As all Three Stooges fans and collectors know, material such as out-takes and home movie footage taken on the sets of Columbia shorts is very rare. But some home movie footage of Curly Howard and several other familiar Columbia shorts players has been found and will be shown in March 2013 at the annual Cinefest film festival in Syracuse, New York.
Columbia shorts star El Brendel was an avid home movie fan and shot color home movie footage on the sets of several of his films. These included some of his Columbia shorts. But although as Stooges fans know, El did not work in films with The Three Stooges he apparently was friends with Curly Howard, so took some home color movie footage when Curly visited the set of one of El's Columbia shorts.
At first I figured this footage must have been shot during a period when the filming dates of a Three Stooges and El Brendel short at Columbia coincided, which would have placed it in late April 1941. But further research has dated it most likely between April 20 and April 23, 1943 (during the filming of Brendel's short A ROOKIE'S COOKIE. A clue is the matching clothing worn by Brendel in that short and in the on-the-set home movie footage). Curly and The Stooges had just finished shooting their short DIZZY PILOTS a couple weeks earlier, and I CAN HARDLY WAIT and PHONY EXPRESS just before that. They weren't due back at Columbia until June for the filming of A GEM OF A JAM. So Curly must have been just visiting his friend El Brendel on the set of El's short.
The footage includes a nice close-up of Curly in a blue shirt with what looks like a sailor's cap, and also El and Curly clowning around together.
In addition to the Curly footage we get to see rare color shots of Jules White directing Brendel, Vernon Dent, Dorothy Appleby, and Don Brodie in Brendel's 1941 short YUMPIN' YIMINY, and El with Tom Kennedy in THE BLITZ KISS, also from 1941. It is always fun to watch Jules White at work, as he tended to ham it up when a camera was on him. And something additionally rare about this footage is that White actually has his shirt on! (Other footage and photos reveal that he often removed it while working.)
El also shot what could be one of the last pieces of film of Harry Langdon (and any color film of Langdon is super-rare!) On the set of his Columbia short PISTOL PACKIN' NITWITS (1945) Brendel shot footage of Christine McIntyre (also rare in color) and Langdon who died just after finishing this short.
Among other rare and unique home movie footage shot by El Brendel is one-of-a-kind color film of Stooges supporting players Bud Jamison and Bruce Bennett in some of Brendel's feature movies. Other Brendel co-stars included are Bing Crosby, Gloria Jean, Roscoe Ates, Slim Summerville, Iris Adrian, Al St. John, Cliff Nazarro, etc. Color film of some of these performers can be very rare.
Cinefest will be held this year from March 14 through 17, 2013.
Cinefest info and film schedule here: http://www.picking.com/cinefest.html