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Author Topic: Blunder Boys (1955)  (Read 1838 times)

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Offline metaldams

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Blunder Boys (1955)
« on: June 30, 2016, 01:56:31 PM »
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  • http://www.threestooges.net/filmography/episode/165
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047890/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ldhyq5kJ9uY

    Watch BLUNDER BOYS in the link above



          The final original Shemp film, the final original Howard/Fine/Howard film.  The Curly shorts and original Shemp shorts are the reasons I, and most of us, I'm assuming, are fans.  Going forward, speaking for me, what is left my interest in is only because of what came before. Some OK moments ahead, but nothing that inspires me to devote four years of my life reviewing on a weekly basis, so BLUNDER BOYS is truly the last of an amazing era, though to be honest, this era has been on life support for a while now.

          OK, so is BLUNDER BOYS any good?  The answer is yes.  Good being the keyword, we ain't talking 1940 Curly here.  I believe this is a spoof on Dragnet (?), well, something not in my wheelhouse, anyway, so perhaps there are some of you who will appreciate this more than I.  This whole thing is purposely episodic, being split up with the "Halladay, Terraday, and whatever holiday" bits, which while funny at first, get old after a while.  It does play as a one note joke done too many times.

          As far as the scenes, some good, if not all time great stuff.  First off, $25 for a college course?  This is why old films are educational and vitally important.  A sentence of a professor's lecture costs more than that these days.  The pure slapstick scenes the boys do seem slower, which is why at this point in their career I'd prefer wittier situational comedies like GYPPED IN THE PENTHOUSE.  I do like "81c" though. The idea of the boys running into a Moe eye gouge simply because he says so is quite funny.  Sure enough, the best stuff is the scene with Angela Stevens and the boys in the Turkish bath. I guess I just enjoy the stuff where they work with younger women, the dirty old men they are.  Hey, I'm just middle aged, I'm getting there.

          For stunt double goodness, check out the very obvious Moe stunt double when he's putting an ax to the table.  The best stunt double is Shemp after being shot through the ceiling.  Notice when "Shemp" falls down, so does a toupee!

         A pretty good film, but not the classic I'd hope this would be.  GOOF ON THE ROOF is the last true classic, BEDLAM IN PARADISE getting help with the benefit of a short that came before.  Still, a good short, and the last time we see all original Howard/Fine/Howard material.  I need a drink.  Could you guys believe we made it this far?  Four more Shemp recycles, four Palma's, 16 Bessers, 5 Deritas, and the journey is over.  Holy shittake mushrooms.  Also want to add, the last short released during Shemp's lifetime.  He died 19 days after its release.

    8/10

    Offline Shemp_Diesel

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    Re: Blunder Boys (1955)
    « Reply #1 on: June 30, 2016, 04:13:39 PM »
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  • Well, I remember a few of the things I loved as a kid watching tv--the stooges being one (obviously) and the other being the show Dragnet with Jack Webb as Joe Friday, so naturally when I saw Blunder Boys for the 1st time, I immediately felt that this was my favorite Shemp short.

    Now--if you were to ask me--what my favorite Shemp is, I might have a hard time picking this one or the much earlier Scrambled Brains.

    At any rate, Blunder for me is easily the last stooge masterpiece & maybe the last one really worth talking about. So many great bits in this one--the opening scene alone has a shitload of great lines, i.e. 3 fingers on the arm of the law & Shemp being the hangnail. I also loved Moe talking about the rear-guard action--it's the only action we knew how to fight.

    The scenes in Alma Matter's office are definitely the best part, especially Larry and Shemp going gaga over Angela Stevens--who can blame them.   :)

    The last time I get to trot out this rating:

    10 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: Blunder Boys (1955)
    « Reply #2 on: June 30, 2016, 05:43:49 PM »
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  • This short isn't an "all-time classic" by a long shot.  It is, however, a stupendous short in its own right, falling under the banner of "worth watching this short because of its own qualities."  It's a keeper.  This is an entirely unique short, being start to finish a parody of the then extremely popular Dragnet.  If you want to see how far society has fallen, watch Dragnet.

    This is an example of a short that would have been great circa 1950.  The boys are clearly slow for their parts; heck they're all in their fifties, Shemp almost 60, at this point.  But they're all excellent under those circumstances.

    Moe here is funderfully cruel, complete with making Shemp and Larry run into an eye gouge in one of those grimace-laughs metaldams loves so much.  Larry flips us all off and gives us more of his glazed-over-eyes bit that he did better than any other Stooge.  Shemp is great as well.  We see Kenneth MacDonald in his only non-villain role, and we only get to see his legendary acting one more time.  We say farewell to long-time supporting actor Al Thompson, one of the most frequent actors seen in these.

    We have three actresses (who pretty much do nothing) who make their only appearance, and one makes her first appearance.  None of them did much except scream for a few seconds, but THREE of the four are confirmed to be alive.  And for once Barbara Bartay doesn't suck!

    The plot, though, just isn't very Stooge-like.  It's a bit odd with them chasing the eel, and the ending of them not catching "The Eel" just isn't very satisfying, but that's why the boys were Last-in-Kadora!  The boys are at their finest here in the first segments.  Handcuffs, axes, attacking Frank Sully, hitting on Angela Stevens, and making funny faces due to smelly cigars.  Once they're in the Biltless, it goes downhill fast.

    8/10

    This may, or may not, depending on how I feel later, be my last rating this eye.  There are a few Joe shorts that are pretty good, but I don't know yet if they're 8 worthy.

    Are the plans to do the solo Shemp, Joe, and Curly Joe appearances once we start the Fake Shemp's still in place?
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    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Blunder Boys (1955)
    « Reply #3 on: June 30, 2016, 06:06:05 PM »
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  • Concerning Barbara Bartay, I agree she's at her best here.  I actually laughed when she commented on Moe's bangs.  Not usually a fan, but here she gets a pass.

    Meant to mention Al Thompson, thanks Paul.  Yes, last appearance, and talk about a guy who made such a small impression, one or two exceptions.  Definitely a bit player if there ever was one, PARDON MY SCOTCH aside.  He does one or two shots in DUCK SOUP towards the end (Marx Brothers, not Laurel and Hardy) as a soldier who gets knocked around.

    Yeah, I'll do the solo shorts too in about seven weeks, I think.

    Offline Shemp_Diesel

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    Re: Blunder Boys (1955)
    « Reply #4 on: June 30, 2016, 06:25:06 PM »
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  • "Moella, shall we take a sunbath?"

    "No, no, Larry-eta, let us take a scramola."

    "Not me, I want to linger with the rest of the girls--you dear you."

    "Stooge *slap* what's the matter with-chu?"
    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 Kopfy2013

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    Re: Blunder Boys (1955)
    « Reply #5 on: July 01, 2016, 01:23:06 PM »
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  • It is ashame that the last Howard/Fine/Howard original was somewhat weak in my opinion.  The war scene was bad.

    I thought Larry on the ledge, Shemp on the horse and the handcuff scenes were stupid.

    I did like the hot pack given to Moe ... and the Turkish bath women!

    It is great they did a spoof of Dragnet ... I just wish it was better.

    I give it a 6.
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    Offline Signor Spumoni

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    Re: Blunder Boys (1955)
    « Reply #6 on: July 01, 2016, 02:34:49 PM »
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  • I should watch this again before commenting because my only clear recollection of "Blunder Boys" are the parts where they parody "Dragnet."  Those are the parts I enjoy most.  For me, Shemp's yukking it up over his own bad puns makes those parts funny.  I also like the beginning where the police call box shakes when Moe closes its door. 

    Forgot to add:  I *love* Shemp's Groundhog/ground hog pun.  I also enjoy seeing Moe's just-too-large glencheck jacket with that loud tie.

    Offline Signor Spumoni

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    Re: Blunder Boys (1955)
    « Reply #7 on: July 01, 2016, 03:35:22 PM »
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  • By the way - - Mrs. M-M, In the "Dragnet" parody segments, Shemp appears to be wearing that bashed-in hat which we wanted you to see.  The question arose, when Moe wore it in a previous short, whether you think it was a legitimate style for the time.

    Offline Lefty

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    Re: Blunder Boys (1955)
    « Reply #8 on: July 02, 2016, 10:37:03 AM »
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  • "I'm Hallday."  "I'm Hamels."  "I'm Lee."  "I'm Oswalt."  Wait a week, wrong grouping.  Actually, for having an original short so late in Shemp's career and life, it's pretty good.  Yes, the Halladay/Terraday/Holiday shtick is the best part.  The scenes at the college and at the Turkish bath are enjoyable as well.  I still cannot figure out why Kenneth MacDonald was not used as a villain in this short.  It's like if Captain Binghamton wasn't the bad guy in a McHale's Navy episode.

    Offline Desmond Of The Outer Sanctorum

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    Re: Blunder Boys (1955)
    « Reply #9 on: July 02, 2016, 11:16:58 AM »
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  • Where is Kadora, anyway?
    "Give me a smart idiot over a stupid genius any day." -- Samuel Goldwyn

    Many would rather believe a lie because truth demands a response.

    Offline GreenCanaries

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    Re: Blunder Boys (1955)
    « Reply #10 on: July 03, 2016, 12:29:45 AM »
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  •       For stunt double goodness, check out the very obvious Moe stunt double when he's putting an ax to the table.  The best stunt double is Shemp after being shot through the ceiling.  Notice when "Shemp" falls down, so does a toupee!

    The Great JK, in one of his last roles -- possibly his last bit of actual doubling that I know of, anyway; I know he has a few more extra roles in the Besser era.

    (3S.net says he's also the waiter and Shemp's double, but I disagree on both counts.)
    "With oranges, it's much harder..."

    Offline Dr. Hugo Gansamacher

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    Re: Blunder Boys (1955)
    « Reply #11 on: July 03, 2016, 11:34:56 AM »
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  • The idea of the Stooges doing a parody of Dragnet was a good one. Of course Moe should take Jack Webb's part and talk in a grave monotone about "nothing but the facts," and he and Larry should play it straight when identifying themselves while Shemp does something screwy. But, as Metaldams said, it gets old.

    The first of the flashback scenes has the Stooges in combat. The best thing in this scene to my eye is the bombshell that travels through the scene at about five miles per hour. The rest is pretty stale.

    Things get quite a lot better in the next scene, in Alma Matter's office. The sequence of Larry's laborious attempt to sound intelligent ("In the lexicon of crime, it is theoretically propounded that passion, inhibition, and delinquency are the major contributing factors"), Moe's sesquipedalian addendum ("Not to mention corruption of mind, detestations, and schizophrenia"), and Shemp's rhyming monosyllabic summation ("A jerk with the quirk may do the work, or a Turk with a dirk may stick a clerk") is charmingly concluded with the boys congratulating one another in a mixture of Yiddish ("Gut gezakt?") and some romance language ("Viva!"). As Moe says, very periphrastic.

    I find the juvenile slavering over Angela Stevens pretty tedious, but the concluding administration of head conks and "number 81c" by Moe to the other two makes up for that. I think this is the only instance in which the formulaic or ritual character of Moe's punishments is made explicit. One can imagine an illustrated handbook of them, though it is difficult to imagine that the number of distinct punishments would be anywhere near 80. Still, one wonders what 81a and b are.

    The next flashback scene has our college boys in beanies practicing the use of handcuffs. My favorite moment occurs just after they discover that they have no key, when they react to their predicament in what they fancy to be a rational manner by circling around another, as if they could get out of the cuffs by simply changing their respective positions—especially when Larry gives directions with a great air of assurance ("I know, I know! Down, fellas—wait a minute!"). Second favorite moment is Shemp's swinging the pointed end of the ax into his behind and howling, "A dog bit me!"

    The third flashback scene gives us Kenneth MacDonald as F. B. Eye, captain of detectives. Not much funny here until Moe has Shemp take a good whiff of the cigar stub. La Stinkadora indeed.

    And then the slippery Eel. A whole lot of non-funny stuff there.

    Edited to add: Oh, yes: the "Biltless" Hotel. Opposite the Biltmore. Nyuk nyuk nyuk.

    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Blunder Boys (1955)
    « Reply #12 on: July 04, 2016, 11:26:35 PM »
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  • I'm not sure what they number it, and I'm not going to go find it, but they do that same running-into-Moe's-fingers-with-their-eyes bit on that Ed Wynn kinescope that's around somewhere.  Ed Wynn's reaction is perfection: complete gross-out/freak-out.  His reaction gets a big laugh, and, IMHO, saves an extremely brutal bit.
         BTW, if you haven't seen it, and I think we've all seen it, they recreate the sandbag-dropping-while-singing bit from Soup To Nuts, and it would have been great if Wynn had actually been clobbered for the finish - as it was, either the equipment malfunctioned or Wynn refused to get clobbered, so the finish is very lame.  If wishes were horses, the Stooges would have sung You'll Never Know, and Wynn would have taken one for the team in a big way at the finish.

    Offline Tony Bensley

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    Re: Blunder Boys (1955)
    « Reply #13 on: February 03, 2018, 12:02:43 AM »
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  • BLUNDER BOYS is a most welcome oasis in the midst of The Stooges stock footage drudgery that was all too common by 1955.

    By the way, did anyone else notice Larry give a sort of reverse middle finger during one of the Halladay, Tarraday, Holiday segments?  It was most unexpected!

    We also get a glimpse of Shemp's fat double when he goes partway through the ceiling!

    This is more of a general observation, but it seemed that about one out of every 4 or 5 shorts were original.  Had Shemp lived long enough, The Stooges might have had another 2 to 3 years of rebuilt remakes before reaching the end of their original Shemp era material.

    Anyway, BLUNDER BOYS gets 8/10 from me.  I found this one fun and enjoyable!

    CHEERS!  [pie]