Saturday, March 12, 2011

With the door still going on the right after 75 years...

Oh, this one hardly needs a review. An out and out Stooge classic, so good that the Stooges themselves used part of it again at least once... we'll worry about that when we get to it. The boys find themselves employed at a local liquor store... sody pop store? Ask your grandparents.
Anyway, as for the jokes. Pardon My Scotch probably contains the laziest Moe excuse for hitting Curly. Moe shows Curly his fist and asks "What's this?" This was also when I first realized, when I saw this as a kid, that Moe takes a lot of abuse, and he apparently broke two ribs when he fell (3:26) after Curley cuts the table in half. He doesn't use a gag prop saw, of course. The saw isn't used to subsequently hit someone on the head with.
While all that madness is going on, the very pulleys and levers of capitalism are breaking down all around. The storekeeper, Mr. Jones, is having trouble stocking his store with liquor... Scotch and Bourbon, to be exact. Good screenwriting note: the film takes place one day before the repeal of Prohibition takes effect. Always place your film in some sort of historical context. Mr. Jones, after several heated phone exchanges with the world's greatest elocutor, James C. Morton, makes the disastrous mistake of leaving his shop in the hands of the Stooges. Morton's right hand man, Dick Cheney's grandfather, goes down to said store to try and catch the storekeeper, Mr. Jones, before he heads off to see Morton. Failing at that, keeping consistent with his failing nature, finds himself turning to drink. The Stooges don't have any liquor on hand, so they go in back, find themselves amongst a whole bevy of comedy chemical ingredients, and get it in their head that they will mix something themselves. "What'll we give him?" asks Curly. Professor Moe leads the charge in mixing a chemical-based concoction that they'll give to the guy. "Once we get started, it's every man for himself."
The Stooges bring their finished product to the guy and he drinks it. It doesn't kill him, but he does mistake it for scotch. Second Act bourne. Because the Stooges' brew is confused for scotch, the Stooges are confused for Scotsmen, but they end up wearing kilts and going to a high society function, where they run into a real Scotsman, and it's not James Finlayson! I don't think he ever worked with the Stooges. No, he took an oath to Laurel and Hardy, God bless him. The Scotsman here is named Scotty Dunsmuir, and he died about three years after this short came out. A more deranged nut than myself could weave a whole Three Stooges Curse out of this fact. These days, for me, Dunkirk steals the show... in fact, I'm going to watch his part again now! Join me if you will, at 1:36 in Part Two. Kinda strange how Scots customs are treated as so very alien here; apparently, to enhance the comedy of it all. Laurel and Hardy veteran and Taxi Boy Billy Gilbert makes an appearance here as the stuffy opera singer. He's not too stuffy, though: note at 3:18 how he eats the banana that gets shot into his mouth. "What you try to make from me? A fruit salad? PIGS!!!" I gotta go. Spoiler alert: there's a big explosion at the end.

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

Coming up next: Hoi Polloi!!!

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