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Author Topic: Hoi Polloi (1935)  (Read 8216 times)

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Offline metaldams

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Hoi Polloi (1935)
« on: June 29, 2013, 07:47:39 AM »
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  • http://www.threestooges.net/filmography/episode/10
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0026479/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1



    Another short, another masterpiece, ho hum.  I'm not always going to be giving out praise like an overly enthusiastic fan boy, but the fact is in a 190 short run, The Three Stooges had these mini streaks of genius, and we are in the midst of the first streak.  For years, I have always considered Hoi Polloi in my top three favorite Stooge shorts, praise Del Lord, alleluia, and my latest viewing has not changed my opinion one bit.

    So why does Hoi Polloi work?  Focus, my friends, they are focused.  From the first frame to the last, the entire short is based on the premise of the low class Stooges dealing with high society, a theme that mixes as well as peanut butter and jelly.  The entire short focuses on this classic premise, and every gag and scene flows perfectly into each other.  It's really that simple.

    Lots of fun little characters as well.  Harry Holman (what an unfortunate name, and later in It's A Wonderful Life), was absolutely fantastic as Professor Richmond, and it's a shame he wasn't in more shorts.  "Get it right, GET IT RIGHT!"  Our lovely and tragic friend Geneva Mitchell was great as the dance instructor, and Phyllis Crane was wonderful in her psychic scene as well....reminds me of a crazy girl my friend just dated.  Kitty McHugh is also wonderful as the nerdy friend of Curly.  "Go cut yourself a slice of throat."  She wouldn't return to Stooge shorts until years later in some early 50's Shemp classics.

    The etiquette scene is classic, the spring on Curly's ass while dancing with that larger woman is classic, Moe's dancing style with Phyllis Crane is classic, professor Nichol's lovely daughters are classic as is Larry's line, "Hey brother, can you spare a Nichol?" and my ability to use the word classic is classic.  Folks, if you don't like this short, why are you here?  Prime Stooges.

    I would like to add fairly recently I saw the fun 80's comedy TRADING PLACES with Dan Akroyd, Eddie Murphy, and Jamie Lee Curtis, and thematically, the idea of heredity vs environment of Hoi Polloi is ever present.

    10/10
    « Last Edit: November 29, 2014, 10:08:23 PM by metaldams »

    Offline Lefty

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    Re: Hoi Polloi (1935)
    « Reply #1 on: June 29, 2013, 10:06:57 AM »
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  • HOI POLLOI is one of my all-time favorite shorts.  The "Heredity vs. Environment" theme, everyone at the party slapping each other and doing other Stooge gags, the rubbish landing on everyone, and Professor Richmond trying to teach the boys table manners.

    A great line is Curly's trying to spell cat:  "Cat.  K-I-T-T-Y.  Pussy."

    Harry Holman looked like a short version of Sergeant Schultz of "Hogan's Heroes."

    The only thing out of sorts is when Professor Nichols says to Professor Richmond, "I'll call a cab," yet later on, Professor Richmond says to the Stooges, "That's my car, climb into it."  So for that, I'll give the show 9.99 out of 10.

    Offline Shemp_Diesel

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    Re: Hoi Polloi (1935)
    « Reply #2 on: June 29, 2013, 11:51:16 AM »
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  • Don't know if I can add much to the discussion, metal just about covered it. Classic stooges & probably one of the first shorts I would go to to show the uninitiated what the stooges are all about. Del Lord's hot streak continues & the thing is, the streak would not be broken when Jack White a.k.a. Preston Black began directing, so metal, you may have more praise to lavish on the stooges in the coming weeks.


    10 out of 10. (It's not the dipping, it's the counting that's got me.)


    And, I almost forgot, Where's your dignity?!
    Now you ask me if I believe a man can become a wolf. Well, if you mean can he take on the physical characteristics of an animal, no, it's fantastic. However, I do believe that most anything can happen to a man in his own mind.

    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Hoi Polloi (1935)
    « Reply #3 on: June 29, 2013, 12:52:29 PM »
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  • Never made the connection that the dance instructor was Geneva Mitchell.  You learn so much around here.  That's kind of a foretaste of another, even more surprising, bit of acting range coming up soon, isn't it?  I'm being mysterious on purpose, though most of you are so knowledgeable you probably already know what I'm talking about.
         Phyllis Crane continues to be wonderful.

    Offline Kopfy2013

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    Re: Hoi Polloi (1935)
    « Reply #4 on: June 29, 2013, 03:35:39 PM »
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  • Yes,  "Where's your dignity?!?"

    I love this short. It is definitely one of my favorites.  Metal has it down - the Stooges were focused.

    This short had a lot going for it.

    There were outside locations around LA.

    The supporting cast was mentioned, i.e. the tragic Geneva Mitchell.  Also, Kittie McHugh committed suicide in the 50's.

    I love Curly's windmill when Moe tells him to stick out his hand.

    'Do exactly as I do' - great skit.

    Talking about the outside locations - there are a few shots of the 'Hollywood' sign in the beginning when they were on the street.  It was the 'HollywoodLand' sign back then.

    I have attached a screenshot below (hopefully I have. This will be my first time with picture attachments) see behind Curly's head.

    Also, thanks to Jim Pauley's book, I visited the fountain the dancer and the boys fell into during their dance lesson.

    It is now a planter but still exists, has the same shape and the statue still exists (Statue is for Rudolph Valentino).  If you are in LA you have to check it out.

    I give this a ton, not necessarily because of the hilarity of the short but the overall enjoyment of watching it. Very entertaining.  Great point by Shemp_Diesel - the short to show to the uninitiated.

    Niagara Falls

    Offline Dr. Hugo Gansamacher

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    Re: Hoi Polloi (1935)
    « Reply #5 on: June 30, 2013, 09:19:36 AM »
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  • I have a couple of puzzles:

    (1) A moment of this short that lingers in my recollection as particularly odd occurs near the end. As civilization breaks down among the party guests into Stooge-like violence, the Stooges, led by Larry, enter the frame from the left holding top hats and canes before they stop and turn to regard the spectacle. The odd thing about the shot is that they walk bent forward and with exaggerated swinging of their arms. I find it amusing just for its oddity, but I suspect that there is a visual reference here that I am missing, perhaps to the routine of some other movie comic. Does anyone know?

    (2) When Professor "Environment" has the Stooges miming their way through dinner, Moe, affecting a refined manner of speech, says to Curly next to him, "By the bye, how is the countess?" As Curly continues to eat and does not answer, Moe adds after a moment, "I said, how is the countess?" At this, the Professor bursts out impatiently: "No, no! Get it right! Get it right!" He seems to be addressing this to Moe (Moe certainly takes it that way when he says in reply: "How can I get it right when he won't answer me?"); but why? I can't see what Moe is doing wrong at this point. The Professor's outburst would have made sense as a response to Moe's mimed noisy eating of corn on the cob and wiping his mouth on his sleeve just before he spoke to Curly, but that takes place a good ten seconds earlier. What is going on here?

    Offline falsealarms

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    Re: Hoi Polloi (1935)
    « Reply #6 on: June 30, 2013, 12:12:55 PM »
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  • An easy classic.

    There's a lot to like about this short, including the precious location shooting.

    Curly has great lines when he says "oh, I found a big one!" and later has another great line when he says "oh, a mascaszino cherry!" Can't forget his "K-I-T-T-Y, pussy" line, either.

    Curly's scene with Kitty McHugh when he starts to shave is always memorable.

    Phyllis Crane shines as always and her scene with Moe on the couch has its share of sexual tension.

    Offline Dr. Hugo Gansamacher

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    Re: Hoi Polloi (1935)
    « Reply #7 on: June 30, 2013, 07:43:21 PM »
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  • I don't know how viewings it took me to figure out that what Phyllis Crane says to Moe on the sofa is "You must believe in the hypothesis of the occult power"--because she pronounces "occult" with the stress on the first syllable!

    In spite of her playing a devotee of mumbo-jumbo beliefs, I think it is her appearance in this short that maintains my crush on her--mainly on the strength of the look on her face when she says to Moe, "What happened?", immediately after they take a spill on the dance floor.

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Hoi Polloi (1935)
    « Reply #8 on: June 30, 2013, 08:12:20 PM »
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  • I don't know how viewings it took me to figure out that what Phyllis Crane says to Moe on the sofa is "You must believe in the hypothesis of the occult power"--because she pronounces "occult" with the stress on the first syllable!

    In spite of her playing a devotee of mumbo-jumbo beliefs, I think it is her appearance in this short that maintains my crush on her--mainly on the strength of the look on her face when she says to Moe, "What happened?", immediately after they take a spill on the dance floor.

    I never knew she said "occult."  I actually had no clue what she said, so thanks for clearing that up.

    Offline Rich Finegan

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    Re: Hoi Polloi (1935)
    « Reply #9 on: July 01, 2013, 04:56:25 AM »
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  • I don't know how viewings it took me to figure out that what Phyllis Crane says to Moe on the sofa is "You must believe in the hypothesis of the occult power"--because she pronounces "occult" with the stress on the first syllable!


    Perhaps it was a Canadian accent thing, as she was from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She came to Hollywood in 1926 so if she had an accent we may still be able to hear it in 1935 films.

    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Hoi Polloi (1935)
    « Reply #10 on: July 01, 2013, 10:14:09 AM »
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  • My guess is it was written to be gibberish and she may never have even heard the word occult before.  ( I mean, there is no Hypothesis of Occult Power, is there? )  Moe is obviously at sea, trying to humor some daffy dame.  She may also have been putting her own spin on the line, making it even more esoteric.

    Offline Liz

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    Re: Hoi Polloi (1935)
    « Reply #11 on: July 01, 2013, 10:24:22 AM »
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  • I love this short, especially the spring on Curly's butt and the...fly, is it?  That comes into the room and distracts her and causes the Stooges to emulate her movements?  Anyway, great short.
    IT'S ALIVE!!!!

    Offline Rich Finegan

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    Geneva Mitchell in a "bee" picture
    « Reply #12 on: July 01, 2013, 11:22:34 AM »
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  • I love this short, especially...the...fly, is it?  That comes into the room and distracts her and causes the Stooges to emulate her movements?  Anyway, great short.

    I always assumed it was a bee - that's why she reacted the way she did.

    Offline JazzBill

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    Re: Hoi Polloi (1935)
    « Reply #13 on: July 03, 2013, 09:06:31 PM »
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  • This is very high on my list of favorites. Good things are bound to happen when you mix the Stooges with high society. I enjoy watching the bad stunt doubles in the bee dance and window jump scenes. They're really bad. I also like the scene when Moe beats up Curly to get his jacket and then Curly beats up the little guy to take his jacket. The spring on the ass dancing scenes are great and so are the ending scenes. I rate this one a 9 1/2.
    "When in Chicago call Stockyards 1234, Ask for Ruby".

    Offline JazzBill

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    Re: Hoi Polloi (1935)
    « Reply #14 on: July 03, 2013, 09:21:34 PM »
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  • The odd thing about the shot is that they walk bent forward and with exaggerated swinging of their arms. I find it amusing just for its oddity, but I suspect that there is a visual reference here that I am missing, perhaps to the routine of some other movie comic. Does anyone know?

    I always wondered about that too. I think Groucho Marx used a gait similiar to that but I don't get the connection.
    "When in Chicago call Stockyards 1234, Ask for Ruby".

    Offline Rich Finegan

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    Re: Hoi Polloi (1935)
    « Reply #15 on: July 04, 2013, 03:36:59 AM »
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  • Phyllis Crane...I think it is her appearance in this short that maintains my crush on her--mainly on the strength of the look on her face when she says to Moe, "What happened?", immediately after they take a spill on the dance floor.

    No wonder she looked dazed when she said "What happened?" in that scene. If you watch closely, when she and Moe fell, she really conked her head hard on the floor. It's surprising she was able to get back up!

    Offline Rich Finegan

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    Re: Hoi Polloi (1935)
    « Reply #16 on: July 04, 2013, 04:30:22 AM »
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  • HOI POLLOI has always been a favorite of mine, for many of the reasons already mentioned (with Phyllis Crane's appearance being a big part of it).
    But also because it has more music than most Stooges shorts.

    Here's a listing of the tunes used, for any other music fans who'd like to know what we're hearing in the film:

    First scene: "Smooth Rhythm" written by Louis Silvers in 1934 and used by Columbia in about 15 other films through 1937. This is just a short part of the longer piece.
    As The Stooges arrive at the party: "Jealousy" (also known as "Jalousie") written by Louis Silvers and Howard Jackson in 1934 and used by Columbia in at least ten other films through 1936, including the Stooges short SLIPPERY SILKS.
    While Larry is dancing and loses his shoe, and Moe is dancing with Phyllis Crane: "I'll Live in My Dreams" written by Victor Schertzinger and introduced just a few months earlier in 1935 in the Columbia musical feature LET'S LIVE TONIGHT. In that movie the song has lyrics (by Jack Scholl) and it is sung by Tullio Carminati.
    Starting with the scene of Moe and Phyllis Crane on the couch and continuing through Curly dancing with the spring attached: "Oh Gee Oh Gosh" written by Louis Silvers earlier in 1935 and used by Columbia in at least seven other films through 1936.

    Offline Squirrelbait

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    Re: Hoi Polloi (1935)
    « Reply #17 on: July 05, 2013, 01:46:24 AM »
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  • A true Stooge classic.

    The Stooges are subjects of an experiment to see whether environment or heredity is more important in forming gentlemen.
    They're taught table manners, proper reading, and given dancing lessons. During the society party, the Stooges really go wild - everything that can go wrong does.

    Favorite moments:

    The entire garbage truck emptying into Professor Rich's car
    K-I-T-T-Y...Pussy
    The classic dance lesson
    Larry looking for his shoe on the dance floor
    Curly with the spring on his butt (cracks me up EVERY time!)
    'My Dear fellows, THIS is our punishment for associating with the hoi polloi."

    One of my favorites.

    Rating: 10/10
    If there's no other place around the place, I reckon this must be the place, I reckon.

    Offline Dr. Hugo Gansamacher

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    Re: Hoi Polloi (1935)
    « Reply #18 on: July 05, 2013, 07:49:29 PM »
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  • No replies yet to my two questions (#5 above), but, in connection with my first question, I watched Groucho Marx doing his bent-forward walk in Monkey Business to see if it was a plausible model for Larry's gait in the shot that I mentioned: I don't think it is, since Groucho always moves very quickly when he is doing that walk, while Larry and the Stooges march forward slowly and effortfully.

    Offline JazzBill

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    Re: Hoi Polloi (1935)
    « Reply #19 on: July 05, 2013, 09:29:38 PM »
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  • I watched Groucho Marx doing his bent-forward walk in Monkey Business to see if it was a plausible model for Larry's gait in the shot that I mentioned: I don't think it is, since Groucho always moves very quickly when he is doing that walk, while Larry and the Stooges march forward slowly and effortfully.

    Like I said, it was similar. Maybe it was an orignal move and not copied from anyone? It could be they were tring to sneak out of the house unnoticed, walking softly.  :-\
    "When in Chicago call Stockyards 1234, Ask for Ruby".

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Hoi Polloi (1935)
    « Reply #20 on: July 05, 2013, 09:31:13 PM »
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  • (2) When Professor "Environment" has the Stooges miming their way through dinner, Moe, affecting a refined manner of speech, says to Curly next to him, "By the bye, how is the countess?" As Curly continues to eat and does not answer, Moe adds after a moment, "I said, how is the countess?" At this, the Professor bursts out impatiently: "No, no! Get it right! Get it right!" He seems to be addressing this to Moe (Moe certainly takes it that way when he says in reply: "How can I get it right when he won't answer me?"); but why? I can't see what Moe is doing wrong at this point. The Professor's outburst would have made sense as a response to Moe's mimed noisy eating of corn on the cob and wiping his mouth on his sleeve just before he spoke to Curly, but that takes place a good ten seconds earlier. What is going on here?

    I just think he is upset at Curly's lack of response, and Moe, out of insecurity, perhaps, just responds like he is the culprit.  I never thought he was addressing Moe, per se, just the situation in general.

    Offline Dr. Hugo Gansamacher

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    Re: Hoi Polloi (1935)
    « Reply #21 on: July 07, 2013, 06:38:59 PM »
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  • Thanks for the replies, Jazzbill and Metaldams.

    Offline JWF

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    Re: Hoi Polloi (1935)
    « Reply #22 on: July 18, 2013, 10:01:20 PM »
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  • I always thought Larry's line, when introduced to Prof. Nichols two daughters, was sadly unappreciated..

    "Brother, can you spare a Nichol (nickel)"....

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Hoi Polloi (1935)
    « Reply #23 on: July 18, 2013, 11:41:44 PM »
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  • I always thought Larry's line, when introduced to Prof. Nichols two daughters, was sadly unappreciated..

    "Brother, can you spare a Nichol (nickel)"....

    Agree 100 percent.

    Offline Kopfy2013

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    Re: Hoi Polloi (1935)
    « Reply #24 on: July 18, 2013, 11:48:37 PM »
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