlowe). Little Jackie Cooper is so smitten by the teacher that he circulates a "perdition" to keep school open all year round. When Miss Crabtree's brother Jack (Creighton Hale) pays a visit to the schoolhouse in his sister's absence, the kids begin to worry that Jack is actually their teacher's fiancé. Remembering that marriage was "the way we lost Miss McGillicuddy" (their previous teacher), the youngsters hatch several schemes to get rid of Jack, culminating with the theft of his clothes. An amusing subplot involves a verbal general-knowledge quiz, in which the kids provide foolish answers gleaned from an old joke book. "School's Out" was originally released on November 22, 1930. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Golf Specialist No synopsis available. Bear Shooters Popular child actor (and later radio and TV stalwart) Leon Janney made his one and only "Our Gang" appearance in "Bear Shooters." Ordered by his mother to look after his kid brother Bobby "Wheezer" Hutchins, nine-year-old Spud (Janney) is worried that he won't be able to join his pals on a hunting trip --- while his pals know that if Spud doesn't go, Spud's mule Dinah can't go either. A compromise is reached whereby Wheezer tags along with the rest of the Gang as they seek out "big game" in a nearby woods. But instead of capturing a bear, as they had hoped, the kids are confronted by a gorilla --- actually a heavily costumed bootlegger (Charlie Hall) who wants to scare the youngsters away from his hideout. Unfortunately for the crook and his partner (Bob Kortman), the kids are a lot more resourceful than they appear. Originally released on May 17, 1930, "Bear Shooters" slipped into Public Domain in 1984, and as such is one of the most readily available "Our Gang" talkies. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Fly My Kite A real four-hankie picture, "Fly My Kite" is one of "Our Gang"'s most poignant episodes, though it also manages to be hilariously funny at times. Margaret Mann makes a return appearance as the gang's adopted Grandma, who reads Wild West stories to the kids, gives them boxing tips and dispenses valuable advice about honesty and decency. The fly in the ointment is Grandma's hateful son-in-law Dan (played by James Mason -- not the famous British actor) who orders the old lady to pack up and get out so that he and his new wife (Mae Busch) can move in. On cue, the Gang attacks Dan en masse and forces him to make a hasty retreat, though he warns Grandma that she'd better be gone by the time he gets back. While on his way out, Dan peeks into Grandma's mailbox and finds a letter stating that she is in possession of old gold bonds now worth $100,000. Returning, Dan tells her that the bonds are worthless, hoping to get his own grimy hands on the valuable documents. But Grandma, still unaware of her financial windfall, informs Dan that the bonds did "go up" after all: She has tied them to the tail of the kids' kite, which is now flying high in the air. The rest of the film is a slapstick tour de force, as the Gang uses any weapon at their disposal ---rocks, nails, broken bottles, etc. --- to prevent Dan from retrieving the kite. Utilizing one of LeRoy Shield's lushest musical scores (including such unforgettable tunes as the plaintive "Prelude" and the helter-skelter &"Hide and Go Seek"), "Fly My Kite" is among those rare "Our Gang" films that extends its appeal even to non-fans of the series. Originally released on May 30, 1931, the film represented the last "Our Gang" appearance of series stalwart Allen "Farina" Hoskins. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Dentist W.C. Fields stars as the subject of this classic comedy short, which he also wrote the screenplay for. The dentist is a misanthropic, absent-minded sort who keeps an office in the same house that he shares with his rebellious young daughter. One morning she announces that she has fallen in love with Arthur, the iceman. Fields won't have it, and scares the poor Romeo off when he tries to make his daily "delivery." The hubbub makes him late for his golf game. When he tees off, the ball knocks an elderly man out cold but he plays through regardless, trying to cheat wherever possible. Frustrated by a particularly difficult hole, Fields loses his temper and tosses all of his clubs (and the caddy) into a water trap. Back at the office, the dentist locks his daughter in her room to prevent her from eloping with the iceman, and takes out all his frustrations on his patients (whom he refers to as "buzzards" and "palookas"). An attractive young girl naively bends over to show where a little dog bit her, a sophisticated society dame is driven into bizarre contortions while Fields sadistically drills, and a strange "little fella" ends up with a mouth full of broken teeth and birds in his beard. Through it all, the dentist treats everyone with disdain, but his well-deserved comeuppance is on the way. ~ Fred Beldin, All Movie Guide The Pooch Cheerful vagrant Mathew "Stymie" Beard tries to get back in the good graces of the Gang after stealing their pies. Stymie's not a bad kid, just hungry, as proven when he cadges a meal from a friendly housewife -- a meal supposedly for his faithful pet Pete the Pup, but actually consumed by himself. When a mean dogcatcher (Budd Fine) tries to round up the Gang's dogs, Stymie comes to the rescue, earning the undying devotion of the kids and the animosity of the dogcatcher, who vengefully bundles Petey off to the pound, intending to consign the poor pooch to the gas chamber. Desperately, Stymie prays for the five dollars necessary to spring Petey, whereupon a five-spot blows out of the hands of a lady shopper and lands at Stymie's feet. For a while, it seems as if Stymie and the Gang are too late to save Petey from being destroyed, but the dog has a trick or two of his own up his. . .er. . .sleeve. A semi-remake of the 1927 "Our Gang" comedy "Love My Dog," "The Pooch" was originally released on June 11, 1932. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Fatal Glass of Beer The short comedy The Fatal Glass of Beer stars the legendary W.C. Fields as Mr. Snavely, a prospector who is awaiting the return of his prodigal son, Chester, who has been in prison for the last few years. The last time Snavely saw his son was when the boy consumed "The Fatal Glass of Beer," and set out to the Big City in order to pursue a hedonistic life. The film is meant as a spoof of Northern melodramas that Fields enthusiasts have come to regard as an almost surreal masterpiece. ~ Perry Seibert, All Movie Guide Disorder in the Court Directed by Jack White (under his usual pseudonym of Preston Black), this two-reel courtroom caper is, by many, regarded as the best of the Three Stooges' early comedies. Moe, Larry, and Curly are witnesses in a murder trial involving a dancer (Suzanne Kaaren) from "The Black Bottom Cafe," the club where they work. Curly is called on the stand to explain "Who killed Kirk Robin?" and the rest is pandemonium. Court clerk James C. Morton's toupee is mistaken for a tarantula, a supposedly unloaded revolver kills Moe's boutonniere, the entire courtroom becomes the victim of an errand fire hose, and the real killer is proven to be the hoofer Buck Wing, who in the meantime has shuffled off to Buffalo. Moe and Curly's real-life parents are briefly spotted among the courtroom spectators. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, All Movie Guide Our Gang Follies of 1938 Briefly digressing from "Our Gang"'s new one-reel format, the series' December 18, 1937 release, Our Gang Follies of 1938, was expanded to two reels -- and the result is often considered to be the best "Gang" comedy of all. Another musical short in the tradition of Our Gang Follies of 1936 and Reunion in Rhythm, this one begins in the basement "theater" of Spanky McFarland, who serves as emcee of a lavish kiddie revue, built primarily around the talents of Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer, "King of the Crooners." Alas, Alfalfa has decided to forego swing music in favor of grand opera, and to that end he walks out of the show and heads to the Cosmopolitan Opera House, where Mr. Barnaby (Henry Brandon), the troupe's bemused manager, jokingly signs Alfalfa to a contract -- effective twenty years later. Falling asleep, Alfalfa begins dreaming of his future, envisioning his name in lights all over Broadway. Alfie's dream turns into a nightmare when he loses his "gift" on the eve of his operatic debut, whereupon the now aged and wizened Barnaby forces the hapless crooner to sing in the streets. Our hero is rescued when he ventures into fashionable Club Spanky, where lead singer Darla Hood and orchestra leader Billy "Buckwheat" Thomas are now making "hundreds of thousands of dollars." Though at first insisting that he's a "slave to his art," Alfie finally breaks down and agrees to return to crooning -- but his dream, and the film, aren't quite over yet. Seldom has the imagination of a child been so vividly conveyed as in Our Gang Follies of 1938, wherein the standard "show-biz movie" cliches are played out and exaggerated for all they're worth. As a bonus, the film scores as both an uproarious comedy and a legitimately entertaining musical. Highlights include Alfalfa's unforgettable renditions of "I'm the Barber of Seville" and "Learn to Croon"; Darla's interpretation of "The Love Bug Will Get You If You Don't Watch Out"; "Loch Lomond", performed by Annabella Logan (who grew up to become fabled jazz singer Annie Ross); and "That Foolish Feeling" and "There's No Two Ways About It", sung and danced by Georgia Jean LaRue and Phil MacMahon. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Waldo's Last Stand The Our Gang kids offer to help their pal Waldo (Darwood Kaye) attract customers to his lemonade stand. Redecorating their clubhouse as a lavish nightclub, the kids stage an elaborate floor show, with Darla Hood as the star vocalist. Unfortunately, their efforts attract only one patron -- a surly, stone-faced little kid with a Popeye-the-Sailor voice (Billy "Froggy" Laughlin, making his first Our Gang appearance). Originally released on October 5, 1940, the one-reel Waldo's Last Stand has since lapsed into the public domain, and as a result is the most easily accessible of the MGM Our Gang films (though certainly not the best of the batch!) ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Hi, Neighbor Hi, Neighbor is a Republic "regional," spotlighting many of the 1942 stars of radio's Grand Ole Opry. Jean Parker and John Archer are among the rather mature coeds of a financially strapped college. In order to raise enough funds to remain open in the fall, the kids decide to turn the college into a vacation resort during the summer. Providing the necessary entertainment for such a venture are Jack Benny Show announcer Don Wilson, Bob Hope Show regular Vera Vague (aka Barbara Jo Allen), and country-western favorites Roy Acuff, Harry "Pappy" Cheshire and Lullubelle and Scotty. Hi, Neighbor was scripted by Dorrell and Stuart McGowan, of Death Valley Days fame. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Brideless Groom Shemp Howard plays a vocal coach in this Three Stooges short. His most adoring student is a homely young miss who cheerfully mangles "The Voice of Spring." As soon as her lesson is over, Moe and Larry show up and inform him that his Uncle Caleb has left him a half a million dollars -- provided that he is married by six o'clock that evening. Shemp needs a bride in a hurry, so he heads to a phone booth with his little black book and a handful of nickels, but he only manages to get tangled up with Moe. Then he sees a pretty girl (Christine McIntyre), who's a new resident in the building, but she turns out to be a violent psychopath. Shemp has no choice but to take his awful voice student to the altar, but as the justice of the peace (Emil Sitka) is preparing to wed them, an angry group of Shemp's former girlfriends show up -- Moe ran a notice in the paper announcing his dilemma. The women battle furiously to become Shemp's bride, and the Stooges are all the worse for wear. The semi-conscious Shemp manages to say "I do" to the singing student, and when he comes to and realizes what he's done, his response is to scream, "Help!" If this short bears a few similarities to the Buster Keaton silent Seven Chances, it could be because writer Clyde Bruckman worked on both films. Emil Sitka's line, "Hold hands, you lovebirds," was immortalized in Pulp Fiction -- it can be heard while John Travolta is pumping a hypodermic full of adrenaline into the overdosed Uma Thurman. ~ Janiss Garza, All Movie Guide Sing a Song of Six Pants According to their storefront, The Three Stooges are "unaccustomed tailors" who do "Cleaning, pressing and altercations." But maybe not for long -- their equipment is in danger of being repossessed. When they hear that bank robber Terry Hargan is on the loose and there's a reward for his capture, Shemp believes that's their way out of debt. Moe is dubious but the crook actually does dash into the store while running from a detective. He poses among a group of mannequins and the oblivious Stooges strip him of his suit. Hargan shows up at his hideout in his underwear, but it's no laughing matter -- the combination to the next safe he has to crack was in his pants. The result of his attempts to get that slip of paper back is a melee between the Stooges and the crooks. The crooks are no match for the Stooges and the detective arrives just in time to handcuff the unconscious Hargan. The Stooges' reward turns out to be tickets to the policeman's ball, but all is not lost -- they ! snatch a wad of hundreds (and a fifty) from Hargan's coat. Much footage from this comedy -- and the whole substance of its plot -- was recycled for the Stooges 1953 picture, Rip, Sew and Stitch. ~ Janiss Garza, All Movie Guide Africa Screams Bud Abbott and Lou Costello temporarily leave their usual Universal stamping grounds to star in the Huntington Hartford production Africa Screams. Costello plays the colorfully inept Stanley Livingstone, a meek book salesman who poses as a big-game hunter at the behest of his shifty pal Buzz Johnson (Abbott). It's all part of a scheme to extract some money from adventuress Diana Emerson (Hillary Brooke), who intends to search for a lost diamond mine in the heart of Africa. It seems that Stanley has committed to memory a long out-of-print book which contained a map to the mine. Despite his mortal fear of wild animals, Stanley accompanies Buzz, Diana, and Diana's henchmen on the African expedition. The subsequent comic complications involve a legendary giant gorilla, a cannibal tribe, and a friendly orangutan who falls in love with Stanley. Animal trainer Clyde Beatty and big-game tracker Frank Buck make cameo appearances while character comics Shemp Howard and Joe Besser provide laughs as, respectively, a nearsighted gunman and a sissified flunky. Also on hand are boxer brothers Max Baer and Buddy Baer, who engage in an amusingly unconvincing display of fisticuffs. But the film belongs to Abbott & Costello, who are in fine form. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Malice in the Palace This Shemp Howard-era Three Stooges short has quite a few good gags. It opens up at the Cafe Casbah Bah, where two forbidding-looking Middle Easterners, Hassan Ben Sober and Ghinna Rumma, are plotting to break into the tomb of Rootentooten, which contains a priceless diamond. But first they want to eat, and unfortunately for them, their waiters are Larry, Moe, and Shemp. After watching Larry chase after a cat and dog while brandishing a meat cleaver, the men are convinced they're being fed the pets -- especially since the animals are fighting under the table and their yells seem to be coming from the plates of food. It turns out that the plotters are too late -- the Emir of Schmow has already gotten the diamond. The fierce looking pair break into tears -- "With that diamond I could have quit my job as the doorman at the Oasis hotel!" wails Hassan. Because there is a fifty thousand dollar reward for the return of the diamond, the Stooges decide to go to Schmow (with the help! of an hilarious map) and try their luck. They show up disguised as Santa Clauses and manage to gain entrance to the palace. To approach the Emir -- who is laughing over the funny papers -- they pile on top of each other, giving the appearance of a towering, but rather slapdash monster. However, the Emir believes Shemp, who insists that they are the evil spirit who guards the diamond and readily hands over the jewel. They can't navigate a doorway, however, and tumble to the ground. A guard tries to stop them from leaving but winds up with a face full of fruit, courtesy of Shemp, and the boys escape. ~ Janiss Garza, All Movie Guide Jerks of All Trades Moe Howard, Larry Fine, and Shemp Howard star as the Three Stooges in this 1949 television pilot, filmed before a live studio audience. The 21-minute adventure finds the numbskulls working as painters and paperhangers. Hired to work on the home of an unsuspecting family, the threesome leave the house in shambles before they're done. ~ Matthew Tobey, All Movie Guide Jack and the Beanstalk In 1952, the comedy team of Abbott and Costello entered into a joint agreement with producer Alex Gottlieb and Warner Brothers, whereby two color musical comedies would be produced: Bud Abbott would serve as producer--owner of one of the films, while Lou Costello would do same for the other. Costello's contribution to this agreement was Jack and the Beanstalk, a kiddie-matinee adaptation of the famed fairy tale. Constructed along the lines of The Wizard of Oz, the film begins in black and white. Jack (Costello) is a professional baby-sitter, while Dink (Abbott) is Jack's "agent." After a run-in with a gargantuan cop (Buddy Baer) and a statuesque waitress (Dorothy Ford), Jack and Dink show up at the home of Eloise Larkin (Shaye Cogan), there to look after Eloise's troublesome nephew Donald (David Stollery) while the girl and her boyfriend Arthur Royal (James Alexander) rehearse at their community theatre. While reading the story of Jack and the Beanstalk to the bratty Donald, Jack falls asleep, and begins dreaming himself, and his cohorts, into the story as the impoverished boy sent out to sell the family cow. While en route to town with his cow, he encounters a shady butcher (Abbott) who bilks him out of his broken-down bovine for the price of a few 'magic' beans. In keeping with the traditional tale, Jack plants the beans and from them a magnificent vine grows and reaches into the clouds. Along with the butcher, Jack climbs into a fantastic world inhabited by a terrifying giant (Baer) and other magical creatures, including a gold egg-laying hen, a singing harp, and a distressed prince and princess. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

More Details

Released - Tuesday, March 2 , 2010
  • Distributed by - Platinum Disc
  • MPAA Rating - NR
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