Thursday, November 14, 2013

Larry-lo and Stitch

Okay, so it's a remake of Sing a Song of Six Pants, that Stooge film that slipped through the copyright cracks and landed into the public domain and on to every two-bit unofficial Stooge DVD.  But perhaps that's part of the genius of it.
And more credit where credit's due: they put some effort into improving the original!  Take the scene where Larry removes Terry Hargin's slacks.  In the original, there's no dialogue during that section.  Awkward!  But in Rip, Sew and Stitch, this has been rectified... big time.  "Just buy what we tell you!"  Priceless.
That being said, there seems to be a conspiracy to cut out the dame.  At 7:45 on the DVD... or rather, 0:23 on YouTube (God bless you, 69789Darius!  You died for our Stooge sins) ... they focus-fade to the scene where Moe finds the combination to a safe that Hargin's going to rob!  They also streamline Moe's thought processes so he figures out much faster that it is indeed the combination to a safe.  And so, flash forward six years, and the bags under the Stooges' eyes are a little bigger, but they're still sharp as tacks... or razor blades!  Shemp gets his finger bit anew, then gets his hair cut by a razor blade... in the next scene, anyway.  Well, that's what he gets for saying to Moe "I oughta razor blade you!"  Well, knives were big in the '50s for some reason.
Now, everyone complains about what a wuss Joe Besser was.  And yet Shemp gets away with saying "Never mind!" as Moe bashes him repeatedly on the noggin with a fist.  Of course, the whole scene's a bit unsettling, as Larry is usually the one who gets his hair ripped and cut.  Anyway, Moe orders the boys back to work as they wait for the return of Hargin.  Then he tosses the razor blade away, and it lands in the broom anew, and they've stitched Six Pants back together again after their little diversion.
There's a few more edits I have trouble with.  They cut out the part where one of the bad guys is tickling Moe.  More precisely, it's the guy who turns and looks!  Cy Schindell!  He'll live forever through the miracle of remakes.  So that part's now gone, and they also changed the part where Detective Vernon Dent says that he gets the reward for Hargin, but he graciously gives the Stooges some tickets to the Policemen's Ball.  In the instant case, Shemp cries tears of joy that they'll be able to pay off their debts, then finds another wad of bills in Hargin's coat pocket.  Oh and they needed to explain how Hargin gets his suit back, so they have a guy covering up his face as he steals Hargin's clothes back.  An old Ed Wood trick!  That part's okay.
And so, using my superior mathematical skills, there seems to be 4 minutes and 2 seconds of new footage, divided by 16 minutes and 41 seconds of film... there's 24% new footage in this remake.  A classic of a classic.

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

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