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Author Topic: The Master Debates III: Should Moe, Larry and Curly Have Made Movies?  (Read 10929 times)

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xraffle

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Re: The Master Debates III: Should Moe, Larry and Curly Have Made Movies?
« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2009, 10:57:02 AM »
The floor is now open to questions from the judges. If a judge wishes to abstain please state so.

I've read both arguments and rebuttals and I've reached a verdict. So, I'll abstain.

Offline WhyIOughta

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Re: The Master Debates III: Should Moe, Larry and Curly Have Made Movies?
« Reply #26 on: March 15, 2009, 05:30:45 PM »
Question for Giff-Me-Dat-Fillem............. I would have made you an 8-1 underdog to pull off the win in this debate.  I'm rooting for you, but you're gonna need a serious "Hail Mary" to get that win.  I ain't here to make your job any easier.....  (grin) So, here goes........

If I accept your general side of the debate, I would imagine that The Three Stooges including Curly Howard could have begun shooting feature-length films for Columbia sometime between 1937-and-1945.   Take a historical leap of faith with me........ Stooges shoot feature-length films, films become popular, Stooges' popularity increases ten-fold, Columbia Pictures sees popularity and orders more, Harry Cohn sees said success, and shuts down the Columbia Pictures 'Shorts' division, because no one is left, Curly passes away, Shemp joins the fray, and continues on with feature productions, thus robbing the fans of some of the most incredible two-reelers the guys ever made. 

Your response to this 'historical leap?'

Offline WhyIOughta

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Re: The Master Debates III: Should Moe, Larry and Curly Have Made Movies?
« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2009, 06:00:31 PM »
OK, Metaldams, you're the favorite in the race.  Usually, the only time the favorite falters is either an incredible effort by their opponent, or a monumental flop by the favorite, giving the 'dog a chance.  You don't want that.  (grin)  So, be careful, when you take on this judges' query..........

You brought up a natural "bridge" in your argument that was quite relevant, when you mentioned the Marx' Brothers, a slapstick comedy team that made some incredibly outstanding, mile-a-minute comedies.  These comedies have stood the test of time, and are anointed as classics, among the genre's critics. 

Also mentioned in your argument --

The snippet that mentions the addition of what i'd call "musical fillers" into the Marx' presentations, numbers that left more than a few fans of the comedy team scratching their heads, ........

The fact (that I agree with) that the Stooges and their comedy writing team "was a creative force who knew how to make great comedy films."  Yep, couldn't agree more.  We're talking about the 1937-to-1945 time frame, the time when the comedians and their writing staff were all intact, and making great films.  A comedy team that would have KNOWN how to MAKE those films, make them work, and make them better and funnier than ANYTHING that the Marx Brothers had EVER made.  (And please, don't throw "Rockin' In The Rockies" out there again -- The Stooges didn't have their writers, directors, or creative input available in that bomb.)

So, given all this -- Can you honestly say that you'd have NO interest in seeing a Jules White/Moe Howard-driven, full-blown Three Stooges 1940's-era feature film?  (Reminder -- A simple 'NO' answer to this query will result in a vote for your competitor.)

Offline metaldams

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Re: The Master Debates III: Should Moe, Larry and Curly Have Made Movies?
« Reply #28 on: March 15, 2009, 06:49:31 PM »
OK, Metaldams, you're the favorite in the race.  Usually, the only time the favorite falters is either an incredible effort by their opponent, or a monumental flop by the favorite, giving the 'dog a chance.  You don't want that.  (grin)  So, be careful, when you take on this judges' query..........

You brought up a natural "bridge" in your argument that was quite relevant, when you mentioned the Marx' Brothers, a slapstick comedy team that made some incredibly outstanding, mile-a-minute comedies.  These comedies have stood the test of time, and are anointed as classics, among the genre's critics. 

Also mentioned in your argument --

The snippet that mentions the addition of what i'd call "musical fillers" into the Marx' presentations, numbers that left more than a few fans of the comedy team scratching their heads, ........

The fact (that I agree with) that the Stooges and their comedy writing team "was a creative force who knew how to make great comedy films."  Yep, couldn't agree more.  We're talking about the 1937-to-1945 time frame, the time when the comedians and their writing staff were all intact, and making great films.  A comedy team that would have KNOWN how to MAKE those films, make them work, and make them better and funnier than ANYTHING that the Marx Brothers had EVER made.  (And please, don't throw "Rockin' In The Rockies" out there again -- The Stooges didn't have their writers, directors, or creative input available in that bomb.)

So, given all this -- Can you honestly say that you'd have NO interest in seeing a Jules White/Moe Howard-driven, full-blown Three Stooges 1940's-era feature film?  (Reminder -- A simple 'NO' answer to this query will result in a vote for your competitor.)

Great questions, WHYIOUGHTA.

Keep something in mind about Jules White, and even Del Lord.  Neither man had a track record for great feature films.  If Jules White never made a Three Stooges short, his great "accomplishment" would've have been those novelty Dogville shorts.  His most famous feature film is Buster Keaton's SIDEWALKS OF NEW YORK, which is considered to be by many Buster Keaton's worst.  I tend to agree.

Del Lord was considered Mack Sennett's best director in the twenties.  Based on the handful of films I have seen, I tend to agree.  Lord, and Sennett's studio in general, specialized in short films.  Feature films, while they made them, were not their forte.


What about great feature film directors who were active in the Stooges heyday?

Leo McCarey:  He directed some classic Laurel and Hardy silents, and most notably DUCK SOUP in 1933.  Surely HE could've directed The Three Stooges?  Or maybe not.  By 1937, he directed THE AWFUL TRUTH, a classic screwball comedy.  Screwball comedy was the most successful feature film comedy of the era, not The Stooges forte.  Looking at McCarey's resume after, he obviously moved on from slapstick.

Frank Capra:  Same deal.  Influential in the great Harry Langdon features, but in 1934, he made IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT, another screwball comedy.  He DEFINITELY moved on from slapstick from then on, even making IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE by 1946. 

Hypothetically, I agree The Three Stooges could've made great feature films if they found the right team to work with.  Looking around Hollywood at the time, I honestly don't believe that team was there.  Nobody was making feature slapstick comedies that could've matched the 97 short run.  It was the era of screwball, Hollywood had moved on.  Don't listen to Curly in MOVIE MANIACS, he's no Barrymore.......and Barrymore's also no Curly.


Offline curlysdame

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Re: The Master Debates III: Should Moe, Larry and Curly Have Made Movies?
« Reply #29 on: March 15, 2009, 07:03:01 PM »
I've read both arguments and rebuttals and I've reached a verdict. So, I'll abstain.

Same here...
"Imagine five things like us in one room??  I can't stand it!" - Curly (Time Out For Rhythm 1941)

Offline Giff me dat fill-em!

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Re: The Master Debates III: Should Moe, Larry and Curly Have Made Movies?
« Reply #30 on: March 15, 2009, 08:34:13 PM »
Question for Giff-Me-Dat-Fillem............. I would have made you an 8-1 underdog to pull off the win in this debate.  I'm rooting for you, but you're gonna need a serious "Hail Mary" to get that win.  I ain't here to make your job any easier.....  (grin) So, here goes........

If I accept your general side of the debate, I would imagine that The Three Stooges including Curly Howard could have begun shooting feature-length films for Columbia sometime between 1937-and-1945.   Take a historical leap of faith with me........ Stooges shoot feature-length films, films become popular, Stooges' popularity increases ten-fold, Columbia Pictures sees popularity and orders more, Harry Cohn sees said success, and shuts down the Columbia Pictures 'Shorts' division, because no one is left, Curly passes away, Shemp joins the fray, and continues on with feature productions, thus robbing the fans of some of the most incredible two-reelers the guys ever made. 

Your response to this 'historical leap?'

     The essence of those incredible shorts would not be lost upon the frame of a feature length film. It would only transfer to incredible films contained in more than two reels. Since, in your historical leap, the shorts made before 1937 would still be intact, it would provide a proving ground, so to speak, of our boys worthiness to rise up to A-grade films. The writing and storylines could remain, augmented only by the dramatic segments. The public would be unaware of the loss of those incredible shorts, since they would instead be contained in movies.
      There would be no impetus for Harry Cohn to close down the Shorts Department. He could merely expand it if he wanted to create new sets, or keep it the way it was, borrowing sets from other projects. Even if he did close down the shorts department, all the real talent in making those shorts would still be there. If a director with feature length savvy was needed, get one. And, if our boys ever laid an egg and lost money for the expanded department, simply revert back to making shorts where they left off.

      While coming up with all these hypothetical what-ifs, it struck me what the real debate is about.

Is the Stooges' brand of humor only palatable in 15 to 20 minute doses?

I think "Swing Parade of 1946" held clues that the boys could be great in their own feature film. That movie gave them more screen time than most others they were in, and proved that a Stooge movie could work. Harry Cohn didn't notice this opportunity from 1937 to 1945, and just had our boys keep cranking out those incredible shorts.
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Offline WhyIOughta

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Re: The Master Debates III: Should Moe, Larry and Curly Have Made Movies?
« Reply #31 on: March 16, 2009, 02:05:14 AM »
I'll say right now that i'll need to sleep on the decision that I'm THINKING of making.....Something mentioned in one of the rebuttals may have broken the tie in what I could say was and still is a VERY close battle.  I've been close to literally giving BOTH submissions the victory, so I'll need to give it one night, and see if my so-called 'decision' is still the one I want to go with......

Offline Dunrobin

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Re: The Master Debates III: Should Moe, Larry and Curly Have Made Movies?
« Reply #32 on: March 16, 2009, 06:21:12 AM »
Sorry, guys - I got busy working on a coding project this weekend and quite literally forgot all about the Debate - until I started checking my mail this morning!  I may have questions, but they will have to wait until this afternoon when I've had a chance to read through what's been posted so far.

Offline Dunrobin

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Re: The Master Debates III: Should Moe, Larry and Curly Have Made Movies?
« Reply #33 on: March 16, 2009, 11:08:25 AM »
Okay - I've read the arguments and rebuttals, and I have just one question for Giff:  Do you know if Moe (or any of the other Stooges, for that matter) ever expressed any interest in doing feature length films, either in addition to or instead of making the shorts?

Offline Giff me dat fill-em!

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Re: The Master Debates III: Should Moe, Larry and Curly Have Made Movies?
« Reply #34 on: March 16, 2009, 05:41:51 PM »
Okay - I've read the arguments and rebuttals, and I have just one question for Giff:  Do you know if Moe (or any of the other Stooges, for that matter) ever expressed any interest in doing feature length films, either in addition to or instead of making the shorts?

No, I have no "insider" knowledge that Moe (or any other Stooge, for that matter) ever expressed an interest in feature films. However, I have no "insider" knowledge that he ever wished to remain in the shorts department either. My thought is that he would want to remain in both, finding joy in both settings. I suppose this will be my death knell, suggesting that Moe actually wanted to make movies, and saying so without reliable sources. Since the debate topic was "Should Moe, Larry and Curly Have Made Movies", I projected the "yes" upon the boys, that they SHOULD have made movies. There was no reason for them not to.
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Re: The Master Debates III: Should Moe, Larry and Curly Have Made Movies?
« Reply #35 on: March 16, 2009, 06:30:18 PM »
I remember reading in Moe's bio and Michael Fleming's book that they DID want to make features, but the honcho's at Columbia felt they were more profitable in shorts.

Personally, I think they would have worked in features. While the Curly-Joe films aren't great, with Curly Howard in Hercules, Orbit and Have Rocket, they would have been more energetic and funnier with the teaming of Moe, Larry and Curly. There was very little romantic sub plots to weigh those films down. Sadly, it was Curly-Joe who was the weaker link.

Offline shemps#1

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Re: The Master Debates III: Should Moe, Larry and Curly Have Made Movies?
« Reply #36 on: March 16, 2009, 06:42:19 PM »
The floor is now open to the general public for questioning. The floor will close at 8 pm on Wednesday.
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xraffle

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Re: The Master Debates III: Should Moe, Larry and Curly Have Made Movies?
« Reply #37 on: March 18, 2009, 07:43:57 PM »
Ok, I believe the floor is now closed to the public since it's now 8:40 on my watch. So, I'll cast my vote now.

Before I start, let me first commend both Giff and Metaldams for doing such an excellent job in this debate. You both submitted very convincing arguments. If I could, I would choose both of you but, I can only choose one.

Before this debate took place, I’ve always wondered whether the stooges would be better off in feature films. After reading both arguments and rebuttals carefully and thinking things through, I’ve came to a decision.

Giff- This line of yours struck me:

Even though Moe, Larry and Curly had only bit parts in films past doesn’t mean they couldn’t hold their own in a starring role. Curly, especially, would have shined and most likely have stolen the show, perhaps even prompting a debate about starting his own solo career.

You’re absolutely correct here. Films like “Swing Parade of 1946” really show how the stooges shine, despite Curly’s failing health at the time. If the stooges had more screen time, it probably would’ve been a much better film. You strengthened your argument even more in your rebuttal when you said that these musical numbers and overarching storylines is what the movie public wanted to see. Even though some people may be disappointed with the padding out in some Abbott and Costello movies, some of those singers, especially The Andrews Sisters were very popular back then.

Metaldams- I understand what you’re getting at when you said:

Can you or anybody else here honestly tell me they watch A NIGHT AT THE OPERA for "Cosi-Cosa" or "Alone?"

I see what you’re saying there, but even though some people may not care for those musical numbers, “A Night at the Opera” still remains one of the more popular Marx Brothers films. Most people enjoy that film, even though it may pad out at times. The same applies to the early Abbott and Costello movies. Many fans enjoy movies like “Buck Privates” and “In The Navy.” In fact, a lot of fans like those two movies more than their later non-musical movies. So, I think Giff hit the nail right on the head when he said that the movie public wanted to see this during that time.

I have to admit, I was just about to give the edge to Metaldams, but Giff really redeemed himself in his rebuttal. While I was a bit disappointed that he didn’t use “Gold Raiders” as an example to show how funny the stooges can be in movies, I still think he got his point across.

So, my vote goes to GIFF ME DAT FILL-EM!

Excellent job, both of you! This was an extremely tough decision to make as you both did a great job of proving your points.

Offline Dunrobin

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Re: The Master Debates III: Should Moe, Larry and Curly Have Made Movies?
« Reply #38 on: March 18, 2009, 09:03:26 PM »
Both debaters made excellent arguments, but my vote goes to Metaldams.

The Stooges might have made some excellent feature length films, if given the chance, but we might have been the poorer for it.  As Doug pointed out, the feature films made by other comedy teams like Abbott and Costello and the Marx Brothers include a lot of extraneous material such as musical numbers that frequently detract from the films.  That argument made me do a little research.

The Marx Brothers only made a dozen films, totaling only 1,026 min. (1,111 min. if you want to count Love Happy.)  Abbott and Costello turned out a lot more work over the years - 36 films together - but they only total 2,918 min.  In both cases those totals include all that extraneous material that doesn't add to the comedy at all.

By contrast the 190 short subjects that the Stooges made for Columbia total 3,196 min. - more than three times the running time of the Marx Brothers!  That's all comedy, too; even the occasional musical interlude is germane to the short's storyline.  If the Stooges had gone into feature films, we might well have ended up with a lot less comedy to enjoy.

Offline WhyIOughta

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Re: The Master Debates III: Should Moe, Larry and Curly Have Made Movies?
« Reply #39 on: March 18, 2009, 09:23:15 PM »
OK. Ready to vote!  I worked harder on this than my job, for what it's worth..... Three Stooges

OK, time for the "newbie" judge to render his one verdict.  (By the way, this segment of the message boards is thoroughly entertaining to this ol' debater, as it tends to remind yours truly of the Three Stooges work, and the glorious Hollywood of old at the same time.  OK, slobbering rant over.)

I went into this debate as a judge that is always impartial, and one that realizes that my personal opinion should in no way become a part of the argument.  How I feel about the question and my personal opinion about same should be rendered moot.  So, we get down to the question, with it's VERY important wording.

Should Moe, Larry and Curly have made the switch to full length features?

The devil is in the wording of the question, as far as I was concerned.  The question, as it appeared not at the beginning of the debate, but listed in every reply, read, “Should Moe, Larry and Curly Have Made MOVIES?”  A great question in it’s own right, and, when thinking of the arguments and the rebuttals, one thing in my mind stood out that metaldams said, in his rebuttal —

"Hypothetically, I agree The Three Stooges could've made great feature films if they found the right team to work with."  Ouch.  That’s gotta hurt.  A BIG point for the opposing side.

Fillem, if the question for this very interesting debate would have been, “Should Moe, Larry and Curly Have Made MOVIES,”  you would have scored my vote for the win, and been one vote closer to a 12-month subscription to the Stooges’ Journal.

Alas, ‘tis not the case.

The actual official question WAS, “Should Moe, Larry and Curly have made the switch to full length features? “  VERY different subject.  One that metaldams quite adequately addresses, with references to the unavailability of the right people to helm the project, the time of Hollywood’s history and the genre moving away from that style and brand of entertainment, and metal’s mentioning of the lamentable “Rockin’ In The Rockies,” which I tried to diffuse for you, to no avail.  (You’d need a true bomb expert to keep that one from detonating...LOL)

Fillem, you had a tough nut to crack, because what YOU were suggesting the Stooges do would have changed cinematic history.  I gave you a chance to paint a rosy historical picture of the future with the Stooges moving into the Feature Film area of Columbia, something that, in my mind, would have been an important part of your argument, something I would have needed to see from you — The Future of the Stooges in their new feature-fillem (get it?)  style, both with Curly, and what would have been Shemp, as well, should the features have been a success.

"Swing Parade of 1946" may just have held clues you needed that the boys could be great in their own feature film , but that alone isn’t enough for me to side with you, and change cinematic history, and, in my humble opinion, not for the better.

My vote goes to metaldams, the 8-1 favorite in this debate.  Both sides WELL represented, thoroughly enjoyable, and I’ll kick into a fund to help buy G-M-D-Fillem a subscription, because the wording of the question almost swung things over to his side.   Fillem deserves it, contact me if the donations towards his subscription come in.....  Cool

Offline curlysdame

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Re: The Master Debates III: Should Moe, Larry and Curly Have Made Movies?
« Reply #40 on: March 20, 2009, 01:48:38 AM »
Oh shit!  Sorry guys!  I forgot to cast my vote.  Since all of my questions have been answered in the rebuttals, my vote is with Metaldams.
"Imagine five things like us in one room??  I can't stand it!" - Curly (Time Out For Rhythm 1941)

Offline shemps#1

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Re: The Master Debates III: Should Moe, Larry and Curly Have Made Movies?
« Reply #41 on: March 20, 2009, 10:17:32 AM »
By a score of 3-1, metaldams, you sir have defended your title as Master Debater.

Everyone be sure to check out TMD IV in April. Applications are currently being accepted.
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Re: The Master Debates III: Should Moe, Larry and Curly Have Made Movies?
« Reply #42 on: March 20, 2009, 05:31:58 PM »
Nice job again Giff.  You put up a good fight.

Offline Giff me dat fill-em!

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Re: The Master Debates III: Should Moe, Larry and Curly Have Made Movies?
« Reply #43 on: March 20, 2009, 07:18:13 PM »
As a matter of fact, I originally made a submission for them NOT to make the jump to movies, but since there were no takers, I changed sides, knowing I was as good as defeated. But, hey, I got some legit proof (on film!) of why our boys should not have made movies, especially with Columbia Pictures! This was the jewel of 1938 for Columbia.

The Terror of Tiny Town - an all midget cast
[youtube=425,350]XNV7hKVu-Xg&hl=en&fs=1[/youtube]
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Re: The Master Debates III: Should Moe, Larry and Curly Have Made Movies?
« Reply #44 on: March 20, 2009, 08:44:55 PM »
As a matter of fact, I originally made a submission for them NOT to make the jump to movies, but since there were no takers, I changed sides, knowing I was as good as defeated.

Yeah, your side was a difficult one and you did an excellent job considering how hard it is to take that position. That's why I voted for you. My judgment was very different from the other judges. Think of it this way. If I was a manager hiring someone for a job and I have to choose between two people. One has a GPA of 3.7 at some easy college and the other person has a GPA for 3.5 at Harvard, I would pick the person with the 3.5 at Harvard because it's a tougher school and 3.5 is an excellent GPA to get at that kind of school. In my book, you got the 3.5 at Harvard and Metaldams got the 3.7 at the easy college. So, that's why I picked you.

Offline Giff me dat fill-em!

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Re: The Master Debates III: Should Moe, Larry and Curly Have Made Movies?
« Reply #45 on: March 20, 2009, 09:01:12 PM »
Well then, as General Patton once said ...    "tanks".
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