These four adventures boast the latest in film restoration technology: they've been digitally colorized and remastered into high-definition video and feature ChromaColor, allowing you to switch between the new color and classic black-and-white versions instantaneously using a DVD remote! Includes Violent Is the Word for Curly," You Natzy Spy!," No Census, No Feeling" and An Ache in Every Stake". 1938-41/color-b&w/70 min/NR/fullscreen.
A quartet of Three Stooges shorts (three new to DVD) make up this solid disc, all with mid-period Curly in woo-woo-woo form. "Violent is the Word for Curly" somehow morphs the boys from gas-station attendants to European college professors. Not only does it feature Curly roasting on a spit, but the Stooges instruct the students of Mildew College for Women in the intricacies of "Swinging the Alphabet," a memorable nonsense song. "You Nazty Spy" is the Stooges' answer to Duck Soup
and The Great Dictator
, as a cabal of businessmen install Moe as the dictator of Moronika. With an accidental mustache and jibbering German, Moe does a convincing Hitler. (But didn't he always?)
"No Census, No Feeling" is a rangy, so-so bit that begins with a lame premise about the Stooges as census takers (it was 1940, after all) and ends up at a football game. But the best gag has Curly mixing up a noxious fruit punch. You know "An Ache in Every Stake" will be a goodie from the moment Moe and Larry attempt to remove a block of ice from around Curly's head by using a chisel and mallet. Its centerpiece is a variation on the flight of stairs from Laurel and Hardy's "The Music Box," but Curly does nicely stuffing a turkey, too.
Stooged & Confoosed is presented with Columbia's "ChromaChoice" device, which allows for easy toggling between the original black-and-white shorts (which appear in great shape) and a colorized version. The colorized images are sensibly rendered, but they still have that washed-out paleness they've always had--eggshell greens and light browns abound. Stooges purists will stick to black-and-white, the better to appreciate the subtleties of a cheese grater being scraped across Curly's face. --Robert Horton