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FIRST Stooges film ever made was almost lost!
on April 5, 2005
This is the first 3 Stooges film ever made! The Stooges & Ted Healy were a Vaudeville stage act that went to Hollywood in hopes of making movies.
While Ted is one of the starring characters, the Stooges are merely supporting players that pop in from time to time (and there are long stretches without them). The boys play firemen (foreshadowing their later shorts) who have nothing to do with the plot. At one point Ted hears a siren and walks away from the story-line to go see the firemen. The Stooges are joy-riding on the firetruck with some girls, going to Coney Island. Ted hops along for a ride, and then leaves the Stooges when they pass a restaurant that the story-line is taking place at. We wish we could go along with the Stooges to Coney Island and leave Ted and the story.
SHEMP HOWARD is the third Stooge in this movie, he was the original part of the Vaudeville act "Ted Healy and his Stooges"(and a few other names they went by) before leaving the group to pursue his own acting career in the movies. Curly was to replace him on stage and in the Stooges later movies, but Shemp would rejoin the team after Curly's stroke.
MOE HOWARD (using his middle name HARRY in this film) and LARRY FINE are the other Stooges to TED HEALY's mischief. FRED SANBORN, a comedian who never speaks in this film, is sort of Ted's forth Stooge. He does not interact with Moe, Larry, or Shemp as a team, he only performs alone or along with Ted. Fred's heavy silent film make-up makes him look comically out of place. Watch for a young BILLY BARTY about midway through the film, doing acrobatics with a beachball!
This rare first appearance of the Stooges was almost lost. 30 some years ago nobody was interested in preserving the unstable Nitrate Negative until the Three Stooges Fan Club raised the money in the mid 1970's. Fortunately a Safety Film negative was made in time, the original Nitrate Negative deteriorated shortly after. A historic piece of film could have been lost if it were not for the fans!
The early sound-on-film editing is a bit awkward and makes the film feel choppy on scene cuts. But the early sound track is quite clear, unlike many early sound films. The picture is also very sharp with good contrasts. There are some occasional jumps in the picture, and brief light film scratches pop up now and then, but the presentation is quite good.
One disappointment is the lack of extras, other than a trailer for FOX's other Stooges film "SNOW WHITE and the THREE STOOGES". This being historically important as their first film, there should have been some interviews with family members (sons & daughters are still alive), and film historians relating the history of this film.
There is also some confusion about whether this film has been colorized, it has NOT. There is a typographical error on the back of the DVD case, in a box with the year and running time, stating that the film is in color. THIS FILM IS PRESENTED IN ITS ORIGINAL BLACK & WHITE VERSION.
***If you are looking for classic Three Stooges Curly antics, look elsewhere!***
This is the original "TED HEALY AND HIS STOOGES" team. It is a bit different from the Classic Columbia Shorts.
But it is a MUST HAVE FOR ANY TRUE, SERIOUS, THREE STOOGES FAN!!!!