Category: Movies

“Musty Musketeers” (1954) starring The Three Stooges / Z-View

Musty Musketeers (1954)

Director: Jules White

Writer: Jules, White, Felix Adler

Stars: Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Shemp Howard, Vernon Dent, Philip Van Zandt, Heinie Conklin, Diana Darrin, Virginia Hunter, Norma Randall, Frank Sully and Al Thompson.

Tagline:  It’s a Laugh Riot!

The Plot…

Moe, Larry and Shemp are the famous “fiddlers three” for Old King Cole (Dent).  Our boys want to get married, but the King has ruled that until his daughter, Princess Alicia (Hunter) marries Prince Gallant III of Rhododendron there shall be no marriages allowed.  Working behind the scenes the diabolical magician Murgatroyd (Van Zandt) has his own plans of his own to marry the princess.  It will be up to our boys to foil Murgatroyd’s plans.  What could go wrong?

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Musty Musketeers is a remake of the Stooge’s 1948 short, Fiddlers Three.  The remake makes use of much footage from the original.

Musty Musketeers (1954) rates 3 of 5 stars.

“Rip, Sew and Stitch” (1953) starring The Three Stooges / Z-View

Rip, Sew and Stitch (1953)

Director: Jules White

Writer: Jules, White, Felix Adler

Stars: Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Shemp Howard, Phil Arnold, Vernon Dent and Jules White (voice).


The Plot…

Larry, Moe and Shemp run a dry cleaning shop and if they don’t get some fast cash, they’re going to lose their business. When a safe cracker ditches the police and leaves his clothes in their shop, the boys find his cash. They get an idea that when he returns they’ll capture him for the reward money. What could go wrong?

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Rip, Sew and Stitch is a remake of the Stooges’ short Sing a Song of Six Pants from 1947.  The remakes uses much footage from the original.

For a brief moment, Shemp seems to be doing a Lou Costello impression when one of the thugs questions him.

Rip, Sew and Stitch (1953) rates 3 of 5 stars.

“Pardon My Backfire” (1953) starring The Three Stooges / Z-View

Pardon My Backfire (1953)

Director: Jules White

Writer: Felix Adler

Stars: Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Shemp Howard, Frank Sully, Phil Arnold, Diana Darrin, Jules White (voice) and Blackie Whiteford.

Tagline:  3-Delirious in 3-Dimensions!!

The Plot…

Larry, Moe and Shemp are auto mechanics who need money in order to marry their sweethearts.  When escaped convicts pull into their gas station to get their car fixed, our boys release that the reward money would be just what they need to get hitched.  Let the fun times roll…

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Pardon My Backfire was filmed and released in 3D.  It was their second (and last short) done this way.  The first was Spooks! released earlier that year. Because it was filmed in 3D, it took 5 days to complete.  Most Stooges’ shorts were done in 3 and the later remakes were sometimes done in a single day!

Pardon My Backfire (1953) rates 4 of 5 stars.

RIP: George Maharis

George Maharis, the actor, singer and artist, died on May 24, 2023 from natural causes.  Mr. Maharis was 94.

George Maharis studied at the Actors Studio after a stint in the US Marines.  He began to get roles in off-Broadway productions and television appearances.  His big break came in 1960 when he was cast as Buz Murdock in Route 66.  The show catapulted him to stardom.  Due to his popularity and singing ability, Mr. Maharis even began a recording career!

During the third season of Route 66, George Maharis left the series for health reasons.  The show’s producers felt that Mr. Maharis wanted to break his contract to pursue roles in feature films.  Reports later surfaced that tensions rose when the producers learned that George Maharis was gay.  Once Mr. Maharis was off the show, Route 66 declined in popularity and was cancelled the following year.

George Maharis went on to star in television roles and feature films.  Later in his career, he sang in nightclubs and became an impressionist painter.

Some of George Maharis’ television appearances include: Mister Peepers; The Investigator (2 episodes); The Phil Silvers Show; Naked City (4 episodes); Search for Tomorrow (5 episodes); Route 66 (82 episodes); Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre (2 episodes); The Danny Thomas Hour; Journey to the Unknown; The Most Deadly Game (13 episodes); Night Gallery; Cade’s County; Medical Center; Canon; Mission: Impossible; Barnaby Jones; Marcus Welby; McMillan & Wife; Rich Man, Poor Man; The Bionic Woman (2 episodes); Kojak; Police Story (3 episodes); Switch (2 episodes); Fantasy Island (6 episodes); Matt Houston and Murder She Wrote (2 episodes).

Some of George Maharis’ feature films include: Quick Before It Melts; The Satan Bug; The Happening and The Sword and the Sorcerer;

I can remember watching Route 66 because it was what the adults watched in the house.  I also remember my mom and her friend talking about the rumors that Mr. Maharis left the show because the producers found out he was gay. They had a hard time believing it, and thought George Maharis was so handsome.  I liked him in Route 66 and always enjoyed seeing George Maharis appear in shows that I watched.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to George Maharis’ family, friends and fans.

“Loose Loot” (1953) starring The Three Stooges / Z-View

Loose Loot (1953)

Director: Jules White

Writer: Felix Adler, Jack White

Stars: Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Shemp Howard, Kenneth MacDonald, Suzanne Ridgway  and Emil Sitka.

Tagline:  A BOFFO BONANZA! of burlesque belly-laffs!

The Plot…

Larry, Moe and Shemp learn that they’ve inherited a good bit of money.  They’ve also come to realize that their broker, Icabod Slipp (MacDonald) is a crook and plans to run off with their dough!  Let the hijinks begin!

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

 Loose Loot is a remake of The Three Stooges’ 1947 short, Hold That Lion! and makes use of ample footage from it.  Loose Loot also makes use of a gag used in their 1941 short, I’ll Never Heil Again.  Both feature a figure in a painting that comes to life to steal an object everyone is fighting over.

The extended scene in Icabod Slipp’s office is worth the price of admission. Each Stooge enters separately.  They find Slipp in the office, but Slipp pretends that he just entered as well.  He is there because “Slipp” ripped him off.  He then accuses each Stooge of being Slipp and beats them up!

Loose Loot (1953) rates 4 of 5 stars.

“Up in Daisy’s Penthouse” (1953) starring The Three Stooges / Z-View

Up in Daisy’s Penthouse (1953)

Director: Jules White

Writer: Clyde Bruckman, Jack White

Stars: Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Shemp Howard  and Blackie Whiteford.

Tagline:  THEY’RE BLOWING UP! – a gale of guffaws!

The Plot…

When Larry, Moe and Shemp learn that their father has struck it rich and plans to divorce their mother to marry a gold-digger, they know what they have to do: STOP THE MARRIAGE.  Let the good times roll!

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Up in Daisy’s Penthouse is a remake of 3 Dumb Clucks, with Shemp taking on Curly’s role.  It also uses some footage from the original.  You can even hear Curly’s famous “Woowoowoo!” during the flagpole scene.

Up in Daisy’s Penthouse (1953) rates 3 of 5 stars.

RIP: Ed Ames

Ed Ames who was born Edmund Dantes Urick died May 21, 2023, at the age of 95 from natural causes.

While still in high school Ed and his brothers formed a singing group which won many competitions in the Boston area.  They changed their group’s name to the Ames Brothers and landed their first record contract in 1947.  The group continued recording and scored several hits throughout the 1950s and early 1960s.

When the group broke up, Ed Ames decided to pursue a full-time acting career.  Mr. Ames landed roles in off-Broadway and Broadway plays.  While playing Chief Bromden in the Broadway play One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest opposite Kirk Douglas, Mr. Ames was offered the role of Mingo on the television series Daniel Boone.  This role made him a star.  For the rest of his career Ed Ames would alternate between acting on television and stage as well as singing as a solo performer.

Some of Ed Ames television appearances include: The Rifleman; The Travels of Jamie McPheeters; The Danny Thomas Hour; Daniel Boone (72 episodes); The Ed Sullivan Show (4 episodes); The Tonight Show; McCloud; Murder She Wrote; In the Heat of the Night and Jake and the Fatman.

I was a huge fan of Ed Ames as Mingo.  It was the first time that I can remember liking a supporting character more than the star.  There’s a classic clip of Ed Ames promoting Daniel Boone on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.  Mr. Ames was demonstrating his prowess at tomahawk throwing.  If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth looking up.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ed Ames’ family, friends and fans.

“Cuckoo on a Choo Choo” (1952) starring The Three Stooges / Z-View

Cuckoo on a Choo Choo (1952)

Director: Jules White

Writer: Felix Adler

Stars: Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Shemp Howard  and Victoria Horne.

Tagline: Your Favorite Funsters in Their Happiest Huddle!

The Plot…

Larry and Shemp are living in a stolen railroad car.  Shemp is rich, but also a drunk and in love with a giant, imaginary bird.  Larry wants to marry his girlfriend, Lenore, but her family’s tradition is that the oldest sibling must be married first.  So Larry and his girl are trying to convince Shemp to marry Roberta, the older sister.

Then Moe, a private detective for the railroad shows up.  He’s finally tracked down the stolen railroad car!  He’s about to arrest Larry and Shemp when he spots, Roberta, his old girlfriend that he never got over.  And if you think this all sounds crazy, it gets really nuts…

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Cuckoo on a Choo Choo is another of Larry FIne’s favorite Stooges’ shorts.  It could be because he gets to play a tougher character than usual.

This short is also one of the few that has the boys not working together as brothers or a team (which defeats the concept of The Three Stooges).

Lenore (talking about Shemp): “He’s filthy with money.”  Larry: “He’s filthy without it!”

Cuckoo on a Choo Choo (1952) rates 3 of 5 stars.

RIP: Tina Turner

Tina Turner, born Anna Mae Bullock died yesterday at the age of 83.  The cause of death was natural causes.

Tina Turner rose to fame singing with Ike Turner’s Kings of Rhythm.  Later Tina and Ike married and formed a popular singing/recording duo that released hits such as River Deep, Mountain High, Proud Marry and Nutbush City Limits. They broke up in 1976 and they divorced in 1978.

In 1984, Tina Turner released Private Dancer which went on to become a platinum seller.  The single, What’s Love Got to Do With It won Record of the Year and went to #1 on the charts.  This made Ms. Turner, at age 44, the oldest female singer to hit the top spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart.  Tina Turner would continued to pile up hit after hit, and award after award.  By the end of her career she had won 12 Grammy Awards (including 3 Hall of Fame Awards and a Lifetime Achievement Award).  2021: Turner became a two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.

Tina Turner appeared in several feature films including: Tommy; Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band; Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and The Last Action Hero.  Angela Bassett played Tina Turner in What’s Love Got to Do With It?

I am a Tina Turner fan.  I loved her in Thunderdome and thought we’d see more of her in movies.  I think she probably loved singing, making music videos and touring too much to pursue a movie career.  She had so many hits that it’s hard to pick just one favorite.  It was even better seeing her perform songs in guest spots on tv and in her videos.  There will never be another Tina Turner.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Tina Turner’s family, friends and fans.

“Hijack” starring Idris Elba – The Trailer is Here!

Hijack starring Idris Elba looks like an interesting riff on an airplane takeover.  Deal me in.

Let them think they’re in control. Hijack premieres June 28 on Apple TV+

Told in real time, Hijack is a tense thriller that follows the journey of a hijacked plane as it makes its way to London over a seven-hour flight, and as authorities on the ground scramble for answers.

Starring and executive produced by SAG Award winner and Emmy Award nominee Idris Elba, Hijack was created by George Kay (“Lupin,” “Criminal”) and Jim Field Smith (“Criminal,” “Truth Seekers”), who also wrote and lead directed the series respectively. The series also stars Emmy Award and NAACP Image Award winner Archie Panjabi (“The Good Wife,” “Snowpiercer,” “Blindspot”).

“Gents in a Jam” (1952) starring The Three Stooges / Z-View

Gents in a Jam (1952)

Director:  Edward Bernds

Writer: Edward Bernds

Stars: Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Shemp Howard, Kitty McHugh, Emil Sitka, Danni Sue Nolan, Mickey Simpson  and ‘Snub’ Pollard.

Tagline: Head Over Heels and Up To Their Ears in Laughs! 

The Plot…

The boys are about to be evicted when they (and their landlord, Mrs. MacGruder) learn that Shemp’s rich uncle is coming for a visit.  Mrs. McGruder decides to let them stay since she has eyes on marrying Shemp’s uncle for his money.  To complicate matters, the boys’ pretty neighbor, Gertie, comes by to borrow a cup of sugar. Her husband is world-famous for his incredible strength (and his insane jealously of any man around his wife).  When Gertie trips, Shemp goes to help her and accidentally rips her dress off!  Cue the husband coming down the hall… and let the hijinks begin!

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Gents in a Jam was the final Stooges’ short for both…

  • director Edward Bernds.  Many consider Bernds to be the best of all the Stooges’ directors.  All of the remaining Stooges’ shorts are directed by Jules White and make use of footage from previous Stooges outings.
  • and character actor Snub Pollard.  Mr. Pollard has over 600 acting credits on his resume dating back to 1913!

Larry to Moe: “How come you give all the orders?”  Moe: Because I have all the brains.  Any objections?”  Larry: “Yeah!” Moe slaps Larry and says, “Objection overruled.”

Gents in a Jam (1952) rates 4 of 5 stars.

“A Missed Fortune” (1952) starring The Three Stooges / Z-View

A Missed Fortune (1952)

Director:  Jules White

Writer: Felix Adler, Jack White

Stars: Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Shemp Howard, Vernon Dent and Stanley Blystone.

Tagline: They’re hitting the jackpot in a top hat, white tie and gales of laugher.

The Plot…

When Shemp wins $50,000.00 in a radio contest, the boys decide to live it up.  They check in at the expensive Hotel Costa Plente and begin to live like millionaires.  Meanwhile, three gold-diggers have spotted our guys and plan to make a move.  Get the popcorn, because things are about to get nuts.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

A Missed Fortune is a remake of 1938’s Healthy, Wealthy and Dumb, using a small amount of footage from the original.  They’d probably have used more if Shemp hadn’t replaced Curly.  (Sad to note this is the last Stooges’ short released during Curly’s life.)

A Missed Fortune (1952) rates 3 of 5 stars.

“Hula-La-La” (1951) starring The Three Stooges / Z-View

Hula-La-La (1951)

Director:  Hugh McCollum

Writer: Edward Bernds

Stars: Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Shemp Howard, Jean Willes, Emile Sitka, Kenneth MacDonald and Heinie Conklin.

Tagline: Oodles of Lulus and Laughs

The Plot…

The boys are dance instructors/choreographers for B.O. Pictures.  The company is planning a big blockbuster musical featuring native dancers.  Unfortunately the island that B.O. Pictures purchased has natives that don’t dance.  So our guys are sent down to teach the islanders how to shake a leg.  Unfortunately, nobody realizes the natives are cannibals!  Let the fun begin!

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

This is the only Stooges’ short directed by Hugh McCollum.  He normally worked as a producer and it was thought that his directing style was too restrained for The Three Stooges.

Moe: to Shemp: “You know, for an imbecile, you’ve got some brains.”

Hula-La-La (1951) rates 3 of 5 stars.

RIP: Ray Stevenson

Ray Stevenson died today.  He was 58.  No cause of death has been released.

Ray Stevenson was an Irish actor known for his roles in theater, television and feature films.  He is best known for his starring roles as The Punisher in Punisher: War Zone and Volstagg in Thor franchise films,

Some of Ray Stevenson’s television appearances include: The Dwelling Place (3 episodes); The Tide of Life (3 episodes); Band of Gold (9 episodes); City Central (21 episodes); Walking the Dead (2 episodes); Rome (22 episodes); Dexter (9 episodes); Black Sails (11 episodes); Rellik (6 episodes); Reef Break (13 episodes); Vikings (11 episodes) and Das Boot (9 episodes).

Some of Ray Stevenson’s feature films include:  The Theory of Flight; King Arthur; Punisher: War Zone; Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant; The Book of Eli; The Other Guys; Kill the Irishman; Thor; G.I. Joe: Retaliation; Thor: The Dark World; Cold Skin; Thor: Ragnarak; Accident Man; RRR and Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday.

My favorite Ray Stevenson role was in Punisher: War Zone. He was excellent in the role and I’m surprised that they didn’t do sequels with him.  It was also a pleasant surprise to see him in RRR.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ray Stevenson’s family, friends and fans.