Sunday, September 18, 2011

America Needs RootinTootin

Finally! One I'm sorta familiar with, even though I ain't seen it in years. The Stooges appeal to the kids generally, but their plots don't usually reflect it. This one does more so than others. Gotta keep it short this week, so I'll try to stick with the fundamentals... let's see how well I do.

The Egyptian Room of ye local Museum of Ancient History is missing the body of King RootinTootin. Well, gotta get the kids interested in Egyptology somehow. Comedy names are as good a place to start as any. Enter those two titans of the Stooge rolling stock company: grand elocutor James C. Morton and Lou Dobbs-lookalike Bud C. Jamison. Anyway, these two knuckleheads have gone and lost an important professor, so they send for three more knuckleheads to find him. You almost have the Raiders of the Lost Ark plot, but somehow not the production values. There's a card game joke, and Moe makes sure the joke is terribly over-explained. (i.e., 3:03 here) Bud and Morton decide to put the Stooges to work on their mission of great danger. "If the curse gets them, it'll be a blessing to humanity." Good thing the Stooges have bad hearing and couldn't hear the whispers. But of course, economic incentives trump all, and $5,000 was a hella lot of money back then. Today it's a nice down payment on a gallon of gas.

Act Two comes early! The boys hitch a cab ride to Egypt. If your child isn't thunderstruck by this, well... kids are a hella lot more cynical these days. Moe comes on over the cab radio. Curly gets in some good Egypt-related puns, but what's his reward? The usual physical abuse, of course. The part to pad out the film: Curly goes "swimming" in some "water." This leads to an extremely blatant plot device, but never mind. At least they got out of paying the cab fare. The boys find themselves in RootinTootin's tomb. At least, that's what the helpful sinister voice says. They do some cardio, then slow it down a bit when Moe elects Curly the new leader. The blind leading the blind. The boys end up separated, Curly runs afoul of his own echo, then stumbles into a secret mummy room. Henry Silva plays the mummy that gets poked in the eyes by Curly.

The act dividing lines get a little fuzzy between acts two and three, but the Stooges stumble headlong into another secret mummy room. Moe sees a mummy on a big table in the middle of the room, and declares they've found RootinTootin. Curly notes that the "place" is full of RootinTootins. We see the sinister eyes behind the wall again. Curly is put in charge of taking care of the RootinTootin on the table. Well, he does about as well as Bill Paxton with the safe in Titanic, I would say. And then, we get the subplot. The boys overhear the kidnapped professor, and the second claim on the reward money. Just go with it. Somehow, this wasn't enough to end the film, so an "Egyptian" crocodile enters the picture. It gets a hold of Curly, and Curly makes as loud an anguish noise as I've ever heard. All in all, a fine Stooge pic. One of the greats. Why I don't have it on DVD I'll never know. Well, it is a tight economy these days. I've got plenty of copies of Disorder in the Court, that's for sure. God bless YouTube!

Wikipedia entry for We Want Our Mummy

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

No comments: