Thursday, May 22, 2014
Multi-Duplicity, or Salvaging Private Besser (3 of 16)
Well, the Stooges have dabbled in a second set of themselves on previous occasions, almost too numerous to mention... but three? Joe seems to be forcing them into strange corners. In an uneasy salute to our various armed forces, we learn in the intro that there are actually three sets of triplets. One set of Stooge triplets have the names we all know and love, and the other two don't. Apparently, the writers didn't want to stretch themselves too far, seeing as how Larry Fine's not actually a Howard / Horwitz... oh, right, and Joe Besser's so not a Curly, but you get the idea.
Anyway, the three bipartite sets of triplets have never found each other... until now. For the sake of time, they all live in the same city. And why have they never found each other until now? Because boobs. Anyway, each set of triplets represents various degrees of marriage: single, engaged, and actually married. If only I were a comedy writer, then I'd know how to exploit this situation for comedic effect. Fortunately, the filmmakers are comedy writers, and the girls quickly turn vengeful when they think the Stooges are two-timing them... I forget if the fiancées or the wives start first.
Now, you might be thinking to yourself, but The Movie Hooligan! This isn't quite enough to sustain a whole Stooge film! And you'd be right, dear reader! Kudos to you. Well, the filmmakers have planned for this contingency, and the solution comes in the form of an embattled waiter, played by a Chuck Connors look-alike. The tension builds slowly at first, but it eventually builds and builds until the waiter's finally wielding a meat cleaver and trying to take a swing at any Stooge he sees. The ending belongs to the disgruntled waiter who sees all three pairs of Stooge triplets in the same hallway. His course is clear: he must turn the cleaver on himself... rather, he turns the cleaver on its side, and hits himself repeatedly over the head with the non-blade side of the cleaver until all fades to black. Much like the ending of... gotta look it up now...Three Arabian Nuts! That's it.
Well, at least the waiter got to leave. I got 13 more to go. I guess the filmmakers are finding that the more outrageous the plot, the better, because the less they have to focus on Joseph. Oh, and I keep forgetting: the Stooges were nothing if not au courant for their time, and they liked to keep up on the latest trends, at least as fast as they could. This seems to be a shout-out to Paddy Chayefsky's Marty.
-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan