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Three Stooges #10 If/Body...

4.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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1 used from CDN$ 29.99

Product Details

  • Actors: Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Curly Howard, Theodore Lorch, Fred Kelsey
  • Directors: Jules White
  • Writers: Gilbert Pratt, Jack White
  • Producers: Jules White
  • Format: NTSC
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Columbia/Tristar Vid
  • VHS Release Date: Feb. 2 1999
  • Run Time: 18 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • ASIN: 6302806321
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,597 in Video (See Top 100 in Video)
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Product Description


"Spook Louder" (1943, short number 70 in the Columbia series) has little more than the sinister presence of Charles "Ming the Merciless" Middleton to recommend it. The short is told as a flashback by a nutty-professor type, and the flimsy plot has the boys in a "haunted" house being terrified by three men in costume (but mostly by each other). There is a running gag of pies being thrown by some invisible hand, but it does not work and nor does the explanation at the end.

"If a Body Meets a Body" (1945, short number 86), however, is a great improvement. In fact, it bears more than a casual resemblance to a 1930 short, "The Laurel and Hardy Murder Case," in which Stan comes to a spooky mansion to claim an inheritance (a role played by Curly here). Even the detective, Fred Kelsey, is the same in both shorts. It is to be noted that Curly seems to be slowing down a bit here, not so intense in his reactions to fright or Moe's violence, not quite so surreal as usual. The reason, sadly, is that he had suffered his first stroke before filming and the effects are evident.

"Men in Black" (1934, short number 70) is notable for three reasons, at least. First, it is the only Three Stooges effort to be nominated for an Academy Award®! Second, it is their first "in character" effort for Columbia after "Woman Haters," which some consider an experiment in rhyme that is something of a false start to the series. Finally, "Men in Black" incorporates several vaudeville routines: the Gracie Allen kind of nurse, the surgery with pneumatic drills, the appearance on a different mode of locomotion each time they are called to service. And of course, there is the glass door that is broken so many times that the glazier finally breaks it himself to save them the trouble. --Frank Behrens

Customer Reviews

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Format: VHS Tape
"Spook Louder" was released at a time - 1943 - when the Three Stooges' shorts were fairly consistent in entertainment value and overall quality - unlike most of their competitors in feature length or two-reelers. Curly was still dependable as the main clown, delivering great (presumably) unscripted lines and physical bits. Unfortunately the "haunted house" plot gets in the way. It is said that the story is based somewhat on a Mack Sennett film; another flick involving an eccentric scientist, a trip to Washington D.C., and bungling guys guarding a weapon, is Laurel and Hardy's 20th Century Fox disappointment "The Big Noise" - released in 1944!.
Charles Middleton plays the Butler with style, but can't help this below standard Stooge issue.
"Men In Black", from 1934, ofcourse is their third Columbia short which won the Academy Award nomination, and this is notable as it was their first real "team" effort. It is said that the boys adlibbed the famous hospital "operation" scene, which is the best scene in the movie. However, despite good dialogue and tight editing, and the addition of comedy great Billy Gilbert as a patient, there are very few laughs.
"If A Body Meets A Body", from 1945, marks a turning point for the boys. Their prior film "Idiots Deluxe" featured a somewhat subdued but in-character Curly Howard. It has been written that he suffered his first stroke prior to shooting the follow-up. Only Stooge historians can sit through this depressing experience - a true comedy genius is suddenly just going through the motions, and struggling at that. The childlike character seems *childish* instead. An added negative feature is a tired plotline involving heirs to a will gathering at an old mysterious mansion. [Here is another Laurel and Hardy reference: "The Laurel and Hardy Murder Case" from 1930 provided a similiar story].
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Format: VHS Tape
SPOOK LOUDER (1943) - A strange premise this short has, since the boys aren't the main attention of the film, and they only appear in flashback. This short is okay, but had very poor and mysterious editing (making the film even stranger), and the ending was just plain predictable and weak. Not one of their better shorts. The infamous scene with Mr. Graves mistaking Curly for a Jap spy is edited out on several TV prints nowadays.
MEN IN BLACK (1934) - An early Stooge short. The Stooges are working at the Los Arms hospital, and disturb staff members and patients. Don't really like this much. There's very little plot, and a lot of the jokes and gags are more bizarre than funny, and go way over my head. To this day, I still wonder why this short was nominated for an Academy Award, but not much better classics like A PLUMBING WE WILL GO, DISORDER IN THE COURT, YOU NAZTY SPY, BOOBS IN ARMS, MICRO-PHONIES, HOI POLLOI, and the list goes on!
IF A BODY MEETS A BODY (1945) - A pretty weak film. The set-up wasn't too bad, but what really hurts this is several weak scenes, and the major thing, Curly's failing health. I'm not sure if Curly's stroke happened just yet, but he shows the ill symptoms here. He slips into his deep voice several times, and his timing is off (watch that 'match on back of the neck' gag - Curly really botched that scene!). Overall, a slow and pretty weak film.
A mild tape, with nothing that really sticks out. Mediocre.
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Format: VHS Tape
SPOOK LOUDER is a very strange and unfunny Three Stooges short. Thw whole thing was basially redone as THREE PESTS IN A MESS. That one was better, and still not very good.
MEN IN BLACK is actually a great short. The first "A" rated Stooge film. This is the only short from the Stooges that was nominated for an Academy Award. In this short, the Stooges play zany surgeons who work at a hospital. This should've won an award.
IF A BODY MEETS A BODY- This is not well-known to Stooge fans, but this is a remake of THE LAUREL AND HARDY MURDER CASE. Not as good as the original, but funny.
A good video, needed to complete any Stooge collection.
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