Friday, April 11, 2014

Remake Rumpus

And so, with the premature passing of Shemp, the hunt is on for America's Next Big Stooge.  Apparently, having made only four films without him, Moe and Larry didn't have the stamina to use a fake Shemp for the long haul.  For most, though, it's still better than a real Joe Besser.  Nothing less than an act of Congress will change that.
And with that, we get a remake of the public domain classic, Malice in the Palace, and this time it's called Rumpus in the Harem.  With the very first scene, there's already a huge Shemp-sized hole in the proceedings, but the Stooges had good writers.  Spoiler alert: Shemp left a note in his bed.  That's right; he's got a separate bed now.  Only Moe and Larry are left to sleep, but their slumber is disturbed by... what else?  Their three granddaughters... I mean, their three love interests.  Like McConaughey in Dazed and Confused, the Stooges get older, but their love interests stay the same age.  As usual, love threatens to fly out the window when money problems come innuendo.  The Stooges need to pay a fine or something to get their girlfriends back... even though they seem a little reluctant to do it.  But can you blame these girls for crying so much?  For one thing... they're in love with THE THREE STOOGES!  That'd bring anybody to tears.
And so, cross-fade to the old footage.  The funny gags like this one, alas, are few and far between.  What has been reused, in all its awful glory, is Lawrence's cooking sketch.  You know, where everyone thinks he's hacking up a cat and dog.  I hate to say this, but all of you who like that bit are idiots.  Why you don't skip over that part completely is beyond me.  Okay, the best part is Larry chasing after the cat, I'll give you that.  So let's say the bit starts there... and it ENDS HERE.  Moving on.
Oh, and there's a fake Shemp in there someplace.  Oh, I just can't bear to point him out.  Too painful.  And so, this other dude got to the diamond before Vernon Dent and his partner could.  They give up, and the Stooges kick their grieving asses out of their joint.  They decide to steal the diamond back and return it to its rightful owner... for the reward money, of course.  Even heroes got bills to pay, you know!  Even Moore and Mankiw know that.  There's some new footage of Moe and Larry fighting with two girls in Santa outfits.  Boy, even Cannery Row pulls out all the stops from time to time!  For a second there, I thought the girls were going to turn out to be their girlfriends, but no.  Also, at some point, Larry gets to steal Shemp's "a terrific headache" bit.  See what I mean?  Depressing!  Too painful.  At least with Joe Besser they get sort of a fresh start...........................................................

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

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