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Author Topic: Hold That Lion! (1947)  (Read 3709 times)

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Offline metaldams

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Hold That Lion! (1947)
« on: March 20, 2015, 09:55:28 PM »
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  • http://www.threestooges.net/filmography/episode/100
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0039468/?ref_=fn_al_tt_3

    http://www.emilsitka.com/holdthatlion1947.html

    Read Emil Sitka's diary entry on HOLD THAT LION! in the link above

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6PRk2PZO9Oc

    Watch HOLD THAT LION! in the link above



          Episode number 100 and we're still going strong!  Thanks again to all you lamebrains reading and commenting on these reviews, it's much appreciated.

          First off, this is truly the last appearance of Curly Howard and the last time we'll discuss him as far as the shorts go.  The shot of all four main Stooges together ranks as my favorite shot in film history.  Curly, he of full head of hair, gets a nice, if small bit barking like a dog while sleeping.  Emil Sitka mentions he heard Curly was incapable of reading lines, but even sick, Curly could still snore and bark like only Curly can.  Funnily enough, going on the set, Sitka also mentions he had no idea that Curly wouldn't be there as the third Stooge.  Perhaps a sign it wasn't common knowledge right away.

          As for the film itself it is again not the best written film, but the performers and individual scenes do more than enough to carry it.  When I say not the best written film, it's one of the many Stooge shorts where the resolution is not the greatest.  After spending all this time chasing Slipp, they finally run into him, have an all too brief chase scene, and they finally knock the guy out with one blow....by accident.  Then for filler they throw in the egg gag to end things.  Next week is the first Shemp short with a fully satisfactory script.

          Good plotting or not, the main reason I watch The Three Stooges is for the performers and the comedy, and there's more than enough of that to keep me entertained.  I want to touch upon the slapstick exchange in the office that starts with Larry asking about an itchy right hand.  It comes out of absolutely nowhere in the professional setting of an attorney's office.  That is to me what makes it so funny, the complete inappropriateness of the situation!  Could you imagine being at your office job or whatever and a random slapstick exchange just breaks out like that?  The older I get, the more I realize the context of the slapstick is just as funny as the physical act itself.

          HOLD THAT LION! also graces us with our first shadow boxing routine from Shemp.  A very funny bit, Shemp's agility and comic timing really shine here, and it's rightfully considered a signature bit of his.  Dudley Dickerson also gets one of his classic scare bits, speaking of signatures, when he confronts the lion.  I can have the sound of that lion roaring with Dudley screaming, "Help, help, I'm losing my mind" on a 24 hour auto loop in my iPad and still never tire of it.  Speaking of being scared, please do read the Emil Sitka entry above, some very interesting bits about Shemp working with the lion and some special accommodations needed.

          We also get the first filing cabinet bit, which seems to appear a lot in Shemp shorts.  It's one of those gags that no matter how many times I see it, it's always a welcome sight.  It's a comfort food gag, like an eye poke or a pie in the face.

          A very funny short overall, but slightly imperfect.  A slightly imperfect Stooge film is better than 90% of other things out there, hence the 9 rating, but next week, the streak of 10-less Shemp shorts might be in jeopardy.  Until then, we discuss HOLD THAT LION!

    9/10
         





    Offline Kopfy2013

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    Re: Hold That Lion! (1947)
    « Reply #1 on: March 20, 2015, 10:56:14 PM »
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  • This was an OK short ... another chase scene ... third epoisode in a row ... do not like them-too repetitive ...

    Larry imitating Shemp speaking in a fishbowl, Shemps shadow boxing, "Those are fighting words in my country!" .... and of course the 4 Stooges on film together are the highlights.

    I will give it a 7 only because of the 4 Stooges together --- that warrants a bump in rating.
    Niagara Falls

    Offline Squirrelbait

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    Re: Hold That Lion! (1947)
    « Reply #2 on: March 21, 2015, 02:12:41 AM »
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  • Moe, Larry, Curly and Shemp. On screen. Together. One of the greatest moments in Stooge history happens right here!
    I always enjoyed the rest of the short as well, it's got some great laughs, and another brilliant performance by Dudley Dickerson.

    This one gets 10/10 for me!
    (I might just have the '10' paddle ready for next week too....)
    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: Hold That Lion! (1947)
    « Reply #3 on: March 21, 2015, 06:19:01 AM »
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  • A great short, even if you don't count the Curly cameo. Moe's 2 dirty fingers, Shemp's shadowboxing dance, I. Slipp all make for a great episode.

    9 out of 10 pokes...
    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: Hold That Lion! (1947)
    « Reply #4 on: March 21, 2015, 06:44:27 AM »
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  • This short does a pretty good job of generating plenty of laughs.  I like laughs.  I watch the Stooges for laughs.  I give this one 9/10, and we are not going to get to my first 10/10 until May, I believe.

    The scenes in the attorneys office are the quintessential Stooge behavior.  Genuine incompetence abounds when combined with Moe's abuses on his brothers.

    Slipp's office is the one that gets this dropped a grade.  The plot lacks in this spot lacks credibility, especially for the Stooges.  First off, the Stooges NEVER split up like that except during chase scenes.  Second, if you are going to search an office with three doors, one to a closet, another to an adjoining office, and the third into the hallway, and you know he's in one of the offices, you DON'T go back into the hallway!!  This makes up for itself, however, with Shemp's shadow-boxing routine (try shadow boxing; it's fun!).  Of course, Shemp does a great job of wimping out, and then the water fountain "Ubb bub blub bub."

    The train scenes include the most touching in Stoogedom with the brothers being together for the only time (though we can discuss Curly's dropped co-starring in MALICE IN THE PALACE later).  Dudley Dickerson does his scare routines best, and it's a shame Columbia never gave him a more star or co-star level role because if anyone could have broken the racial molds from then, it'd have been Dudley.  Heinie Conklin takes his beatings like a man.

    The ending is a bit flat, but Shemp makes good use of some chicken eggs to punish his greedy pals.  It's a pretty good short and one I am not going to walk away from.  We have some shorts better for discussion ahead of us, though.
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    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Hold That Lion! (1947)
    « Reply #5 on: March 21, 2015, 10:09:16 AM »
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  • This short does a pretty good job of generating plenty of laughs.  I like laughs.  I watch the Stooges for laughs.  I give this one 9/10, and we are not going to get to my first 10/10 until May, I believe.

    The scenes in the attorneys office are the quintessential Stooge behavior.  Genuine incompetence abounds when combined with Moe's abuses on his brothers.

    Slipp's office is the one that gets this dropped a grade.  The plot lacks in this spot lacks credibility, especially for the Stooges.  First off, the Stooges NEVER split up like that except during chase scenes.  Second, if you are going to search an office with three doors, one to a closet, another to an adjoining office, and the third into the hallway, and you know he's in one of the offices, you DON'T go back into the hallway!!  This makes up for itself, however, with Shemp's shadow-boxing routine (try shadow boxing; it's fun!).  Of course, Shemp does a great job of wimping out, and then the water fountain "Ubb bub blub bub."

    The train scenes include the most touching in Stoogedom with the brothers being together for the only time (though we can discuss Curly's dropped co-starring in MALICE IN THE PALACE later).  Dudley Dickerson does his scare routines best, and it's a shame Columbia never gave him a more star or co-star level role because if anyone could have broken the racial molds from then, it'd have been Dudley.  Heinie Conklin takes his beatings like a man.

    The ending is a bit flat, but Shemp makes good use of some chicken eggs to punish his greedy pals.  It's a pretty good short and one I am not going to walk away from.  We have some shorts better for discussion ahead of us, though.

    You make an excellent point about the plausibility of the office scene.

    As far as Dudley, I'm not sure if he was actually given co-starring credit, but for all intent and purposes, Columbia did team him up with Hugh Herbert in some shorts, and though it's been a while, I remember some being funny.  Some are available on YouTube, I'll see if I can dig some up in the next few days.

    Offline Lefty

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    Re: Hold That Lion! (1947)
    « Reply #6 on: March 21, 2015, 11:11:30 AM »
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  • Just about all of "Hold That Lion" is a prequel, repeated in future shorts.  "Loose Loot" + "Booty and the Beast" + "Tricky Dicks."

    That stated, there is a lot of good stuff in this short, with Curly's appearance, the activity in the lawyer's office, Dudley Dickerson, the Stooges in bed with the lion resting on their feet, and even with Moe and Larry "egging" Shemp, the Stooges win again overall.

    Is it me, or did Shemp really say about Curly, "What is that, a Cocker Spangle?"

    Offline Dr. Hugo Gansamacher

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    Re: Hold That Lion! (1947)
    « Reply #7 on: March 25, 2015, 02:29:26 PM »
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  • For me this is a very enjoyable short, until the start of the business that gives it its title--the business with the lion. From that point onward, I find it rather a bore. But before that, despite the implausibilities involved in the scene in Slipp's office, it seems to me to work at a high level.

    The scene with Emil Sitka is energized by some great impositions of punishment by Moe--all because Larry remarked that his right palm itches. The high point is the setup in which Moe raises Shemp's knee to his elbow and then kicks the sole of his foot (although the gag will be used with still greater aplomb in Cookoo in a Choo Choo).

    "We'll get that filthy lucre--the moola--the geetus [sp.?]! No slippery guy named Slipp is ever going to cheat us! A zoo! A zo! A zo--" Because of Moe's slapping Larry and Shemp at this point, we cannot know what comes next, but my guess is that it is "A zoo!" and then some more words. It is mildly funny that the two subordinate Stooges would have this rhyming cheer at the ready, with accompanying ritual gestures, but the humor is crowned by Moe's reaction: any attention-getting spontaneous performances by the other Stooges must immediately be punished!

    Kenneth MacDonald is one of my two favorite Stooge heavies (the other being that cubical reservoir of bile, Vernon Dent) and this seems to me one of his best roles. I just love watching him in this.

    More later.

    Offline Dr. Hugo Gansamacher

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    Re: Hold That Lion! (1947)
    « Reply #8 on: March 27, 2015, 04:33:10 PM »
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  • Some observations that, I think, have not yet been made here:

    (1) Add to the list of bizarre names that occur in the shorts "Judge Woodcock R. Sprinker."

    (2) Notable bit of dialogue:

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    Moe: We search the train carefully and give everybody a close . . . uh . . . a close . . . Say, what's a good word for "scrutiny"?

    Shemp: (after thinking a moment) "Scrutiny"!

    Moe: Thanks! (Pokes Shemp in the eyes.)

    (3) The bit in which the Stooges send the train conductor into the private room of a lady who deals him a noisy series of slaps and sends him out with a black eye strikes me as a prefiguration of the "Cousin Basil" scene in Brideless Groom (coming up!).

    (4) The man with the beard whom they mistake for Slipp reminds me of Bustoff. He even sounds a bit like Bustoff and gives the boys a three-in-one slap as Bustoff does (though in anger rather than in mere teasing). I see from the page on this short, however, that the actor is Victor Travers, veteran of many shorts, and not Harrison Greene, who played Bustoff.

    (5) A query: Does anyone understand this exchange between Shemp and Moe just after they have encountered Curly?

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    Shemp: What is that, a cocker spaniel?

    Moe: No, I think he's just a spaniel.

    The best sense that I can make of it is that "cocker" is used as a play on the homophonous Yiddish word that literally means—well, one who defecates. (The Yiddish verb "kaken" is cognate with Italian "caccare," Spanish "cagar," etc., as well as the sadly disused English verb "to cack"; cf. the noun "caca.") I know it mainly from the phrase "alter kaker," roughly equivalent to "old fart." But this doesn't quite pull things together for me: Curly is a spaniel, but he doesn't poop?

    Edited to add: On second thought, the play on "kaker" is probably all there is to it. The joke is not supposed to be witty--just a mildly coarse play on words that will get past the censors but be understood by those members of the audience who know some Yiddish. Though, if that is the joke, then I'm sorry that Moe didn't say, "No, I think he's just a cocker [kaker]"--though that might not have gotten past the censors.

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Hold That Lion! (1947)
    « Reply #9 on: March 28, 2015, 05:52:11 AM »
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  • Hugo, as far as the bizarre name of the judge, check out Shemp in these links below.  Not the first time the name is used in Columbia shorts.  Must've been a name they liked to use.

    http://www.threestooges.net/filmography/episode/276

    http://www.threestooges.net/filmography/episode/277

    http://www.threestooges.net/filmography/episode/281


    Offline Dr. Hugo Gansamacher

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    Re: Hold That Lion! (1947)
    « Reply #10 on: March 28, 2015, 08:42:01 AM »
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  • Hugo, as far as the bizarre name of the judge, check out Shemp in these links below.  Not the first time the name is used in Columbia shorts.  Must've been a name they liked to use.

    http://www.threestooges.net/filmography/episode/276

    http://www.threestooges.net/filmography/episode/277

    http://www.threestooges.net/filmography/episode/281

    Oops--so it's "Strinker" and not "Sprinker." I've never seen any of these shorts, so I had no idea that Shemp was using the name of his own character from earlier movies.

    How do you get to see these, anyway? All I could find on YouTube was a mangled excerpt from Open Season for Saps.

    Offline BeAStooge

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    Offline Dr. Hugo Gansamacher

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    Re: Hold That Lion! (1947)
    « Reply #12 on: March 28, 2015, 09:35:45 AM »
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  • Thanks. It looks as though I have some viewing ahead of me!

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Hold That Lion! (1947)
    « Reply #13 on: March 29, 2015, 12:36:00 AM »
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  • Thanks. It looks as though I have some viewing ahead of me!

    If you have all 190 shorts and the Derita features, I can't think of a better next purchase.  The Shemp stuff is especially worth it.

    Offline Shemp_Diesel

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    Re: Hold That Lion! (1947)
    « Reply #14 on: June 22, 2015, 12:20:50 PM »
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  • I'm guessing I'm the first to bring this up--Larry's little bit in Slipp's office where he has his feet up on the desk, acting like a big shot and chuckling to himself; one of those small things Porcupine is famous for doing & it never fails to put a smile on my face....

     :)

    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 Woe-ee-Woe-Woe80

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    Re: Hold That Lion! (1947)
    « Reply #15 on: December 10, 2017, 12:25:41 PM »
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  • Shemp's first great short and my favorite scene is when the lion was licking Moe's foot and Moe was laughing, I also love the howling noise the lion was making and the stooges tricking the train guard in the ladies room, another scene I love that rarely gets mentioned is the one where the stooges pull on a guy's beard thinking it was fake (which it wasn't), I thought it was great seeing Curly's cameo appearance and all of the stooges together with him, it took me years to figure out that was Curly.

    Overall I give this short a 9/10 and it's the best stooge short released since "Micro-Phonies".