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Author Topic: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?  (Read 20198 times)

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Offline Giff me dat fill-em!

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #25 on: February 04, 2009, 07:17:36 PM »
I jes gotta axt some questions ...

Xraffle – you indicate that “For Crimin’ Out Loud” was the best cut-off point for our boys, and also stated that the short-subjects our guys put out after that one were lukewarm at an average. I’ve read in certain Stooge histories that after Shemp’s death, Moe seriously considered retiring the act, but they had several commitments left to Cohen, and this compelled him to seek out a replacement Stooge. Was Moe (and possibly Larry too) blinded by a commitment to contract to recognize when it was time to throw in the towel?
 Did Moe ever watch any of his own shorts and evaluate them for their own artistic qualities? If he did these things, perhaps we may have seen the towel flying over the ropes after Shemp’s death. Any added wisdom on your part will be welcome and introspective.

FineBari – Isn’t it weird that you picked 1952 as the cut off date for our boys? (The very year Curly died, on January 18 by the way)
My question is this: If Shemp had a stroke that Curly could comment on, it would have occurred early in January 1952. So, we would begin to notice Shemp's decline after “A Missed Fortune” released Jan. 3, 1952, following this line of reasoning. Can you pinpoint examples of Shemp’s decline beyond this date? (You were unable to earlier due to family problems – perhaps you have access now).
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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #26 on: February 04, 2009, 08:15:29 PM »
I jes gotta axt some questions ...

Why soitenly!!


Xraffle – you indicate that “For Crimin’ Out Loud” was the best cut-off point for our boys, and also stated that the short-subjects our guys put out after that one were lukewarm at an average. I’ve read in certain Stooge histories that after Shemp’s death, Moe seriously considered retiring the act, but they had several commitments left to Cohen, and this compelled him to seek out a replacement Stooge. Was Moe (and possibly Larry too) blinded by a commitment to contract to recognize when it was time to throw in the towel?

Maybe he was. After Shemp's death, Moe even considered just having him and Larry as "The Two Stooges," but Cohen said no. So, it seems like their contract commitment did stop the stooges from doing what they felt was best. But I think Moe's "Two Stooges" idea shows that he still wanted to continue with the act.


Did Moe ever watch any of his own shorts and evaluate them for their own artistic qualities? If he did these things, perhaps we may have seen the towel flying over the ropes after Shemp’s death. Any added wisdom on your part will be welcome and introspective.

Interesting question. I wish I knew if Moe watched these shorts, but I can't say for sure. But I'm sure he did watch some (or maybe, most) of them. Maybe he did see the towel flying over the ropes after Shemp's death. After all, it was pretty obvious. But like you said earlier, it seems as though he was indeed blinded by their commitment to a contract. But I think it may have also been due to the fact that he didn't want the stooges to stop. He wanted to keep the act going until the day he dies. Even after Larry's stroke in 1970, it was a clear sign that the stooges should definitely stop as they're getting too old at this point, but he still pushed it and considered Emil Sitka to replace Larry.

So, what I'm trying to say is that yes, it did seem as though Moe was blinded by their contract commitment. But at the same time, deep down in his heart, he wanted the act to continue for as long as possible. So, he wanted to continue the act after Shemp's death, but he probably wasn't sure what he should do next since Shemp is gone. Since he wasn't sure, he was deciding on whether he should retire the act. But their contract commitment kind of convinced Moe to follow his heart and continue the act.

Offline Giff me dat fill-em!

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #27 on: February 04, 2009, 09:50:55 PM »
I thank you for the introspection, a thing seldom seen in debates.
FineBari - you may also expostulate-enumerate-evaluate-undulate ... or any other "lates" you can think of, as long as it is introspective. (in response to my query, that is)
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Offline FineBari3

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #28 on: February 04, 2009, 09:59:40 PM »
I jes gotta axt some questions ...

FineBari – Isn’t it weird that you picked 1952 as the cut off date for our boys? (The very year Curly died, on January 18 by the way)
My question is this: If Shemp had a stroke that Curly could comment on, it would have occurred early in January 1952. So, we would begin to notice Shemp's decline after “A Missed Fortune” released Jan. 3, 1952, following this line of reasoning. Can you pinpoint examples of Shemp’s decline beyond this date? (You were unable to earlier due to family problems – perhaps you have access now).


I picked late 1952 as my cut off date simply because Shemp's first stroke happened in November of 1952. I figured that a good time to decide to end the act would be right after that event.

No, I will not be able to go home until Sunday, so I cannot access my collection! 
Mar-Jean Zamperini
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Offline Dunrobin

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #29 on: February 05, 2009, 06:15:40 AM »
I picked late 1952 as my cut off date simply because Shemp's first stroke happened in November of 1952. I figured that a good time to decide to end the act would be right after that event.

No, I will not be able to go home until Sunday, so I cannot access my collection! 

You could try scanning through the Filmography pages and see if that helps you recall any examples, MJ. 

Offline FineBari3

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #30 on: February 05, 2009, 04:11:30 PM »
You could try scanning through the Filmography pages and see if that helps you recall any examples, MJ. 

I did that a couple of times, Rob, and I just could not recall a specific scene in those shorts right around the beginning of 1953. The short released just before his stroke was Cuckoo On A Choo Choo, which was 12/4/1952. I do not know when the filming date of this picture was, but I believe Shemp was not showing any signs of having had a stroke. He is prominent in the film and has many speaking parts and is involved with many gags.

The first short released after Shemp's stroke was Up In Daisy's Penthouse, and I cannot remember anything specific in that short, but I do not have access to my collection, as I stated before. The next three films (Booty and the Beast, Tricky Dicks, and Loose Loot) use stock footage from one particular short, Hold That Lion.  I think this time period beginning February 1953 shows us the beginning of the decline in the shorts. This may have been because of Shemp's bad health. Perhaps Larry and Moe or even writers suggested that Shemp take it easy? Perhaps Columbia decided to really scale back production in January of 1953?

It really is too bad that I cannot use a specific scene of a short to give an example of, but by my going to the Filmography, I did realize that SOMETHING had taken place between December, 1952 and February 1953 that caused Columbia to begin to use stock footage in the Shemp shorts and continued on after that.
Mar-Jean Zamperini
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Offline shemps#1

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #31 on: February 05, 2009, 04:55:08 PM »
I just gotta say, nice save MJ.

Just a last minute reminder, the floor shall remain open to the general public until 12 noon tomorrow.
"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime; give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish." - Unknown

Offline Dunrobin

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #32 on: February 05, 2009, 04:55:55 PM »
I just skimmed through the episode pages from that time period, and it looks as though the first short that was filmed after the time of Shemp's stroke in late 1952 was Spooks!, which was filmed in May 1953.  The previous short, Tricky Dicks, was actually filmed in July 1952.

Offline metaldams

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #33 on: February 05, 2009, 06:07:21 PM »
I just skimmed through the episode pages from that time period, and it looks as though the first short that was filmed after the time of Shemp's stroke in late 1952 was Spooks!, which was filmed in May 1953.  The previous short, Tricky Dicks, was actually filmed in July 1952.

This would make sense.  Stooge shorts were shot in "seasons" the way sitcoms are today.  There was usually a long lay off between filming seasons.  If this information is accurate, SPOOKS! would have to be considered the first "post-stroke" Shemp short.

Filming dates in general usually aren't close to the release date.  Curly's big stroke was in May 1946, while HALF-WITS HOLIDAY wasn't released until early '47.  I also know THREE ARABIAN NUTS was released a year after it was filmed.

 
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Offline metaldams

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #34 on: February 05, 2009, 07:56:51 PM »
If this information is accurate, SPOOKS! would have to be considered the first "post-stroke" Shemp short.

Actually, I may have to take this back.  Looking at the production numbers, it appears SPOOKS! was released before a large amount of shorts that was filmed before it.  I then don't know what the first "post-stroke" Shemp short was.
"Those are the three elements, I think, that go into being happy: Find something you love, be good at it, and have other people pat you on the back and say "good job." - George Carlin

Offline Dunrobin

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #35 on: February 05, 2009, 09:14:49 PM »
Actually, I may have to take this back.  Looking at the production numbers, it appears SPOOKS! was released before a large amount of shorts that was filmed before it.  I then don't know what the first "post-stroke" Shemp short was.

This has intrigued me enough to do a database query to see what we could find.  I've arranged the shorts by their production numbers instead of their release dates.


Notice that Up in Daisy's Penthouse was obviously filmed in early 1952, even though it wasn't released until February 5th, 1953.

Looking at the information that we have, it looks as though the candidates for first short filmed following Shemp's stroke (say that one three times, fast) are: Goof on the Roof, Income Tax Sappy, the new footage in Musty Musketeers or Spooks!.  Judging from the production numbers, I'd say the strongest candidate is Income Tax Sappy.

Offline metaldams

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #36 on: February 05, 2009, 09:57:17 PM »
Notice THREE DARK HORSES was rush released less than two months after it was filmed.  Notice it's a political short, released a month before the 1952 presidential election.  Timely.
"Those are the three elements, I think, that go into being happy: Find something you love, be good at it, and have other people pat you on the back and say "good job." - George Carlin

Offline Dunrobin

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #37 on: February 05, 2009, 10:05:55 PM »
Notice THREE DARK HORSES was rush released less than two months after it was filmed.  Notice it's a political short, released a month before the 1952 presidential election.  Timely.

I hadn't noticed that before.  I wonder if the Stooges' performance helped Eisenhower win the election?   ;D

Offline FineBari3

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #38 on: February 05, 2009, 10:31:04 PM »
This has intrigued me enough to do a database query to see what we could find.  I've arranged the shorts by their production numbers instead of their release dates.

Fantastic! Brilliant!

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Offline FineBari3

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #39 on: February 05, 2009, 10:33:27 PM »
I just gotta say, nice save MJ.


Thanks! 

I figured I might as well try something to save myself!  [doh]
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Offline shemps#1

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #40 on: February 06, 2009, 11:07:40 AM »
The floor is now closed to the general public and open to the judges to render their verdicts.
"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime; give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish." - Unknown

Offline Rich Finegan

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #41 on: February 06, 2009, 11:44:12 AM »
Here are some of the shooting dates that were missing from the chart you posted:

  4182 - Up in Daisy's Penthouse - from 1-21-52 to 1-23-52.
  4194 - Cuckoo on a Choo Choo - from 4-21-52 to 4-23-52.
  4196 - Booty and the Beast - from 5-19-52 to 5-21-52.
  4201 - Rip, Sew, and Stitch - from 10-14-52 to 10-14-52 (one day).
  4202 - Bubble Trouble - from 10-13-52 to 10-13-52 (one day).
  4203 - Goof on the Roof - from 11-17-52 to 11-19-52.
  4208 - Income Tax Sappy - from 11-30-53 to 12-2-53.
  4209 - Musty Musketeers - from 4-27-53 to 4-27-53 (one day).
  4211 - Pals and Gals - from 4-28-53 to 4-28-53 (one day).
  4212 - Pardon My Backfire - from 6-30-53 to 7-6-53.
  4216 - Shot in the Frontier - from 10-26-53 to 10-28-53.

              ---- Rich Finegan

Offline Dunrobin

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #42 on: February 06, 2009, 12:16:05 PM »
Here are some of the shooting dates that were missing from the chart you posted:

That's excellent, Rich (and congrats on making your first post on the board!)   ;D   It looks as though the footage for Musty Musketeers and Pals and Gals were the first after Shemp's stroke.  (We really need to get more shooting days info into the database.)


The floor is now closed to the general public and open to the judges to render their verdicts.

Okay, I have my mind made up, but as I said before I am going to wait and let my fellow judges go first this time.

Offline Rich Finegan

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #43 on: February 06, 2009, 12:43:49 PM »
Yes, it's good to be here.
Regarding shooting dates for the Stooges shorts, unfortunately many are missing from the book "The Three Stooges Scrapbook" which I think is the most accessable source for that info. But I have a different listing from which I was able to fill in those 1952 to 1953 dates. The list I have covers every Columbia film (features and shorts) from 1928 to 1953. So we are still missing a few dates after 1953.
Are there any other Columbia films for which anyone would like to know the shooting dates?
   --- Rich Finegan

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #44 on: February 06, 2009, 01:55:53 PM »
Are there any other Columbia films for which anyone would like to know the shooting dates?
   --- Rich Finegan

Rich, first off, welcome. 

Secondly, any date you have that's not on this site would be great.  I'm especially interested in knowing the dates for FRIGHT NIGHT and FOR CRIMIN' OUT LOUD, (obvious reasons).

I never saw it published anywhere, but I always figured OUT WEST, the second Shemp short, was July 1946 because there's a picture of the cast celebrating Edward Bernds' birthday, and Edward Bernds was born July 12.  Curly's last day was May 6, so this sould make sense and give some insight over how fast the Curly to Shemp transition was.

Third, I'll hopefully have my judgement in by the end of the weekend for the debate.
"Those are the three elements, I think, that go into being happy: Find something you love, be good at it, and have other people pat you on the back and say "good job." - George Carlin

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #45 on: February 06, 2009, 02:09:49 PM »
Okay, I have my mind made up, but as I said before I am going to wait and let my fellow judges go first this time.

I'll hopefully have my judgement in by the end of the weekend for the debate.

Looks like I won't be getting much sleep this weekend. ;D

Offline Rich Finegan

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #46 on: February 06, 2009, 04:32:56 PM »
Okay here are two shooting dates that should be useful:

You mentioned Fright Night, Out West, and For Crimin' Out Loud.
Fright Night was filmed from June 5, 1946 to June 7, 1946.
Out West was filmed from July 8, 1946 to July 11, 1946.

Unfortunately, as I'd noted, my listing stops at the end of 1953, so I do not have the dates for the short For Crimin' Out Loud, and like Fright Night and Out West, the dates are not given in the book "The Three Stooges Scrapbook".

So we still need to find another source for the as yet unlisted Stooges films shooting dates.
       
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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #47 on: February 06, 2009, 09:47:19 PM »
Okay here are two shooting dates that should be useful:

You mentioned Fright Night, Out West, and For Crimin' Out Loud.
Fright Night was filmed from June 5, 1946 to June 7, 1946.
Out West was filmed from July 8, 1946 to July 11, 1946.

Unfortunately, as I'd noted, my listing stops at the end of 1953, so I do not have the dates for the short For Crimin' Out Loud, and like Fright Night and Out West, the dates are not given in the book "The Three Stooges Scrapbook".

So we still need to find another source for the as yet unlisted Stooges films shooting dates.
       
 --- Rich Finegan


Wow!  Where'd you get this info?  Research?  Anyway, thank you.

So let me get this straight.  Curly has a stroke on May 6, and Shemp is filming on June 5.  Incredible.  I hope work was just Moe's way of dealing with his brother's condition, because if not, I can see why Harry Cohn's funeral was such a big event.
"Those are the three elements, I think, that go into being happy: Find something you love, be good at it, and have other people pat you on the back and say "good job." - George Carlin

Offline WhyIOughta

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #48 on: February 07, 2009, 01:57:48 AM »
OK, now that February 6th has come and gone, i'll write up my verdict, and post it here sometime on 2-7-09.....See you then!

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Re: The Master Debates II: When Should The Stooges Have Called It Quits?
« Reply #49 on: February 07, 2009, 01:20:33 PM »
Looks like I won't be getting much sleep this weekend. ;D

Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit amphetamines.