The three stooges,whoose two reelers were put out by Columbia,were the most popular two reelers put out by
hollywood,and it almost seems like an act and production foreign to hollywood,so its interesting to take a look at it. The act,which has slapstick,and a group of lower class bumblers,and misfits,clowns,in which moe and larry are resentful and curly is really the loving and by far most skilled comedian. Harry Cohn the boss at columbia,stole this act from another studio to whom they were contracted, and they signed on, happy vaudevillins to get a job in the new sound industry and became a bonanza for columbia. They open a two reeler division,with much acts was Blondie theirs?, but they used to keep track of popular acts, and by far even though they started in the early 30's as late as the 50's they were still the top act in hollywood and on stage touring. They did ask harry and the executives at Columbia,for feature films like Abbot and Costello and were told no. The reason is for distributors to get these films into their cinemas,which attracted people to their cinemas and all the other films they showed, they had to buy many of Columbia's other less popular fare,and were a big source of income to the studio. That's probably why Columbia kept them in two reelers, from 1933 to 58, and when Harry Cohn died they were off the lot and let go. The two reelers were also disbanded and tv was prevalent...and increasingly popular...in the 50's lucille ball made people go out and buy a tv. After the studio boss harry died, in 1958, a literary type personality who had a classical and literary emphasis in his productions,the studio seemed lost. All the decisions went through his hands and the people who took over,were often businessmen rather than arts people,and many of these large studios
were influenced by large companies, or entities,which is fine, but how does that compare to what they put out earlier. Anyways around 1960 when this film came out,and curly,and the other stooge,shemp,by far the two great talents were long dead,and many thought the act was over. Columbia wanted to asseble a compilation as they thought a new three stooges ensemble was being put together,but their were some legal problems,and that may be why what we see is a compensatory compilation. Much of it is new material with Paul Winchell,and a few early shorts with curly,is it because the later shorts Columbia couldnt add to the compilation do to legal problems? Who actually owned these shorts...I'm not an expert on these legal issues but here we have some problems..the few shorts shown here with their best directors del lord chevy chase edward bernds(writer-director,who during the 50's always accompanied them for pictures as being the top grossing act in hollywood-two reelers,and much in demand). There is slapstick,and under good directors and writing,there is a chaplinesque quality, which highlights many of the trials that people who have good hearts but not much talent go through in life, and when these aspects are highlighted by capable filmmakers,who know how to highlight and film and direct their talents it is entertaining,and tells us things about our human world...some shorts on a baby kidnapping,where a mother abandons her child but then authorities return it to her,and chase after the people who took care of the child, the hospital short with dogs is also funny, and has some social satire,microphonies,a plumbing satire, and the pie fight among an upper class soiree
and everyone is splattered with a pie in the face,equalizing everyone...much of their appeal is old vaudeville, and when they are in capable directorial hands like these directors mentioned above,the results are often excellent. Later two reeler executive jules white took over their direction,and he sees comedy through violence and inadequate compilation of sequences, even under his lacklustre direction they are still spontaneous at times and funny,..however his directorial skills are limited...frank tashlin and george marshall were later directors competent in this type of filmmaking....After curly became ill shem howard his brother took over and is good and a talented comedian..after he died in 1955...the act is less cappable in not having a good comedian to highlight the act..curly is a much imitated comic,even by abbot & costello...this show highlights many of the capable and hard working and diligent efforts in filmmaking in the golden years,and the studios who nurted them, and despite what you here they often liked the artists who worked for them,the executives,who often went out and got them good writers and directors...and took care of them if they liked them...