Friday, July 04, 2014

Brain Cells Splattered on the Walls of Encyclopedic Knowledge... May be Barbaric, But It's Fun

...I think they're on to me!  That Besser is a clever little sod, ain't he, folks?  And so, the Stooges get another stab at easy quiz show riches with Quiz Whizz.  For $64,000, they better ask the meaning of life!  Actually, it's just $15,000... which today would be worth about half a million dollars.  Alas, because the Stooges have done quiz show shorts previously, we have to skip over all the excitement, and get to the intrigue part where unscrupulous third parties try to get their hands on the winnings.  Ah, doesn't money bring out the best in humanity, folks?
And while Joe Besser wants to be the smart Stooge, alas, he's apparently only blessed with the book smarts that can win quiz shows.  He doesn't seem to have the street smarts that can hang on to the winnings.  As soon as he gets home, he's informed Larry and Moe that he has stocks in... something.  Guess I better watch it again.
Good thing I did!  Boy, but Besser brings out the best or worst in Moe... definitely the loudest.  Moe yells "SMOG BAGS!" and goes to get his revolver.  Even Larry's stepping up his game.  I've never seen someone want to kill the Stooges since... well, this goofball, if he's still on the YouTubs.... nah, you gotta pay for it now.  Boy!  So picky!  They won't even let me link to the proper part of the "minisode"!  I would boycott if I were you... well, they're anxious for me to get out of here for the day, so I'll have to finish this up later.  But Joe's not taking it lying down, lemme tell ya.  He'll use a cigar butt to give Moe "the hot face"?  Cold-blooded!  Pure gangsta!  The Stooges are now officially a bad influence.
...where was I?  Oh yes!  But that's not the last we'll see of cigars.  Like all Stooge films, we need a scene we can stretch out to make this thing about 16 minutes long.  Well, long story short, the three of the Stooges are pretending to be kids.  They got the clothes and everything.  It's got something to do with getting their money back.  Alas, Kenneth MacDonald was unavailable to play the bad guy.  He would've been the perfect embezzler, as he's played similar roles several times before.  But, we've got the next best guy: Gene Roth, who also acts as a replacement Vernon Dent in his veritable Big Daddy role here.  And speaking of good casting, we've got Greta Thyssen filling in for Christine McIntyre.  If nothing else, she's got a deer-caught-in-the-headlights look on her face in her introductory scene... my God!  She's still alive!  She probably doesn't want to talk about this, however... or the other two Stooge films she did.
Anyway, the scene to be stretched: Joe goes for a cigar, but Moe says "Oh, no!  He doesn't smoke 'em... he eats 'em like candy!"  Now, as dumb as Joseph is, even he knows that that's not a good idea.  But Moe insists that Joe play along and do it anyway.  That oughta kill some time!  Meanwhile, Moe and Larry look for the clue that will bust this case wide open.  But before that, Larry acts like Curly, and Moe and Larry share a tender kiss.
I hate to say it, but there's actually a moment here where I feel kinda sorry for Joe.  But I know, I know... he doesn't want my pity.  But he does bring up an interesting dilemma: in lieu of no tasteful place to throw up his digested cigar, how will he alleviate his mild food poisoning?  Oh, that's easy.  The liquor cabinet!  Ah, sweet liquor eases the pain.  Meanwhile, Moe and Larry come to after being conked on the head, and I don't mean the hair treatment kind.  They find Joe hitting the sauce and try to convince him that they gotta go.  "C'mon!  We're LEAVING!" hisses Moe.  I've never seen Moe so desperate!  Trying times, indeed.  And once again... is Joe trying to tell us that he's a burlesque artist at heart or something?  What's with the breakaway pants?  I sure don't remember Curly trying that sort of thing, and certainly not Shemp.  Well, if ya got it, flaunt it, like they say in The Producers... the original.
Anyway, it increasingly looks like the boys won't get their quiz winnings back, but at least they might be able to avoid imminent death.  In a slight variation on the old James Bond Talking Killer trick, Moe opens the door to find Gene Roth and his busty henchwoman planning to poison the boys with poisoned milk and cake... well, maybe the cake's okay, but definitely not the milk.  They hide behind the door as the whole plan is quietly whispered by the bad guys for the audience's benefit.  How sweet!
The Stooges' hearts are in the right place, but they're a little too late.  Rather than face the wrath of milk and cake, they decide to bolt... but the other bad guys show up.  Four on three!  The Stooges need a little help.  Joe's probably no good at all in a fight... hey!  Isn't that Terry Hargin?  IT IS!!!  Played by Tiny Brauer, a veritable Stooge short veteran... and yet, I don't seem to recall him in any titles other than Sing a Song of Six Pants.  Some Stooge maven I turned out to be!  Harumph!
And so, it's a knife fight.  Never bring a fake gun to a knife fight.  The bad guys almost hit the Stooges, but they're at least good enough to get the knives to stick in the wall... thanks to the wire guys, I know, I know.  Moe gets especially scared by his knife, so much so that his hair does that vacuum thing again.  He gets a little bewildered because it makes the knife wobble around... but this quickly gives way to anger.  Moe's face crinkles up like a Burger King wrapper.  Turns out the Stooges are as bloodthirsty as the bad guys, and maybe more so!  They're better shots, anyway.  And soon enough, before you can look up 'Ticonderoga' in the dictionary, the bad guys have their own knives sticking out of their glutes.  End game in a Stooge film.
But wait!  Time to get the masterminds.  Gene Roth gets beaten into submission by his own tray, and Greta Thyssen gets a face full of cake.  She doesn't take this too well, but she is the bad guy and the Stooges are nothing if not gentlemen... in their own way.  But wait!  There's still too much time left.  Well, getting the check from the bad guy could probably be stretched out a little bit.................
You know, all in all... maybe I'm just in a good mood or something, but this is one that Joe couldn't totally ruin.  Now, the remake of Oily to Bed, Oily to Rise... that one I'm not going to be too kind to.

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

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