Watch HE COOKED HIS GOOSE in the link above
Before really discussing this short, I would like to get something out of the way about Thelia/Diana Darrin, making her Stooge debut. A very pretty girl who would appear in future shorts, and she even appeared at a Stooge convention. Fortunately, as I type this, she's still with us. However, before any of you comment on the air conditioner being turned up to ten in her scene, there is something you need to know about her when this was filmed. Please click the YouTube link below before reading the rest of the review.https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=GlN3oEjMpUQ
OK, that out of the way, HE COOKED HIS GOOSE may not be a classic, but it is an experimental and completely fascinating short. As a reviewer, I appreciate this, especially when in the not too distant future we have week after week of stock footage jobs to discuss. For the second week in a row, the Stooges fight over women. However, unlike in CORNY CASANOVAS, the boys are not a team, and the love angle is not linear, it's more complex. A few twists and turns here, where as last week, the boys all went through the same issue with the same girl and only found out in the end.
The highlight of this short is unquestionably Larry. Here, instead of being the middle man, he gets to play a completely unethical would be casanova. He plays the role well. I don't know if I'm imagining things, by his hair appears even more wild than usual, as as his facial expressions in his close ups. If you're a Larry fan, and you want a short where he stretches out, throw this in with WOMAN HATERS, THREE LOAN WOLVES, and another short coming up very soon. I also enjoy the little musical theme they play whenever Larry gets a screwball idea in his head. Also observe how the only basic Stooge slapstick scene in this short is Larry dashing it out t a defenseless Moe! The Stooge dynamic really changed for this one short.
The complicated love angle is interesting, the only problem is the normal Stooge shenanigans they try to throw in seem forced in a more complicated plot than usual. Shemp coming down the chimney as Santa, normally a pleasant idea, seems too far fetched and childlike in this more adult themed script. So does all the slapstick that follows. The birdseed stuff, the clam scene, the painful business of Shemp ringing out the dog (a bad Jules White animal gag), just don't belong in this kind of script.
Another note. Shot in early 1952, HE COOKED HIS GOOSE was filmed about two weeks before the death of Curly. As for my rating, it's a 6 on its own, but in the canon of Stooge work, its fascinating uniqueness is a 10. Therefore, I give this an.....