Thursday, January 02, 2014

Stooge sans frontières (13 films remain)

Actually half decent Stooge Western short.  From its official IMDb page, apparently the iconic, game-changing Western called High Noon served as the inspiration.  And since Lionel Chetwynd's not here, someone else has to say that now it's TWO films that Stanley Kramer almost TOTALLY RUINED!!!  Nice going, Kramer!  Shot in the Frontier is also one of the last Shemp shorts with all new footage.  It's not that they weren't dedicated to their jobs or anything.  No, it's that Columbia cut their budgets, so make do with old footage they would!  Kinda surprising that they manage to do a whole Western short with no stock footage!
"Hold hands, you lovebirds!" are almost the words uttered by Justice of the Peace Emil Sitka as he officiates at the Stooges' Reverend Moon-esque wedding.  Alas, there's only one wedding ring for the three couples.  As usual, their brides are old enough to be their granddaughters.  However, in the Old West, the sanctity of marriage was apparently second to bravery in a gunfight, and when the Stooges' new brides find out that the Stooges are kinda yellow, they split!  The ink not even dry on their marriage licenses, for Gawd'z zake!  Dames is fickle, I tells ya.
And so, the Stooges find the cojones to face off with the three Noonan brothers.  ...get it?  High Noon?  Noonan?  I didn't at first, either.  I guess it's like the Beatles' name: you laugh at first at the pun, and then get annoyed.  Icon overload, I guess.  Say what you will, those dastardly Noonan boys cut dashing figures in their matching all-black suits.  I wonder if they're... never mind.
Now maybe I was in a good mood when I saw this one, but there's a lot of good gags here.  I particularly enjoyed the gallows humor of the tombstone place where the Stooges hide.  Now, maybe it's just me, but there's one tombstone with two serrated pieces on it.  One gets shot off by the bad guy, on its right side.  The left side stays intact.  I thought for sure they'd both get shot off, and one of the Stooges would wear it as though it were a jersey / jerzee.  I must be reading too much into it.  Another interesting gag, probably unique: Larry's loading a shotgun, and doesn't watch what he's doing, of course.  He ends up stuffing the shotgun with hot dogs.  You might be surprised at the effect this has!
And so, it comes down to Moe vs. one Noonan brother.  They get in a wrestling match and start rolling around on the dusty, dusty ground.  Looks kinda... anyway, this leads to the ol' switcheroo where Larry or Shemp tries to hit the bad guy on the head, but ends up hitting Moe instead.  Oh, and there's an old songbird playing a guitar throughout the pic.  Kinda reminds me of the Mariachi owls in Rango.  Another fine Shemp cocktail!

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

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