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Author Topic: Rumpus in the Harem (1956)  (Read 3008 times)

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Offline metaldams

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Rumpus in the Harem (1956)
« on: August 04, 2016, 07:35:10 PM »
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  • http://threestooges.net/filmography/episode/170
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049695/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QF1pD7oUTqo

    Watch RUMPUS IN THE HAREM in the link above




          This week, we plunge deeper into a lower ring of Pandemonium.  We start the Moe, Larry, and some guy named Joe era, our first Joe being Joe Palma, the double for the now deceased Shemp.  I will, in the below paragraph, get on my soapbox about this era, which lasted about a week if you count filming dates.

          Morally, I'm not one of these guys who says Harry Cohn, or Jules White, or whoever your boogeyman of choice may be, should burn in Hell for this.  Business is business.  They had four shorts left on their contract and probably a deadline to meet.  Did the contract call for Shemp?  I'm not sure, but I'd love to know.  These were filmed seven weeks after Shemp's death, so it's not like they were rushed in a day after the funeral.  Also, Moe and Larry carried on the act with Besser, so it's not like they were ready to quit, and from my understanding, at least Larry needed to work.  It's unfortunate Shemp died, but it's show business, both words of equal importance. 

          That out of the way, artistically, this thing's a turkey.  The ending is beyond rushed, and Palma running around with pre recorded (or perhaps ghostly), Shemp noises might be the most bizarre moment in Stoogedom.  It's comical in an Ed Wood way, ironic since Mr. Wood gave Bela Lugosi the Palma treatment shortly after this in PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE.  Anywho, the most fascinating thing about RUMPUS IN THE HAREM, besides Palma, is that it proves after all these years, Suzanne Ridgeway is not a mute.  Kind of interesting the way they skirt around Shemp in the opening scene as well, I suppose.

          This short is a turd, but the fact it contains a few funny scenes from MALICE IN THE PALACE makes this still better than SELF MADE MAIDS.  Ponder that for a while.

    3/10


    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: Rumpus in the Harem (1956)
    « Reply #1 on: August 05, 2016, 05:41:31 AM »
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  •       Morally, I'm not one of these guys who says Harry Cohn, or Jules White, or whoever your boogeyman of choice may be, should burn in Hell for this.  Business is business.  They had four shorts left on their contract and probably a deadline to meet.  Did the contract call for Shemp?  I'm not sure, but I'd love to know.  These were filmed seven weeks after Shemp's death, so it's not like they were rushed in a day after the funeral.  Also, Moe and Larry carried on the act with Besser, so it's not like they were ready to quit, and from my understanding, at least Larry needed to work.  It's unfortunate Shemp died, but it's show business, both words of equal importance. 

    Yes, they had already sold eight 1955-1956 Stooge shorts with the theaters thinking they were buying Shemp films.  Why they couldn't work out a deal for the theaters to get "someone other than Shemp" is what I'd like to know.  Especially with such insensitive shorts as SCHEMING SCHEMERS coming along.  There must have been something in how those shorts were contracted that required them to be Shemp shorts.

    Could someone shed some light (no Jon Solomon references, please) on how exactly the Stooge's contracts were structured?
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    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: Rumpus in the Harem (1956)
    « Reply #2 on: August 05, 2016, 05:47:58 AM »
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  • Required reading: MALICE IN THE PALACE thread

    RUMPUS IN THE HAREM is a train wreck.  We return to hell: poor stock splice jobs.  We get a guy named Palma doubling for missing people, as he did for post-mortem Cy Schindell and even for missing people in the Besser solo appearances!

    Self-Made Maids is, IMO, better than this "turkey" on various levels.  The fact that 4 shorts were made in 7 days just tells that everyone wanted to get this over with and move on to a new beginning, which would be the Besser era.  The new scenes here suck on a level no other Stooge scene has sucked.  The new co-stars suck on a level no other Stooge short has sucked.  But, hey, it gets better AND worse over these four "Fake Shemp" shorts.

    Shemp's appearance here is as astounding as Bud Jamison's in RHYTHM AND WEEP.

    Bleh.  I haven't felt this indifferent to a short in quite a while.

    2/10 [poke] [poke]
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    Offline Shemp_Diesel

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    Re: Rumpus in the Harem (1956)
    « Reply #3 on: August 05, 2016, 02:14:49 PM »
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  • I don't know where to start--I guess I'm one of those guys who understands that business is business, and especially during the olden days how the show must go on. But, shouldn't there be a point where "human decency" should come into play, contracts or no contracts?

    I'm sure everybody involved here understood how beyond stupid the idea of a "Shemp body double" was? I can only imagine how Larry and especially Moe must've felt, having to pretend that Palma was Shemp. Poor Moe and Larry--basically the only reason to give this drivel even one poke.

    The real question is, did the series get any better once Besser joined?

    1 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 Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Rumpus in the Harem (1956)
    « Reply #4 on: August 05, 2016, 02:23:42 PM »
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  • I need a shower after watching this.  The Schmow disappears with only a slight bubbling noise.  ( I always thought it was spelled Schmo. )  The replacement guard looks and talks nothing like the original.  The girlfriends speak in unison, a Jules White/not-of-this-planet invention I've always loathed.  I never really liked the dog-and-cat scene, even in the original. And are the girlfriends doubling as harem girls?  Just out of curiosity, Paul Pain, where did Palma double Cy Schindell?  Pardon me, I have to take my shower now.  A very long, very hot shower.

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: Rumpus in the Harem (1956)
    « Reply #5 on: August 05, 2016, 02:32:42 PM »
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  • I need a shower after watching this.  The Schmow disappears with only a slight bubbling noise.  ( I always thought it was spelled Schmo. )  The replacement guard looks and talks nothing like the original.  The girlfriends speak in unison, a Jules White/not-of-this-planet invention I've always loathed.  I never really liked the dog-and-cat scene, even in the original. And are the girlfriends doubling as harem girls?  Just out of curiosity, Paul Pain, where did Palma double Cy Schindell?  Pardon me, I have to take my shower now.  A very long, very hot shower.

    I agree withe hatred of speaking in unison.  None of the girlfriends doubled as Harem girls, but one of said harem girls was Harriette Tarler, an actress who is going to get shredded to pieces by me in early September.

    In HOT ICE, Joe Palma doubles for Cy Schindell in the new/redone scenes in Dapper's office.  At points, it's so bad you get an extended facial shot of Palma.  And that is clearly Palma's voice when they're jumping out the window at the end...

    When you take that shower, don't forget to also wash your clothes... with Fuz...
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    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Rumpus in the Harem (1956)
    « Reply #6 on: August 05, 2016, 02:35:53 PM »
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  • I don't know where to start--I guess I'm one of those guys who understands that business is business, and especially during the olden days how the show must go on. But, shouldn't there be a point where "human decency" should come into play, contracts or no contracts?

    I'm sure everybody involved here understood how beyond stupid the idea of a "Shemp body double" was? I can only imagine how Larry and especially Moe must've felt, having to pretend that Palma was Shemp. Poor Moe and Larry--basically the only reason to give this drivel even one poke.

    The real question is, did the series get any better once Besser joined?

    1 out of 10...

    I guess I would be more upset if a new contract was signed after Shemp's death with original intentions of using a Shemp double.  The reality is Shemp's death was sudden and we have no idea what kind of time frame they were on.  I agree with Paul Payne, I would love contract details.  Diesel, it's almost the same thing with AC/DC these days.  I'm cool with them filling in already promised contractual obligations with Axl, but continuing on beyond the obligations without Brian Johnson is when it gets ludicrous.  I hope Angus calls it quits after, but even then, it's his life.   The Stooges continued with Besser, and they chose to continue working without Shemp.  You're probably right Moe and Larry didn't enjoy pretending Palma was Shemp, but did they object?  I'm not sure. 

    Obviously, I'm speaking on moral grounds.  Artistically, we all agree....this is shit.

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: Rumpus in the Harem (1956)
    « Reply #7 on: August 05, 2016, 02:39:51 PM »
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  • Artistically, we all agree....this is shit.

    Preach it!
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    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Rumpus in the Harem (1956)
    « Reply #8 on: August 05, 2016, 02:41:37 PM »
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  • I need a shower after watching this.  The Schmow disappears with only a slight bubbling noise.  ( I always thought it was spelled Schmo. )  The replacement guard looks and talks nothing like the original.  The girlfriends speak in unison, a Jules White/not-of-this-planet invention I've always loathed.  I never really liked the dog-and-cat scene, even in the original. And are the girlfriends doubling as harem girls?  Just out of curiosity, Paul Pain, where did Palma double Cy Schindell?  Pardon me, I have to take my shower now.  A very long, very hot shower.

    The girls speaking in unison, totally am in unison with you on that.  Hate it.

    Offline BeatleShemp

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    Re: Rumpus in the Harem (1956)
    « Reply #9 on: August 05, 2016, 06:52:31 PM »
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  • I remember seeing this on the Goodtimes Volume 1 collection. And I always swore that "Shemp" was not Shemp, and I was correct. Then seeing all of the MALICE IN THE PALACE footage, I remember thinking "What the hell is this?" Knowing the history now about the budget and cost cutting Jules and Company were doing at Columbia, I get why they did it. And it still sucks.  But I am going to try to find the merits in this as best as possible. I always loved the bit where Moe poured the water over a sleeping Larry, only for Larry to reply, "Man the lifeboats. Me and the women first." Always cracked me up. I also liked the bit where Larry says, "The Emir of Schmow's a cutthroat! Suppose he cuts my throat," to which Moe casually replies, "So you'll look like you have two mouths." Very funny. But you could tell Moe and Larry were just going through motions and fulfilling their contract until they could start filming with Joe Besser. I give it a 4 poke.

    Offline Desmond Of The Outer Sanctorum

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    Re: Rumpus in the Harem (1956)
    « Reply #10 on: August 06, 2016, 08:24:48 AM »
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  • The real question is, did the series get any better once Besser joined?

    Almost anything the Stooges did was better than having the Fake Shemp (except maybe some parts of the Curly-Joe era... but I digress).

    Ah, yes, the Fake Shemp -- the most shameful and mock-worthy chapter of the Stooges saga. Did anyone really think this would work? I don't know. Was anyone actually fooled by it, back in the days in the theatre when shorts couldn't be re-watched at leisure? I really wonder.

    I think it says something about the Fake Shemp era that the extent of Palma's fake-Shemp-ing declined over the space of the 4 shorts. In RUMPUS we see it the most.

    When Palma is being chased around in circles, they at least bothered to have Shemp's voice dubbed in. Why couldn't they have done the same at the end in the jumping-out-the-window scene?

    As might be expected, Moe and Larry do what they can with the new footage, as little as they were given to work with. But having to pretend Shemp's there when he's not was just never going to work.
    "Give me a smart idiot over a stupid genius any day." -- Samuel Goldwyn

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    Offline Dr. Hugo Gansamacher

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    Re: Rumpus in the Harem (1956)
    « Reply #11 on: August 09, 2016, 09:23:42 AM »
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  • Two Stooges and a Corpse. Bleah.

    Offline Lefty

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    Re: Rumpus in the Harem (1956)
    « Reply #12 on: August 09, 2016, 03:25:07 PM »
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  • Let's use some quotes from WWE bodies Big Cass (1) and Degeneration X (2):

    1.  "There is only ONE word to describe this, and I'm gonna SPELL -- IT -- OUT for ya:  S-A-W-F-T -- Sawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwft!"

    2.  "I got two words for ya -- S*** IT!"

    If it is true that Harry Cohn ordered these F.S. shorts to go on, well, he always looked like someone whose face you would want to smash in.

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: Rumpus in the Harem (1956)
    « Reply #13 on: August 09, 2016, 07:12:19 PM »
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  • Let's use some quotes from WWE bodies Big Cass (1) and Degeneration X (2):

    1.  "There is only ONE word to describe this, and I'm gonna SPELL -- IT -- OUT for ya:  S-A-W-F-T -- Sawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwft!"

    2.  "I got two words for ya -- S*** IT!"

    If it is true that Harry Cohn ordered these F.S. shorts to go on, well, he always looked like someone whose face you would want to smash in.

    The theaters had already purchased and been guaranteed 8 Three Stooges shorts for 1956.  It was come hell or high water, at that point, and it's not really something that can be blamed on Harry Cohn.  Doesn't change Red Skelton's famous statement though...
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    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Rumpus in the Harem (1956)
    « Reply #14 on: August 09, 2016, 10:08:34 PM »
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  • I'm not sure what this means, but remember that all available evidence shows that Harry Cohn LIKED the stooges, considered them good luck, and kept them on and working to some degree until the day he died.  Consider the many thousands of actors over the years, at all the studios, who were dumped, blacklisted, unwillingly retired, etc. with no notice, no severance, no pension, nothing, during all those many years that the stooges were active. The stooges were coddled compared to most. Someone was watching over their asses all those years, through the illnesses, the deaths, the cast changes, and the ever- diminishing quality. No one else got that kind of slack,  and let's face it, it's probable that that overseer was Harry Cohn.  Remember that the stooges got canned on the day of Harry's funeral, which tells me that no one else at Columbia cared a rat's ass for them and indeed couldn't wait one more day to be rid of them.  Yes, the Dead Shemps are atrocious, even fifty years after I first saw them I can hardly bring myself to watch them, and maybe business was business and they had to be patched together  for distribution somehow, and Cohn certainly has the reputation of being one of the most vicious businessmen of all time,  but they didn't have to renew with Besser. The whole thing could have ended there.  Cohn could have ended it at any juncture from 1946 on, really, he had unassailable clout, but he didn't.  He kept them on, even though their economic value to Columbia from, let's say, 1953 to 1957 was, I would guess, zero.  He was still taking care of the team ( at least Moe and Larry, once Shemp was gone ) maybe because he still considered the stooges his talisman,  maybe just to make his good luck charm a few more bucks.  Agreed that nobody, not the studio nor the family, read Babe's nor Shemp's grave health situations correctly, certainly not by the light of our seventy-years-later medical knowledge, but aside from those two medical and business catastrophes,  and always bearing in mind our current knowledge that, despite the decades-long rumors, the stooges actually received regular raises and were paid fairly, and despite production abortions like the Dead Shemps, Harry Cohn's Columbia treated the Three Stooges pretty well.

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: Rumpus in the Harem (1956)
    « Reply #15 on: August 10, 2016, 07:15:27 AM »
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  • I'm not sure what this means, but remember that all available evidence shows that Harry Cohn LIKED the stooges, considered them good luck, and kept them on and working to some degree until the day he died.  Consider the many thousands of actors over the years, at all the studios, who were dumped, blacklisted, unwillingly retired, etc. with no notice, no severance, no pension, nothing, during all those many years that the stooges were active. The stooges were coddled compared to most. Someone was watching over their asses all those years, through the illnesses, the deaths, the cast changes, and the ever- diminishing quality. No one else got that kind of slack,  and let's face it, it's probable that that overseer was Harry Cohn.  Remember that the stooges got canned on the day of Harry's funeral, which tells me that no one else at Columbia cared a rat's ass for them and indeed couldn't wait one more day to be rid of them.  Yes, the Dead Shemps are atrocious, even fifty years after I first saw them I can hardly bring myself to watch them, and maybe business was business and they had to be patched together  for distribution somehow, and Cohn certainly has the reputation of being one of the most vicious businessmen of all time,  but they didn't have to renew with Besser. The whole thing could have ended there.  Cohn could have ended it at any juncture from 1946 on, really, he had unassailable clout, but he didn't.  He kept them on, even though their economic value to Columbia from, let's say, 1953 to 1957 was, I would guess, zero.  He was still taking care of the team ( at least Moe and Larry, once Shemp was gone ) maybe because he still considered the stooges his talisman,  maybe just to make his good luck charm a few more bucks.  Agreed that nobody, not the studio nor the family, read Babe's nor Shemp's grave health situations correctly, certainly not by the light of our seventy-years-later medical knowledge, but aside from those two medical and business catastrophes,  and always bearing in mind our current knowledge that, despite the decades-long rumors, the stooges actually received regular raises and were paid fairly, and despite production abortions like the Dead Shemps, Harry Cohn's Columbia treated the Three Stooges pretty well.

    ^^^This.  As scummy as Harry was to other people, he actually treated the Stooges (and Andy Clyde) well, to the extent that he kept the shorts department open after just about every other movie producer had shut them down.  Clyde and the Stooges were the last two sets of shorts Columbia produced, with Clyde being released in 1956 and the Stooges in 1957.  He personally liked the shorts himself, which was probably the biggest reason why he kept the department around.
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    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Rumpus in the Harem (1956)
    « Reply #16 on: August 10, 2016, 08:32:25 PM »
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  • Don't have much to add to what Big Chief and Paul said, but very well said indeed.

    Offline Desmond Of The Outer Sanctorum

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    Re: Rumpus in the Harem (1956)
    « Reply #17 on: August 11, 2016, 06:32:11 AM »
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  • Very interesting insights and much value added to the thread. Thanks again, Chief.
    "Give me a smart idiot over a stupid genius any day." -- Samuel Goldwyn

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    Offline Kopfy2013

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    Re: Rumpus in the Harem (1956)
    « Reply #18 on: August 19, 2016, 07:44:49 PM »
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  • Could someone shed some light (no Jon Solomon references, please) on how exactly the Stooge's contracts were structured?

    What's wrong with Jon Solomon

    despite the decades-long rumors, the stooges actually received regular raises

    This is news to me.  Where is this documented?  I always thought for the shorts they received the same amount from short 1 to the end.

    I give this a 6 because of the restaurant scene, an all-time classic.

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    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Rumpus in the Harem (1956)
    « Reply #19 on: August 19, 2016, 07:58:03 PM »
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  • I think many contracts are in the Stoogeum.  I'm sure that the big boys here can confirm this, probably Metaldams has that info.

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Rumpus in the Harem (1956)
    « Reply #20 on: August 19, 2016, 08:08:30 PM »
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  • I think many contracts are in the Stoogeum.  I'm sure that the big boys here can confirm this, probably Metaldams has that info.

    I'm not that connected.  I just review these things.  I too am curious about the contracts around this time.

    Offline Tony Bensley

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    Re: Rumpus in the Harem (1956)
    « Reply #21 on: February 04, 2018, 12:01:00 PM »
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  • Well, in my opinion, the Shemp workaround in the opening scene was downright cheesy!  Of course, there was no way for Moe to really retaliate for Shemp's unannounced "disappearance"!  UGH!!!!  I also found the ladies sqawking in unison extremely annoying, and in fact, actually turned the sound down at that point!

    That said, I do find it a bit encouraging that RUMPUS IN THE HAREM represents Joe Palma's peak "Fake Shemp" utilization, so to speak!  I guess this Joe was the resident replacement Floater for the Columbia Short Subjects Department!

    Bad as these Fake Shemps are, I'd sure hate to see what the results might have been had Moe required a replacement, instead?  Oy vey!

    I give this one 4/10 for the original footage.  The new content gets a big fat 0 from me, however!

    CHEERS! :)