Columbia pictures chief harry cohn was delivered some sad news FDR was dead and soon thereafter one of the chief
infringements on Columbia's ability to market films in the U>S> was removed. These Stooges films were big hits and drew in big crowds, and allowed the studio to show its lesser films in movie houses. However they owned no picturehouses across the country, they actually had to showcase their movies in other cinemas so they needed popular films and films distributors were willing to show, and were always at a disadvantage having no mvie houses. All that changed around the time of FDR's death as studios were no longer allowed to own cinemas..and actually during the changing 50's in the way movies were being made from spectacles, big name stars losing long contracts, musicals being phased out, and many famous stars having to show their talents in TV..which was not really much money. However at a time when many studios werent making that much money and were having a hard time finding where to fit in in the 50's and adapting to international markets, Columbia was doing quite well. The change in laws regarding the ownership of movie houses may have been a factor but also the studio continued to turn out good and popular drama and had a good reputation even though the other studios disliked this studio for reasons not totally clear.
All these changed had no effect on this act. The act changed, since Curly was not coming back after his stroke, and not having a good comic actor to showcase and there was a long search, they settled on Moe's brother Shemp, who was an original but bowed out but decided to come back. Now directing was ernest bernds and jules white the two reelers executive. White's abilities were lacklustre at best and his inabilty to direct are apparent and I dont see why he was choosen. Budgetary constraints is one reason, especially since he rushed productions and it shows in his lack of care in setting up scene and many comic set ups are muffed and he is often derivative, timing is off and some of the gags are unfunny. Bernds is much better, he doesnt have the old skills of Del LOrd or charley chase, but he brings a unique blend of contemporary film noir type scenes, killings, and his comic timing is better, he directs with much care, he bothers to write some of the shorts, and he tries to be fresh and so I suppose he took more shooting days and rehearsal than White. THis is merely supposition but I believe I am on firm ground, also he wanted to impress and stay in motion pictures. The Stooges continued to score box office success and though the act changed, they are now three stooges and no one is in the spotlight, and with curly gone the romance scenes never come off so the comedy is centered on non romantic gimmicks since we never really believe a woman can fall in love with these clowns..especially not the attractive and appealing and sexually enticing actresses the studio finds and they seem prosaic which adds to their allure.
They attempt to remake a curly masterpiece in Vagabond LOafers and shemp seems out of place, and he has no talent in this respect compared to curly and Shemp often tries to copy curly's gestures, but it comes off unfunny, perhaps prodded by directors trying to showcase his talents which would have improved this act, but he's better when original,doing his own stuff and he's not a bad comic. Late in his career before his death Moe Howard on the Mike Douglas show stated we owe it to our fans for making us one of the top show business acts around the world who wouldnt quit on the act, and they were faithful, and the dividends payed off in later years, and they played for their fans all these years, although given all the money that moe accrued the money couldnt have been that bad. In the final discs I will state why I think they remaine dwith Columbia all these years,,but we never really know?