“Matri-Phony” (1942) starring The Three Stooges / Z-View
Director: Harry Edwards, Del Lord (uncredited)
Screenplay: Monte Collins, Elwood Ullman
Stars: Curly Howard, Larry Fine, Moe Howard, Vernon Dent, Bobby Barber, Cy Schindell and Max Wagner
Tagline: Goofiest comedy you ever saw!
When a woman on the run enters the boy’s Ye Olde Pottery shop they learn that Emperor Grabus plans to marry her against her will. The boys help her hide. When she is discovered they are taken into custody. Grabus condemns the boys and moves forward with his marriage plans. The boys must escape and save the young lass. What could go wrong?
Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…
Matri-Phony was plagued with problems, most of which were caused by the director, Harry Edwards. Most Stooges shorts were filmed in 3 to 5 days. Matri-Phony took three weeks to complete. Edwards was abusive towards the actors and crew. Reshoots were needed. Some shots are out of focus, some scenes lacked coverage for smooth edits. The Stooges worked with him on one other short and then asked to never have him direct them again.
The highlight is an extended scene with Curly in drag and chased around the room by the nearly blind Emperor Grabus!
Matri-Phony earns 4 of 5 stars.