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Author Topic: A Gem of a Jam (1943)  (Read 2857 times)

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Offline metaldams

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A Gem of a Jam (1943)
« on: October 03, 2014, 08:37:56 PM »
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  • http://www.threestooges.net/filmography/episode/76
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0035928/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1







    If you look at the ratings of this short on threestooges.net, A GEM OF A JAM is the lowest ranked short since MUTTS TO YOU, which is five years earlier.  Look, I don't consider this short on the level of A PLUMBING WE WILL GO or anything, but this is a fun short and I really can't think of one thing to criticize. 

    From a film point of view, this to me has the look, if not exactly the themes, of a good film noir in those alley scenes, which I do not remember seeing in a Stooge short before.  It is late 1943, and the genre that Hollywood film makers didn't know existed until the French said so years later was becoming more common place.  Surely an influence, albeit conscious on not, on this short.

    This short is really just consistently funny.  It starts off right away as the boys working a blue collar job making as many mistakes as humanly possible, always an ideal situation.  The scene peaks with Curly swallowing the fish after his head gets caught in the fish bowl and then going in the x ray machine.  A funny, memorable, and to me iconic scene, the kind of thing missing from last week's short.  Another great bit was that demented jack in the box that resulted in Larry jumping into Moe's arms.

    Gotta mention the great Dudley Dickerson so Paul Payne can agree with me instead of being the first to bring him up.  Truly the man, it's a shame he never appeared in more shorts, because he's always a highlight.  Love the way him and Curly work together in the thumb twirling bit, and classic scare reactions as usual.

    Oh, and the schedule slows down a bit here.  We now end 1943, where ten shorts were made.  The next two years will only see eleven shorts.

    8/10
    « Last Edit: November 29, 2014, 10:21:43 PM by metaldams »

    Offline Squirrelbait

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    Re: A Gem of a Jam (1943)
    « Reply #1 on: October 03, 2014, 09:55:40 PM »
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  • I miss doing these discussions with you guys, and I know I've fallen WAAAAY behind but I'll try to keep up every week now. I don't want to miss out on all the fun!

    Anyway, this one isn't my absolute favorite, but it's certainly pleasant enough - and the first film to be written and directed by Del Lord. I especially got a kick out of the beginning scenes when they're cleaning out the Doctor's office (I wouldn't say YES, but I couldn't say NO....would you say MAYBE?) I agree that Curly swallowing the goldfish is a highlight as well as the punchline afterwards:

    Curly: Have you got a fishing licensce?
    Moe: No
    Curly: Then give me back my fish! *SMACK*

    Also enjoyed watching the bad guys falling off the operating table and out the window, and the giant Jack-In-The-Box that comes out to greet the Stooges. Dudley Dickerson is fantastic in everything he does, and watching him get scared of wax Curly makes for a great finale (You sho is UGLY!)

    The 10th and final short of 1943, which is the most shorts the Stooges did in any year at Columbia.

    Overall, I'd give this one a 7/10.....but something tells me that next week, I will be needing my '10' paddle.
    If there's no other place around the place, I reckon this must be the place, I reckon.

    Offline Shemp_Diesel

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    Re: A Gem of a Jam (1943)
    « Reply #2 on: October 04, 2014, 01:23:34 AM »
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  • A Gem of A Jam unfortunately is one of those shorts I've never been wild about. This is the start of the great Del Lord writing/co-writing his shorts as well as directing and to me the results were wildly mixed.

    The short starts off fine enough--with the boys cleaning up the office, doing a little bit of dancing and the operation on the gangster.

    It's after the operation, when the stooges start running away and doing a bunch of scare takes that the short starts to fall off for me. I eluded to this before and maybe it applies here--the stooges doing scare takes and/or haunted house reactions were to me not their strong suit. Put Lou Costello in a haunted house or have him doing some scare reactions and I'm sold, but not so much for Moe, Larry and Curly or later Shemp.

    Overall, I rate it a 5 out of 10...

    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 Paul Pain

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    Re: A Gem of a Jam (1943)
    « Reply #3 on: October 04, 2014, 04:09:32 AM »
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  • Overall, I'd give this one a 7/10.....but something tells me that next week, I will be needing my '10' paddle.

    *Looks at next week's and drools*

    The boys are their typical hopeless selves in this one and excel as the typical incompetent and sneaky janitors.  Larry uses a secret hiding place for stashing dirt, and Curly was taking it all in, the fish that is.  No one mentioned Moe's fascinating battle with the goldfish, which sees him gain and lose ground on the fish.

    I would say, "That poor crook didn't deserve to fall out the window," but he did.  What Moe does to Curly afterward is astounding, and the other two crook's reactions are perfect.

    Some people aren't fans of the wax museum scenes, but I think it must be noted that these scenes were clearly written for Dudley Dickerson in what was probably his most important Stooge role.  And Dudley delivers.  His reactions throughout the scene are perfect, and he coins a legendary line when he looks at the plaster covered Curly and says, "You sure is ugly!"  Of course, he is worried about "who's gonna grab who?" but he handles himself fine, leading the charge along with Moe and Larry in running away from Curly.

    The dimly lit conditions of this short are perfect for this plot.  I like this one a lot and give it a solid 9/10.
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    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: A Gem of a Jam (1943)
    « Reply #4 on: October 04, 2014, 11:19:36 AM »
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  • Yeah, what Shemp_Diesel said.

    Offline Lefty

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    Re: A Gem of a Jam (1943)
    « Reply #5 on: October 05, 2014, 10:33:24 AM »
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  • Goofs and Saddles, You Nazty Spy, A Gem of a Jam -- these are the three shorts that our local channel never broadcast until 1984, for whatever reason(s).
    They are all good ones.  This one is funny from start to finish.  One definitely needs closed captioning to have any idea of what big words the Stooges made up when they were janitors and "surgeons."  My favorite part is Curly's "thumb wrestling" scene with Dudley Dickerson.  Yet Curly didn't realize the third hand was black?  Oy.

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: A Gem of a Jam (1943)
    « Reply #6 on: October 07, 2014, 09:06:52 PM »
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  • It's after the operation, when the stooges start running away and doing a bunch of scare takes that the short starts to fall off for me. I eluded to this before and maybe it applies here--the stooges doing scare takes and/or haunted house reactions were to me not their strong suit. Put Lou Costello in a haunted house or have him doing some scare reactions and I'm sold, but not so much for Moe, Larry and Curly or later Shemp.

    Overall, I rate it a 5 out of 10...

    Yeah, normally I'd agree, but when it comes to scare comedy, Dudley Dickerson equals Lou Costello.

    Offline Shemp_Diesel

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    Re: A Gem of a Jam (1943)
    « Reply #7 on: October 07, 2014, 09:11:59 PM »
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  • I tend to agree Metal about Dudley--maybe I wouldn't put him on the same level as Lou, but his reactions to all the strange goings on in "Jam" keep the second half of the short somewhat interesting. If there are any laughs from the last several minutes of this short, Dudley accounts for them.

    But overall, I think I may enjoy Dudley's antics more in a short that's better overall--Hold That Lion is the first thing that pops into my mind....


    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 metaldams

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    Re: A Gem of a Jam (1943)
    « Reply #8 on: October 07, 2014, 09:14:06 PM »
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  • But overall, I think I may enjoy Dudley's antics more in a short that's better overall--Hold That Lion is the first thing that pops into my mind....

    "Hep, hep, ahm losin' mah mind!"

    I laugh just thinking about it.


    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: A Gem of a Jam (1943)
    « Reply #9 on: October 09, 2014, 04:53:33 AM »
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  • ""Hep, hep, ahm losin' mah mind!"

    I laugh just thinking about it."

    Dudley also gets some good lines in VAGABOND LOAFERS.
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    Offline Shemp_Diesel

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    Re: A Gem of a Jam (1943)
    « Reply #10 on: October 09, 2014, 06:00:58 AM »
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  • Speaking of Dudley, I just saw him last night making a cameo in Abbott and Costello Go To Mars. It was interesting to me because--unless I'm mistaken--there were not a whole lot of connections as far as supporting players who appeared with both the stooges and A & C, aside from the obvious Shemp and Joe Besser connection....
    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 metaldams

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    Re: A Gem of a Jam (1943)
    « Reply #11 on: October 10, 2014, 08:36:43 PM »
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  • Speaking of Dudley, I just saw him last night making a cameo in Abbott and Costello Go To Mars. It was interesting to me because--unless I'm mistaken--there were not a whole lot of connections as far as supporting players who appeared with both the stooges and A & C, aside from the obvious Shemp and Joe Besser connection....

    There's a good reason for that.  The Stooges and Bud & Lou were contemporaries, so their respective supporting players worked at their respective studios, for the most part.

    Offline JazzBill

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    Re: A Gem of a Jam (1943)
    « Reply #12 on: October 18, 2014, 11:52:53 AM »
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  • I've always considered this to be an above average short. There are plenty of good sight gags and all the bits work well. The dance scene while Moe is getting the hot seat, Moe fishing in Curlys stomach, the jack in the box bit and of coarse the scenes with Curly and Dudley are some of my favorites. I rate this short a 8 1/2.
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    Offline Kopfy2013

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    Re: A Gem of a Jam (1943)
    « Reply #13 on: October 22, 2014, 11:35:45 PM »
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  • A solid short.  Some iconic moments - mainly fishing for the fish in Curly and Dudley Dickerson doing his schtick.

    Incidentally I read where  'I am losing my mind' was muted when Dudley backed into the mannequin.  I have the Sony DVD's and that saying is muted there also.  Is it muted on yours?

    Dudley is briefly discussed in Issue 151 of the Journal.  Does anyone know if he ever was married and had kids?

    Other lines I like - after Larry bops Moe - excitedly Larry states 'Moe, where were you' ..... 

    "You shure is ugly"

    I give this a solid 8.
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    Offline ThumpTheShoes

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    Re: A Gem of a Jam (1943)
    « Reply #14 on: October 22, 2014, 11:58:28 PM »
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  • Incidentally I read where  'I am losing my mind' was muted when Dudley backed into the mannequin.  I have the Sony DVD's and that saying is muted there also.  Is it muted on yours?

    Always saw this as him being so scared he can't find the voice to scream! LOL!! If anything, his mouth movement suggests exclaiming silently, "I'm-- w--w----I'm---w.." (like he tried to start yelling twice), followed by his characteristic scream. Production on-set audio continues throughout, including footfalls, shuffling and the rattling of the keys indicating that nothing was muted.

    Great job he did, there, and a nice, different spin on a scare take. Furthering the Dudley Dickerson study of reaction comedy!
    A jerk with a quirk may do the work. Or, a turk with a dirk may stick a clerk! Gut gesagt?

    Offline Kopfy2013

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    Re: A Gem of a Jam (1943)
    « Reply #15 on: October 26, 2014, 01:30:08 PM »
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  • I will buy that !
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    Offline vomit

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    Re: A Gem of a Jam (1943)
    « Reply #16 on: October 27, 2014, 01:44:04 PM »
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  • Best lines ever:

    "I wouldn't say yes, but I couldn't say no."

    "Would you say, 'maybe'?"

    "I might."

    A Curly classic.
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    Offline MrsMorganMorgan

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    Re: A Gem of a Jam (1943)
    « Reply #17 on: April 08, 2015, 01:01:37 PM »
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  • I love Gem of a Jam more than I can express. Let's start at the beginning and analyze everything.....almost nothing in this short fails to make me laugh. And really, throwing dust under the seat cushion; the zipper in the carpet....wouldn't it be quicker just to empty the damn dust pan in the trash??

    I LOVE the sound effects in this short. They were just so ON; so perfect, so funny. From the little electrical sound when the wires go down the back of Moe's pants, to the awesome "Flower-scopy" noise, this little add-in effect when Moe is slapping Curly's face and getting squirted with water; every sound effect during the "operation", the quick little surprise noises when Curly is following Dudley around, the "boing!!" noise when the gangsters reveal the skeleton on the gurney. I adore the time they took to add these in. They were not too much; just enough. Our Stooges didn't need much to improve their stuff. But I digress.

    I have two absolute favorite moments in this short. The first is the dual dance with Moe and Curly. Curly is so perfect; his timing, the claps, the elbow movements. This choreography is to perfection; I HATE the cut to Larry, even though he does an awesome spin-and-spill that would usually be worth it. I want to see the rest of the dance; I guess because I know it's not long before Curly's downward slide and besides the fan dance in the Yoke's on Me which we have to watch with disgust for the beyond poor choice of subject matter, this is the last awesome Curly dance we get.

    My second absolute favorite moment is when Curly is twiddling thumbs with Dudley. He stops for a second, holds his hand up to his face, makes that really quick look mostly reminiscent of the Abominable Snowman in the Rudolph movie, and then it really occurs to him that the hand he's holding is black. Watch what he does....he wipes Dudley's hand with his and then looks at his own hand to see if any black came off in his palm. No racism intended. This is one of the funniest little quick things in Stoogedom.

    Anyway, I give this a 10. I love this one.






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    Offline Curly Van Dyke

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    Re: A Gem of a Jam (1943)
    « Reply #18 on: November 19, 2016, 03:23:29 PM »
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  • Dudley also made some great scare comedies with Hugh Herbert and one with Andy Clyde,both at Columbia.
    I love Moe's "2 Aerial" dance that beaks into a Hut-da-Ha routine.

    Offline Woe-ee-Woe-Woe80

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    Re: A Gem of a Jam (1943)
    « Reply #19 on: November 20, 2017, 12:53:40 PM »
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  • This is one episode where it starts off great but bogs down some in the second half, I've thought the episode peaked during the operation scene, this is IMO a slightly underrated episode that seems to get better with each viewing, it's just not really one of the great Stooge shorts.

    Overall I give this short a 7/10 due to the first half.