Read Emil Sitka's diary entry on BRIDE AND GLOOM in the link above
So we've come to the final Shemp short, and it is yet again a domestic comedy. I think you guys figured out this is not my favorite type of comedy. Buster Keaton once said with these types of comedies the whole thing wouldn't happen if somebody would just explain the misunderstanding. He's correct, and Saint Buster knows a thing or two about comedy.
The thing is, BRIDE AND GLOOM starts well. Shemp is trying to take a taxi to rush to his wedding, yet it is caught in a glorious mud puddle. Now mud puddles, a comic cliche I like, was mastered at Hal Roach and done well here. Poor Shemp is trying to push the taxi out of the puddle while the taxi driver, played by Emil Sitka, hysterically does nothing. When Shemp finally has had enough and runs away, Sitka has the nerve to demand Shemp pays his fare because the meter is running! Now that's funny.
Next, Shemp prematurely goes to the car shop and takes his car out to rush to his wedding. Unbeknownst to Shemp, the car, not done being repaired, has no breaks. He's driving around this car, finally runs into a fire hydrant and leaves a watery mess on a pedestrian, played by Christine McIntyre. She gets in the back of the car, halfway undresses her wet clothes so as to not catch a cold, and asks Shemp to take her home. Her house just happens to be across the street from where Shemp's impatient bride and father in law await. So poor Shemp has a not fully dressed lady in his back seat in a car with no breaks near the church where he's late for his wedding, great set up!
Sadly, things peak here. After driving around the block a few times, the car cashes and it turns into another domestic comedy where Shemp is wrongly accused of cheating through situations that can be explained. The whole idea of having the half dressed lady in the back of a car for a wedding I remember being done in Charley Chases's hard to find LIMOUSINE LOVE, which I saw on TV once over ten years ago. I remember they milked that gag for all it's worth. A shame not much was done here, there was so much potential.
The cast itself, with Shemp, Christine, Jean Willes, Dick Curtis, Vernon Dent, and Emil Sitka upgrades the material. At least Shemp gives us subtle bits of character business. Notice the way he startles himself when looking in the mirror and pantomimes an apology. It's little bits of Shemp business like that which makes Shemp in this kind of role better than say, Derita.
So we're done with Shemp solo. Two of these films are excellent, the rest are all mid level and should be of interest to Stooge fans. The domestic comedy confusion thing was done too much and Shemp deserves better. Though it sadly took the ill health of his brother Jerome, Shemp came home and got material worthy of him. Columbia writers had the Stooges characters figured out, unlike so many of these other series, and Shemp naturally fit right in.