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stooged and confused

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FULL REVIEW OF VOLUME 2 1937-1939
« on: May 19, 2008, 02:02:09 AM »
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  • Either you get the Three Stooges or you don't. There is no
    middle ground. It seems that everyone from Jay Leno to
    University of Arizona Professor John Solomon have chimed in on
    the subject. Essays, numerous books and college lectures have
    addressed the topic. There are two distinct classes of people.
    Those that love the classic comedy team and others who scratch
    their head and wonder why.

    During their impressive career, The Three Stooges made
    190 short subjects for Columbia Pictures. Add to that their 6 full
    length features; film cameos; television appearances and 156 cartoons
    with live wraparounds and their output is staggering.

    With last year's Three Stooges Collection Volume One 1934-1936,
    Sony/Columbia Pictures finally began releasing the Stooges' crown
    jeweled two-reelers fully restored and in chronological order.
    Fans rejoiced! Naysayers found something else to get excited about.

    There is good news in Stoogeville as Sony's second volume of restored
    shorts hits the street on May 27. The Three Stooges Collection Volume Two:
    1937-1939 contains 24 titles presented in their original release order.

    Each short in this compilation has been digitally remastered and the
    soundtrack has been fully restored. Never before have these 70+ year
    old films looked or sounded so good. Gone is each pop, scratch, hiss,
    splice and wobbly frame. The contrast has been lovingly corrected.
    Granted, there are times when the picture fluctuates in contrast (when
    the camera is sped up to make images move faster), but that was limited
    to the technology for the time.

    Most importantly, it shows the team at their peak. Moe, Larry and Curly
    were never more vigorous than during this period. While there are a few
    shorts that miss their mark here, many are high energy romps. The
    fact that numerous directors were in and out of the mix during this
    era didn't hurt the series.

    Here's a blow by blow (no pun intended) analysis for the shorts included
    on Volume 2:

    "Grips, Grunts and Groans" (****) opens the set and previous VHS and DVD
    releases were grainy and terribly dark in contrast. The soundtrack
    was flat and there was no bass on it, giving it the sound of an AM
    transistor radio. It's one of the best shorts on the set and shows
    just how far the pacing had come along since many of the shorts
    that it preceded. If you ever wondered where they got the idea for the
    world of WWF wrestling, look no further. After Larry and Curly brain
    prize fighter Ivan Bustoff (played to perfection by Harrison Greene), with a
    set of dumbells and a falling locker, the boys substitute Curly to wrestle
    in his place. With the aid of Wild Hyacinth perfume, Curly becomes
    a force to be reckoned with. CLASSIC LINE: "Wait a minute. If I'm
    gonna get beat up, I want to get paid for it."

    "Dizzy Doctors" (***) This fan favorite has the Boys selling Brighto.
    Naturally, they don't know it's medicine and peddle the stuff from
    car polish to spot remover. When they discover Brighto's proper
    use, they invade Los Arms Hospital and run amuck trying to cure
    assorted patients. CLASSIC LINE: "You boys really want to know
    what it's for? It's for sale, now get busy selling it."

    "Three Dumb Clucks" (***) is a great idea that could have been executed
    better. The premise is promising: the Boys have to break out of jail to
    stop their father (played by Curly in a dual role) from marrying some
    golddigger and return him to 'Ma'. The short suffers from pacing problems
    that keep it from becoming a true classic. CLASSIC SCENES: The
    hat fitting and elevator/hallway chase.

    "Back To The Woods" (**1/2) suffers from slow pacing and too many
    scenes that weigh it down. It does have it's highlights, but they are too
    few and thus is one of the weaker titles in the cannon. The Stooges are
    sent to help the colonies against Indian attacks. CLASSIC LINE:
     "All my life I've been looking for a maid like thee, toots!"

    "Goofs and Saddles" (***1/2) The Stooges are Wild Bill Hiccup, Buffalo Billious
    and Just Plain Bill in hot pusuit of Longhorn Pete in this western parody.
    The Boys made several western themed shorts, with this entry being one
    of the standouts. CLASSIC LINES: "You got your special deck of cards?"
    "Soitinly". "We won't need 'em." CLASSIC SCENE: Passing cards under
    the table with their feet.

    "Cash and Carry" (***) While pathos worked better for Chaplin, there's plenty
    of gags and snappy dialog to make up for the corny Jimmy and his illness
    subplot. The Stooges invest Jimmy's leg operation money in a map that
    leads to finding "buried teasure" in a house (conveniently located next to
    the US Treasury Building). CLASSIC LINE: "$500, hmm, that's almost a million."

    "Playing the Ponies" (***1/2) Down and out restauranteurs Moe, Larry and Curly
    trade their business for Thunderbolt and enter him in a race. Curly discovers
    that the nag runs fast after eating the hot peppers he swiped from the eatery.
    CLASSIC LINE: "Adam and Eve on a raft." "Hey, scramble those eggs." "Wreck 'em."

    "The Sitter Downers" (****) This classic has it all. Great gags, fine pacing and a
    solid storyline. The Stooges go on strike and camp out in their fiancees' home,
    much to the dismay of their father. The nation sympathizes and gifts come
    pouring in. When their ready made house has to be assembled, the wives lay
    down the law: no honeymoon until the house is built. CLASSIC SCENE: Moe
    and Larry's chase sequence.

    "Termites Of 1938" (****) In a mix up, Mrs. Vantwitchet hires the ACME Exterminators
    instead of ACME Escorts. Thinking they are hired to rid pests at an upscale party,
    the Stooges wreak havoc on the guests and the posh home. CLASSIC LINE: "I wish
    to hire your best men." "We're all pest men."

    'Wee Wee Monsieur" (***1/2) Behind on their rent, Curly hopes to sell his painting,
    but when he clobbers the landlord over the head with it during an argument, the Boys
    are on the run and sign up for the Foreign Legion (thinking it's the American version).
    Recruited to guard General Gorganzola, he is kidnapped under their watch. They need
    to bring him back alive or it's cutains for the Stooges. CLASSIC SCENE: The Stooges
    dressed as dancing harum girls.

    "Tassels In The Air" (****) One of my favorites! Hired as janitors, the Stooges get in a jam by stenciling the wrong office door titles. Moe is mistaken for Omay, a famous interior decorator. The Curly goes bananas theme (pop goes the weasel; seeing mice; Wild Hyacinth perfume) is reworked when he sees tassels (he was tickled with a pussy willow as a child). The pig Latin bit is priceless! CLASSIC LINE: "You mean I'm umday in pig language?" "You're umday in any language."

    "Flat Foot Stooges" (**) One of the flatter (no pun intended) shorts. The Stooges
    are inept firemen.This short misses its mark with a silly story line that involves
    a gun powder eating duck (silly, even by Stooge standards), who lays an exploding egg and a weak ending that had no effort put into it. Significant for the first use of 'Three Blind Mice' as the opening theme music.

    "Healthy, Wealthy and Dumb" (****) A great Three Stooges vehicle. After winning
    the Coffin Nail Cigarette radio contest, the Stooges check into the snazzy Hotel
    Costa Plenty, get plastered; ruin the suite; get terrorized by a monkey; duck
    the hotel manager, and get railroaded by three comely female golddiggers.
    All this in 17 minutes! CLASSIC LINE: "Gentlemen, this bed goes back to Henry
    The Eighth." "That's nothing. We had a bed that went back to Sears Roebuck The Third."

    "Violent Is The Word For Curly" (***1/2) This fan favorite is best known for the 'Alphabet Song'. The Boys are gas station attendants mistaken for three college professors. They wind up at Mildew College to teach the all girls school a thing or three. CLASSIC LINE: "You'll just love our student body." "Your's wouldn't be so bad either if you took off 20 pounds."

    "Three Missing Links" (**) One of the weaker films in this set (not to mention the Curly
    era). After being fired as studio janitors, the Stooges are hired as actors and are
    shipped to the jungle for the shoot. Uninspired gags, weak pacing and a silly sub plot
    involving 'love candy' drag this one down. CLASSIC LINE: "There's great grammer for ya. I'm not me."

    "Mutts To You" (***1/2) Moe, Larry and Curly run the K9 Dog Laundry Service, a great
    place with Rube Goldberg type contraptions. When the Stooges find a baby on a doorstep, they take the tyke home fearing he's been abandoned. Lots of great gags, one liners and wild pacing allow the Boys to shine while relying less on their signature slaps and pokes with winning results. CLASSIC LINE: "Is he on the bottle yet?" "I should say not. He don't smoke, drink nor chew."

    "Three Little Sew and Sews" (*1/2) A disappointing and uneven short that even a manic Curly can't save. The Stooges pass themselves off as Admiral Tailor and his two assistants in hopes to catch a German spy. There is one good gag that rehashes the spring in the butt and one CLASSIC LINE: "I'm gonna change my socks--what an experience."

    "We Want Our Mummy" (****) Everything that makes a great Three Stooges short is
    packed in this classic. Hired by a museum to find the remains of King Rootentooten,
    the Stooges hire a taxi to Cairo and hook up with crooks who are trying to beat them
    to the punch. Lots of great gags (Curly's mirage sequence is a standout) and
     CLASSIC LINES: "And if the curse does strike them, it will be a blessing to humanity."
    "I can't be a mummy, I'm a Daddy."

    "A Ducking They Did Go" (***1/2) The Stooges are on the run for swiping watermelons
    and elude the cops by stumbling into the office of the Canvas Back Duck Club. Run by
    two swindlers, the Stooges rope the police force (and the mayor) to join. When the resort is void of ducks, it's up to the Boys to round some up, pronto. CLASSIC LINE: "Have you ever sold anything?" "Why, soitinly. Anything we could get our hands on." "The gentleman said sold, not stole."  NOTE: Sadly, there is a period when the sound is out of sync.

    "Yes, We Have No Bonanza" (****) One of the best of 1939, which was a stellar
    year for the Stooges. The boys work in a saloon and find the buried treasure that
    their boss stole from the First National Bank. CLASSIC LINE: "Me, coming home
    from a hard day's work. I whistle for the dog and my wife comes out." NOTE: There
    is a period when the soundtrack loses its low end that results in a flat/tin sound.
    It should be noted that it is still an improvement over previous releases of this short.

    "Saved By The Belle" (***) This is one of the forgotten nuggets in the Stooges' arsonal. Stranded at their hotel in Valeska, the Stooges are aparral salesmen who get mixed up as spies. With the aid of the lovely Rita, they try to save their hides by delivering the map needed to win the cause. CLASSIC LINE: "Oh, no you don't. What kind of fool do you take me for?" "Why? Is there more than one kind?"

    "Calling All Curs" (***1/2) The Stooges are the owners of a dog hospital. When their
    VIP patient is kidnapped, it's a madcap chase to track down the dognappers.
    CLASSIC LINE: "Success." "Success." "Mazel Tov."

    "Oily To Bed, Oily to Rise" (****) When Jules White (as Director) wanted to, he could helm gems like this without relying soley on the cartoony, slapstick violence he was so fond of. To help Mrs. Jenkins get her deed back from three crooks who gyped her (they discovered oil on her propery), the Stooges are burning the trail to retrieve the deed. CLASSIC LINE: "Don't look now, but I think we're about to be killed."

    "Three Sappy People" (****) Once again, Jules White directs a classic that ends the
    era of the '30's. Posing as Dr's. Ziller, Zeller and Zoller, the Stooges are hired to cure
    a rich, spoiled heiress (played with finess by Lorna Grey) of her eccentric ways. This
    is one of the best of their 190 short films and is loaded with great gags: the statue
    reflex scene; the powder puff/biscuit bit; the tamale scene; the cream puff fight.
    CLASSIC LINE: "Why don't you get a toupe with some brains in it."

    The shorts: A-
    The restoration: A



    Offline FineBari3

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    Re: FULL REVIEW OF VOLUME 2 1937-1939
    « Reply #1 on: May 19, 2008, 08:33:55 AM »
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  • Thank you SO much for your detailed review!!!

    I have a boithday coming up, so hopefully I will get the set as a present!

     
    Mar-Jean Zamperini
    "Moe is their leader." -Homer Simpson

    Offline Moe Hailstone

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    Re: FULL REVIEW OF VOLUME 2 1937-1939
    « Reply #2 on: May 19, 2008, 10:31:16 AM »
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  • Sounds like the set is just as good (audio/visual) as Volume 1 was.  Glad to hear it.   [cool]

    I was worried that some scenes might have been cut, but if there was any...you probably would have mentioned it in the review.  Here's hoping that stores are not afraid to stock this Volume like they did with the first set.
    "Moronica must expand! We shall lend our neighbors a helping hand, we shall lend them two helping hands... and help ourselves to our neighbors!"  Moe Hailstone

    stooged and confused

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    Re: FULL REVIEW OF VOLUME 2 1937-1939
    « Reply #3 on: May 19, 2008, 01:57:54 PM »
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  • Thank you SO much for your detailed review!!!

    I have a boithday coming up, so hopefully I will get the set as a present!

     

    Glad it was helpful! I know many of us have seen all the material here, but not this polished, so it adds some excitement to it, I think. I hope everyone enjoys reading it. I wanted to add the CLASSIC LINES/SCENES, along with reviews of each short (for those that may be newbies to the material. (I'm curious to see how many of you agree with my choices and/or ratings of the shorts.)

    Offline Waldo Twitchell

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    Re: FULL REVIEW OF VOLUME 2 1937-1939
    « Reply #4 on: May 19, 2008, 08:08:49 PM »
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  • I'm always game for reading reviews of the shorts and am looking forward to this set even more so than Vol. I.
    I liked the fact that they used a shot for the main photo of the boys from a short that is actually on the disc.

    It was interesting to see a bad review of 3 Little Sew and Sews. It was always one of my favorite shorts!

    Offline falsealarms

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    Re: FULL REVIEW OF VOLUME 2 1937-1939
    « Reply #5 on: May 20, 2008, 03:19:38 PM »
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  • How does BACK TO THE WOODS look? Perhaps as bad as "... Groans" on the previous DVD release.

    stooged and confused

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    Re: FULL REVIEW OF VOLUME 2 1937-1939
    « Reply #6 on: May 20, 2008, 04:20:50 PM »
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  • "Back To The Woods" looked very grainy with poor audio on previous incarnations, but on the new set, it looks world's apart. The restoration is stellar on the new print.

    Offline archiezappa

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    Re: FULL REVIEW OF VOLUME 2 1937-1939
    « Reply #7 on: May 20, 2008, 05:57:50 PM »
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  • Thanks for the review.  This is totally awesome!  I can't wait to get the new set!   ;D

    Offline Hollister

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    Re: FULL REVIEW OF VOLUME 2 1937-1939
    « Reply #8 on: May 20, 2008, 10:19:42 PM »
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  • Stooged and Confused,

    That was a great review and thanks for taking the time to put it together.

    How can you go wrong for $20 bucks?

    I can't wait for it to hit the stores.

    Ed


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    Re: FULL REVIEW OF VOLUME 2 1937-1939
    « Reply #9 on: May 29, 2008, 10:37:26 PM »
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  • a nitpick, why not make the volumes all have the same box color ?   and why not have the menus the same ?

    xraffle

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    Re: FULL REVIEW OF VOLUME 2 1937-1939
    « Reply #10 on: May 30, 2008, 10:24:04 AM »
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  • a nitpick, why not make the volumes all have the same box color ?   and why not have the menus the same ?


    Whenever sets are released, they should have different colors for each volume in order to make them distinguishable. And I think the menus look much better on this set.

    headstooge

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    Re: FULL REVIEW OF VOLUME 2 1937-1939
    « Reply #11 on: June 01, 2008, 02:31:20 PM »
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  • a nitpick, why not make the volumes all have the same box color ?   and why not have the menus the same ?


    i wondered the same

    Offline UncleBobOLink

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    Re: FULL REVIEW OF VOLUME 2 1937-1939
    « Reply #12 on: June 04, 2008, 10:52:50 PM »
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  • This set is wonderful, as is the first one............  If I calculated this right, if they continue at 2 year incremtents, there should be 8 more releases, IF they combine 1955 - 1959...........  which they SHOULD..

    Also another question:

    Does anyone know if / when they are going to release Have Rocket will Travel on DVD..............  its the only feature film on available on DVD, I just now came from Amazon, where I found a still sealed copy for $ 7....  and also a sealed copy of Stoogemania  (the 1985 film) for $ 4...............  AWESOME...............

    and how about Nertsery Rhymes   IN COLOR ????????????????
    Moe:  Didn't you say you had an uncle ?
    Curly:  Yeah, Uncle Bob O. Link, but the family didn't speak to him, He had MILLIONS.........
    Moe:  Thats it, We're rich
    Larry:  We're filthy with dough
    Moe:  You're filthy WITHOUT it..............

    Offline ThumpTheShoes

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    Re: FULL REVIEW OF VOLUME 2 1937-1939
    « Reply #13 on: June 05, 2008, 07:04:17 AM »
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  • and how about Nertsery Rhymes   IN COLOR ????????????????

    A faded colour print of Nertsery Rhymes (mostly orange and greenish) is on a dvd called "The Three Stooges Chronicles" from Marathon Music & Video (It's listed in the Videography section of this site).

    However, be warned! Every short on the disc has an ugly MM&V watermark logo in the bottom right of the screen, and all are missing the end title cards.
    A jerk with a quirk may do the work. Or, a turk with a dirk may stick a clerk! Gut gesagt?

    Offline Moe Hailstone

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    Re: FULL REVIEW OF VOLUME 2 1937-1939
    « Reply #14 on: June 05, 2008, 09:28:51 PM »
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  • Finally purchased Volume 2 and watched the first five shorts a few minutes ago.

    They look very clean, but seem a bit (a very little bit) lower than Volume 1.  I won't be able to know 100% if the quality is slightly lower in Volume 2 than Volume 1 until I make some wallpapers and see how they look.

    I did notice though, a small scene where it looked old.  I don't have any other DVD's to compare it to (like most of you do ), so maybe one of you can check it out.

    The short was "Goofs and Saddles".  The scene is right after the monkey puts a cup on his head since his hat was shot off.  The gunmen outside shoot inside the cabin and then the older scene is shown.  A lamp is shot and falls on Curly's head.  When they cut back to the outside, it looks clean.  The scene is only 3-5 seconds long, but when the whole short looks great it sticks out.

    I also noticed the shortened song (along with several others here) during the opening credits...has anyone figured out why this happened?
    "Moronica must expand! We shall lend our neighbors a helping hand, we shall lend them two helping hands... and help ourselves to our neighbors!"  Moe Hailstone

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    Re: FULL REVIEW OF VOLUME 2 1937-1939
    « Reply #15 on: June 05, 2008, 11:39:42 PM »
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  • The short was "Goofs and Saddles".  The scene is right after the monkey puts a cup on his head since his hat was shot off.  The gunmen outside shoot inside the cabin and then the older scene is shown.  A lamp is shot and falls on Curly's head.  When they cut back to the outside, it looks clean.  The scene is only 3-5 seconds long, but when the whole short looks great it sticks out.

    I also noticed the shortened song (along with several others here) during the opening credits...has anyone figured out why this happened?

    I have "Goofs & Saddles" on The Outlaws Is Coming DVD. The old print is there as well. My guess is that part of the film got damaged and they had to splice in that scene from a different print. Some parts of "3 Dumb Clucks" also had that problem. I didn't complain about those because these films are over 50 years old. So, a little imperfection is not a big deal.

    When you said "shortened song," did you mean the music clippings? "Calling All Curs" is the only short in this set with music cut off. All other shorts that you are experiencing with music clippings are done by your DVD player. I explained that all on my review. These music clippings, on this set and on Volume 1, are due to careless oversight.

    Offline Moe Hailstone

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    Re: FULL REVIEW OF VOLUME 2 1937-1939
    « Reply #16 on: June 06, 2008, 10:44:02 AM »
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  • I have "Goofs & Saddles" on The Outlaws Is Coming DVD. The old print is there as well. My guess is that part of the film got damaged and they had to splice in that scene from a different print. Some parts of "3 Dumb Clucks" also had that problem. I didn't complain about those because these films are over 50 years old. So, a little imperfection is not a big deal.

    When you said "shortened song," did you mean the music clippings? "Calling All Curs" is the only short in this set with music cut off. All other shorts that you are experiencing with music clippings are done by your DVD player. I explained that all on my review. These music clippings, on this set and on Volume 1, are due to careless oversight.


    I haven't watched "Calling All Curs" yet, but the shortened music that I was referring to was when the movies first start.  You have the title card, then the credit card.  The Stooges theme (I guess that is what it's called) is shortened by a second or two.  Or was that theme always short at the end?
    "Moronica must expand! We shall lend our neighbors a helping hand, we shall lend them two helping hands... and help ourselves to our neighbors!"  Moe Hailstone

    xraffle

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    Re: FULL REVIEW OF VOLUME 2 1937-1939
    « Reply #17 on: June 06, 2008, 03:26:45 PM »
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  • I haven't watched "Calling All Curs" yet, but the shortened music that I was referring to was when the movies first start.  You have the title card, then the credit card.  The Stooges theme (I guess that is what it's called) is shortened by a second or two.  Or was that theme always short at the end?

    Still unsure of what you're referring to, but all themes seem ok to me. So, chances are that the themes were always like that.

    The only unusual thing I found with regards to the theme song is "Tassels In The Air." On that short, the song is a bit different. Anyone who has the old VHS or TV prints will see that the short had a slightly different variation of "Listen To The Mockingbird." On this DVD, they used the regular Mockingbird music. I'm not sure which one is the original/correct one though.

    Update: I posted the two versions of the "Tassels In The Air" opening song here.

    Offline Waldo Twitchell

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    Re: FULL REVIEW OF VOLUME 2 1937-1939
    « Reply #18 on: June 06, 2008, 08:22:55 PM »
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  • Well, what can I say about this set that hasn't already been said? The shorts look great and the packaging/artwork is excellent overall.

    In lieu of all this, I couldn't help but notice they used a still from Booby Dupes (inside Vol. II case upper-right corner) probably thinking it was from 3 Little Sew and Sews. This still of Curly's head in a steampress was listed incorrectly in the book Moe Howard and the Three Stooges. Maybe that's where they got the misinformation.

    Hardly a criticism, just an observation.

    I may have spotted a goof from Three Sappy People. During the punch scene, watch the close-up as the boys drink their concoction. The liquid in the glass is much darker in the close-up.

     


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