I didn't get a chance to answer this because of my work hours, but "BeAStooge" took care of that. I'm just curious of your opinion of this short, as compared to Buster Keatons version, "Mooching Through Georgia" (which was done before the Stooges did it) Even though this was made in Curly's sick time, he seemed like he was in pretty shape for this one. But that being said, I kind of liked the Keaton version a little better. It seemed to move a little smoother and wasn't as offensive. I was curious if they used the "ejaculated " bit in the Keaton version, so I just watched it. They didn't.
I really don't think that "Mooching Through Georgia" is one of the better Columbia Keaton shorts. In all fairness, I only got the DVD set a couple of weeks ago and I haven't watched them all yet. The only one I'd seen before was "Nothing But Pleasure," at a Keaton festival some years back.
The trouble for me is, when I see Buster in a Civil War army uniform, I immediately expect something like "The General," and this film (needless to say) is not
"The General." Also, Monty Collins isn't very funny here... he seems like he's just going through the motions, as does most of the cast. He's much better as the sergeant who gets harassed by Buster in "General Nuisance."
That's one of my three favorites of the shorts I've watched so far, the others being "Nothing But Pleasure" and "His Ex Marks The Spot."
Elsie Ames and Dorothy Appleby as Buster's female co-stars, now that's
some truly great casting! Dorothy is very pretty and petite, but she can also do the "slow burn" like Edgar Kennedy, which is hilarious. Elsie Ames is a real discovery for me— Daphne Pollard was the only other actress of that time who would do all-out, roughhouse slapstick like this. Elsie was obviously coached by Buster in some of the brutally funny physical/acrobatic routines that went back to his days in his family's vaudeville act.
In "His Ex Marks The Spot," there's a rare instance of Buster getting pied in the face (by Dorothy, with a heaping plate of mashed potatoes). Buster hadn't been on the receiving end of a plate of food or a pie (or a bag of flour) since his silent days with Fatty Arbuckle. He was really going back to his roots here, perhaps realizing that he was getting older and maybe couldn't do such extreme physical comedy for much longer. The fact that he'd been drinking heavily for most of the previous ten years makes his perfomances in these films all the more amazing.
The flaw of low budgets and sometimes mediocre scripts is more
than made up for by watching a still-limber 40-ish Keaton do his incredible pratfalls, and having the Columbia supporting actors play opposite him. For example, in "So You Won't Squawk," he does an extended scene with Vernon Dent.
I'll have more comments on these shorts as I continue to watch them.
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