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Author Topic: Shivering Sherlocks (1948)  (Read 1726 times)

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Offline metaldams

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Shivering Sherlocks (1948)
« on: April 17, 2015, 10:48:29 PM »
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  • http://www.threestooges.net/filmography/episode/104
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0040781/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=oN08Y5e-r_I

    Watch SHIVERING SHERLOCKS in the link above



          It's been a while since we've seen Del Lord, not since BOOBY DUPES, which was in 1945 and twenty shorts ago.  Since then, Del Lord would show up sporadically doing the occasional non Stooge Columbia short and even graduated to features, including an early Bowery Boys entry.  All time, he is my favorite Stooge director.  The series got really strong once he entered with POP GOES THE EASEL and that starting five short run of his plus the classics he did in the late thirties and forties are the stuff of legend.  Sadly, he did show signs of slowing down quality wise towards the end, and SHIVERING SHERLOCKS is not a great way to close.

          SHIVERING SHERLOCKS is merely OK.  It has merit for Stooge fans, but it's one of those shorts that's missing that real classic gag sequence and the story is not the best.  If you're missing the former, at least give me the latter.  Oh, they attempt a classic gag sequence, recycling the oyster soup gag Curly did so brilliantly in DUTIFUL BUT DUMB.  They give the gag to Moe, who instead of acting like Moe, acts like Curly!  The squeals, the face palming, the timing, he's really trying to impersonate his brother.  Moe is great acting like Moe, and there will be later Shemp shorts where the boys are simply in a room with tools and Moe gets to be Moe.  The world is a better place for having those shorts.  Here, Moe's attempt at being Curly comes across as being misguided. 

          While I'm in bitching mode, this is one of Christine McIntyre's least satisfying roles.  She almost seems bored, which is so rare for her.  I can't blame her, there's no meat to her role.  She's simply a store owner who can't pay her bills, and she later becomes a damsel in distress.  The boys help her, but it would've been nice if they had a more fleshed out character to work with.  Think CASH AND CARRY.  Think of how something simple like the math scene or the boys giving back to the young siblings added humanity to that short.  Something like that here would've been more appropriate than the bounced check scene, which worked against the heroine they're trying to help.

          OK, enough of me being a downer, like I said, there's some merit here.  There are some nice production touches, especially the intro, which plays like a good film noir of the era.  The introduction of the boys, with Shemp's garbage line and them biting each other's feet in the trash can is one of the best intros of the boys out there.  Kenneth MacDonald and Frank Lackteen are fun to watch, and I swear they are trying to act like Karloff and Lugosi, respectively (a shame neither worked with The Three Stooges).  Angel is a bit creepy as well!  Shemp is in high spirits throughout the short, and I love watching him drop barrels from above on the bad guys.  The best part of the short, besides the intro, would have to be the lie detector scene.  Just a fun energetic scene with the boys and Vernon.  I love Larry showing his visible means of support, and the lie detector's reaction to Vernon's lodge meeting!

          Del Lord, thanks for all the laughs.

    7/10





    Offline Shemp_Diesel

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    Re: Shivering Sherlocks (1948)
    « Reply #1 on: April 18, 2015, 02:24:54 AM »
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  • This short is interesting for me because I would say it's the one rare time where the Jules White stock footage remake is superior--the only case where I would make that statement. But--on its own merits--Sherlocks is still passable, especially if you're willing to overlook the plotholes (holes which would get filled in the remake).

    The best part of Sherlocks is definitely the opening with the boys in the trash can and the later "lie detector" scene. I wonder what Vernon was really doing at 11 O' clock.   :laugh:

    Where this short--and its remake--tail off for me is when the stooges get to the old, deserted house. I've harped on this before & I'll bring it up again--the stooges doing "spookhouse" antics was not their strong suit. If I want to see a comedian in a haunted house, I would rather it be Lou Costello--maybe that's just me.

    Oh, and I forgot to mention the good paint/coffee scene with Vernon and Shemp (this is better)...

    6 out of 10...


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    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: Shivering Sherlocks (1948)
    « Reply #2 on: April 18, 2015, 03:56:19 AM »
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  • Metaldams summarized all my feelings in his review.  Thanks for being a pal and saving me the typing!
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    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Shivering Sherlocks (1948)
    « Reply #3 on: April 18, 2015, 02:39:24 PM »
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  • Yeah, very average.  Perfectly watchable, but let's say not a treat.  Usually, the first time they try a concept is the best and it goes downhill the more they remake it, but later Shemp spookies are better than this, notably, of course, Who Done It.  Moe's clam chowder sequence is cringe-worthy, a total embarrassment.

    Offline Dr. Hugo Gansamacher

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    Re: Shivering Sherlocks (1948)
    « Reply #4 on: April 18, 2015, 04:26:32 PM »
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  • Ah, yes--the "Ee-light" Café! I wonder if the word "élite" was widely pronounced that way in 1948. I don't think the word was as commonly used then as it has become in more recent decades.

    As noted, there is no satisfying long sequence in this one; but there are a few good minor gags along the way:

    • Police detective Vernon Dent breaking the lie detector by telling Shemp, "I was at a lodge meeting."
    • Moe going through the checks signed by customers who don't pay: Larry Fine (slap!), Shemp Howard (slap!), and Moe Howard--"What are you guys looking at?" (slap!). Shemp's line scolding Larry is notable: "You've got a lot of crust, you have!"
    • Stanley Blystone resolutely ordering short ribs from Larry and making sure that Larry gets the point: "SHORT RIBS!"--"Short ribs!"
    • Shemp test-drinking the paint and then the coffee. "Eebeebeebeebee! This [the paint] is better!"

    Edited to add: I ought also to have mentioned the bit (mentioned by Shemp_Diesel and Kopfy2013) in which the Stooges emerge from the garbage can and bite each others' feet.

    Offline Kopfy2013

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    Re: Shivering Sherlocks (1948)
    « Reply #5 on: April 18, 2015, 06:02:17 PM »
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  •  I debated giving this short a 7 or 8.  I went with the 8.

    I was entertained and really liked Shemp in this short. In the garbage can, with the police, at lie detector, when he thought head was chomped off, his interaction with Angel. Curly was better in the kitchen though.
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    Offline Signor Spumoni

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    Re: Shivering Sherlocks (1948)
    « Reply #6 on: April 18, 2015, 09:14:07 PM »
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  • Ah, yes--the "Ee-light" Café! I wonder if the word "élite" was widely pronounced that way in 1948. I don't think the word was as commonly used then as it has become in more recent decades.

    I think the word was pronounced that way to demonstrate Shemp's lack of smarts.  The radio show, "Duffy's Tavern," used the word often because the fictional tavern's slogan was, "Where the elite meet to eat."  It was always pronounced correctly.  DT came on the air around 1940-1941, which predates this short.

    Offline Dr. Hugo Gansamacher

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    Re: Shivering Sherlocks (1948)
    « Reply #7 on: April 18, 2015, 09:17:36 PM »
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  • I think the word was pronounced that way to demonstrate Shemp's lack of smarts.  The radio show, "Duffy's Tavern," used the word often because the fictional tavern's slogan was, "Where the elite meet to eat."  It was always pronounced correctly.  DT came on the air around 1940-1941, which predates this short.

    Thanks for the historical information. The first time (or some early time) that I saw the short, I couldn't understand what Shemp said when he named the restaurant. Then when the window with the name on it appeared, I thought: "That's not what Shemp said!" It was only on the next viewing that I figured out that he was pronouncing "élite" as "ee-light."

    Offline Signor Spumoni

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    Re: Shivering Sherlocks (1948)
    « Reply #8 on: April 18, 2015, 09:19:11 PM »
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  • Thanks for the historical information. The first time (or some early time) that I saw the short, I couldn't understand what Shemp said when he named the restaurant. Then when the window with the name on it appeared, I thought: "That's not what Shemp said!" It was only on the next viewing that I figured out that he was pronouncing "élite" as "ee-light."

    You're welcome.  I had exactly the same experience with that word when I saw this short.  :)

    Offline Signor Spumoni

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    Re: Shivering Sherlocks (1948)
    « Reply #9 on: July 07, 2017, 09:19:39 PM »
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  • This is a small addendum to the pronunciation of "elite."  I was reading Jules Tygiel's introduction to a 1995 printing of Roy Campanella's autobiography, and saw this:  "...he found himself catching for the Baltimore Elite  (pronounced E-Light) Giants, one of the great Negro League teams of the Depression and World War II era."  Pronunciations change with time and place.  I retract my assertion that Shemp's "E-Light Cafe" pronunciation was for comedy effect only.  If I had an elite education, I would know better than that.  :)