Now we're getting into the Besser-era "space trilogy." I used to think this was the best of the three, but now I lean more towards it being the "average" one.
It seems like some of the short titles were getting really lame by this time. All three of the "space" shorts serve as examples of this.
What was the point of Moe and Larry having their "gentleman" haircuts this time around? It made only a little sense in MUSCLE, and it makes no sense here.
As for Joe, the bad news is that he's not used as well here as he was in MERRY; thus, he leans a little toward doing what many Stooge fans criticize him for: being a warm body filling the "third Stooge" role but not really doing anything special with it -- kind of like Curly-Joe, but more interesting (and occasionally annoying).
The good news is that the Stooges still seem more like a team/trio than in HOOFS or MUSCLE. Joe does get several good bits in, my favorite being when Moe asks him if he's afraid: (shakes head "no" emphatically) "Yes."
And while Joe gets a little less slapstick than Larry, he still takes enough abuse to show that he's not really the "sheltered" Stooge. He gets hit with a sack, smacked on the head, and hit on the head with a gavel. He also gets water splashed on him, bonks heads with Moe, gets water spat on him by Moe, sits on a syringe, gets bitten by one of the girls, gets pulled by the neck with a rope, gets tickle-tortured, runs face-first into a pole, and gets hot steam in the rear.
Benny Rubin is amusing again ("But don't you tell somebody -- it's a zecret!"), while Doreen Woodbury plays things totally straight. The Sunevian girls come across as more weird and silly than anything else.
Question: What is the significance of "The Eddie Duchin Story" that it's a joke for Joe to be so sorry he wouldn't get to see it? I looked it up and apparently it's a tear-jerker movie based on true events.