Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Next Stooge: Tricky... Richards
Now, it's around this point that, with the untimely passing of Shemp, the Stooges begin phoning it in, but just before that they produced some of the best of the Stooge shorts. Tricky Dicks is one of those shorts. So sayeth me!
Now, normally the Stooges are just wannabe detectives taking up the slack from the real cops, but this time they're the real cops. And sure, the non-Stooge gags are corny, and sure, they cribbed some of the file cabinet footage from previous shorts, but even the most jaded of hipsters can detect that the Stooges are aware of the clichés of these run-of-the-mill detective stories, and play them up for all they're worth.
I feel compelled to point out two character actors that passed through the rolling Stooge stock company: Benny Rubin and Phil Arnold, because they also play crucial parts in the upcoming Pardon My Backfire. Spoiler Alert: Arnold's character was claiming to be the perpetrator of a high-profile murder in order to get in show business. If I may be so bold, he might be better off sticking with Broadway, if you know what I mean... sorry, that was over the line.
That being said, I do have some plot point quibbles. First of all, these things need a little oomph to juice up the dramatic tension. In this case, the Stooges have 24 hours to solve a murder to take the heat off their boss. The unsolved murder? Of a guy named "Slug" McGurk. Where's the heat coming from, exactly? The mob? Local politicians that care about the murder of a gangster? Who knows, maybe it's the name of a priest. Now, the Tricky Dicks "Goofs" page on the IMDb makes the point about the guy with the infinite clip in a six shooter. We'll leave out for now that Shemp gets shot four times at point blank range in the stomach... and survives. It's all for the end gag, folks. Here's my goof that I'll add to that page someday... when the Stooge's boss, B.A. Baracas... I mean, Copper... hits the table ONE TIME, he gets hit with poker cards and chips THREE times. I mean, c'mon, guys! A little consistency here!
Yeah, the more I think about it, the less stars I want to give this. So time to stop thinking. A four-star classic. Like Justin Bieber, lemme tell ya one time: this Stooge film's got everything a Stooge fan needs!
-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan