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Author Topic: Pies and Guys (1958)  (Read 1615 times)

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Offline metaldams

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Pies and Guys (1958)
« on: November 11, 2016, 12:09:23 PM »
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  • http://www.threestooges.net/filmography/episode/184
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052069/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=E8BNciHqdg8

    Watch PIES AND GUYS in the link above

          Kudos to Desmond for actually finding subtle bits of business to talk about in this short.  To me, this falls under remake category, and as we all know, I have a Hell of a time finding anything to say with these.

          I am going to rank PIES AND GUYS a hair higher than HALF-WITS HOLIDAY for probably the most obvious reason, and that would be a healthy Joe versus a depressingly sick Curly.  Joe Besser is a fine comedian and does an OK job with some weaker material.  I don't care what version we're watching, I just never found the eating of invisible food with dubbed noises to be funny.  It simply makes no sense why they don't practice manners with real food, and frankly would have been funnier watching them actually make a mess of themselves.  Still, Besser does a fine job with what he's given, a shame it isn't much.  Ultimately, this story is definitive with HOI POLLOI, where you get a definitive Stooge line up in peak years playing with a great supporting cast with funny gags, smooth story flow, and endlessly funny situations.  Think Curly with the spring, or psychic Moe with Phyllis Crane on the couch, or Harry Holman's frustrated reactions...does anything here compare?  I say not.

          Back to the supporting cast in the Besser era, again, very workman like.  Passable actors, but nothing more.  I miss Vernon.  Emil is good revising an old role, at least.   I also miss Barbara Slater, who we at least get a couple of shots from stock footage.  You guys all know I agree she was the hubba-hubba kid, if you will.  One more interesting note.  I've always noticed how morose Moe was in the old pie fight footage, understandably so.  Notice how much more energetic he is in the newer footage which storyline wise, is only seconds later. 

    6/10


    Offline Desmond Of The Outer Sanctorum

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    Re: Pies and Guys (1958)
    « Reply #1 on: November 11, 2016, 12:13:00 PM »
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  • This is the first Joe remake of a Curly short, and it doesn't vary a whole lot from the original. In contrast to what others will probably say, though, I consider this to be one of the better Joe remakes. In fact, while Stooge fans commonly assume "Curly great, Joe bad," I'd go so far as to say PIES AND GUYS actually improves on HALF WITS HOLIDAY in some respects – though not so much because of Joe, and not in the way one would think HOLIDAY could most easily be improved on.

    There are two main areas where I see improvement. The first is in how Moe and Larry play their parts here in comparison to their original performances. I see it the most with Moe: his new line "they must be crooks," how he pantomimes eating a noodle, his "cultured" speech at the party ("...if I may be so pedantic").

    The other area is in the overall pacing of the short. The table scene, especially, seems to flow much more smoothly here than in HOLIDAY.

    Where HOLIDAY could really have been improved on, though, was in the ending, where it had no participation from the third Stooge. But here Joe is not included in the big pie fight like he could have been (barring the inevitable budgetary considerations); instead, he just gets pastry in the face in a couple of quick shots added in the middle of old footage. (If I recall correctly, he doesn't get hit with pies in any other Stooges short.)

    One area where PIES clearly does not improve on HOLIDAY is its co-stars. Still, while Ted Lorch is great in the original and Milton Frome is inferior in the remake, I wouldn't say that the performances of Vernon Dent and Barbara Slater in the original are outstandingly good, or that those of Gene Roth and Greta Thyssen in the remake are outstandingly bad.

    To judge poor Curly's performance in the original isn't really fair, of course; but, while he had his moments, for the most part he was (understandably) rather lifeless. And since this was not one of Curly's great Stooges roles, Joe seems to be able to step into it without too much difficulty, even adding a little energy to it in the process. He does some new things and also handles some re-done things well:
    - "I never ate one of those."
    - Jumps when lipstick pops up.
    - Puts professor's torn-out hair on his own head. (This makes more sense, and IMO is funnier, with bald Joe than with shaven-headed Curly.)
    - "If that means what I think it means..."
    - Sneaks fingerful from pie that Moe has just taken from him.

    In this short Joe gets a quick 1-2-3 in the belly, head and back (along with Larry); a karate chop in the neck; and bitten on his nose. He also gets ashes in his mouth, lipstick on his tongue, a kick in the rear (which doesn't really count because only the bottle gets hit), and pie (first part, then a whole) in the face.
    "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 BeAStooge

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    Re: Pies and Guys (1958)
    « Reply #2 on: November 11, 2016, 08:12:09 PM »
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  • (If I recall correctly, he doesn't get hit with pies in any other Stooges short.)

    Joe took a chocolate cake in the face in FLYING SAUCER DAFFY (1958).

    It bears repeating that the depiction of Joe in the 2000 TV movie was pure bullshit.  Sadly, social media of the past 17 years has turned dramatized bs like that into accepted "truth."

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Pies and Guys (1958)
    « Reply #3 on: November 12, 2016, 06:25:47 AM »
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  • Joe took a chocolate cake in the face in FLYING SAUCER DAFFY (1958).

    It bears repeating that the depiction of Joe in the 2000 TV movie was pure bullshit.  Sadly, social media of the past 17 years has turned dramatized bs like that into accepted "truth."

    That 2000 movie, which I haven't seen in years and don't plan on seeing anytime soon, had Besser as a primadonna - quite unfairly.

    Like I stated in past reviews, to me, it's not so much Besser never took slapstick punishment, but more so he never found great chemistry with Moe and Larry, especially Moe.  Just my opinion.  If they were performing in an era where the budgets were higher and the writing was different, would things have been different?  Who knows.

    Offline Percy Pomeroy

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    Re: Pies and Guys (1958)
    « Reply #4 on: November 12, 2016, 07:25:05 AM »
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  • The jokes and gags that were funny in the original came off as tired and cringe worthy in this remake. It seemed like a rote reading rather than a performance.

    Joe tries to imitate Curly more in this short than any of the others. Particularly in the scene around the table. However, Joe can't resist throwing one of his trademark punches at Moe, albeit very lightly and without saying anything.

    The old stock footage is the best thing in this short but it seems so out of place here.

          Kudos to Desmond for actually finding subtle bits of business to talk about in this short.  To me, this falls under remake category, and as we all know, I have a Hell of a time finding anything to say with these.

    +1

    5/10. There's nothing terrible about it. It's just fuckin' tedious.

    Offline QuinceHead

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    Re: Pies and Guys (1958)
    « Reply #5 on: November 12, 2016, 08:47:09 AM »
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  • I believe this short has Symona Boniface's last posthumous performance, resurrected through stock footage some eight years after she had died of pancreatic cancer...  [cry]

    For duty and humanity,
    JohnH aka QuinceHead

    Offline Lefty

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    Re: Pies and Guys (1958)
    « Reply #6 on: November 12, 2016, 10:50:55 AM »
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  • Pies and Guys is not bad as remakes go.  In Half-Wits Holiday, Larry's soup was too hot; here it is too salty.  I prefer hot for my soup.  Moe adds the Yiddish phrase "Gut gezogt" ("Well spoken"), as Larry and Joe reply with "Precisely!"  The introduction to the women is better in this short than the original.

    Moe:  "Oh, Joeington!"
    Joe:  "Yesington, did you callington me?"
    Moe:  "Indeedington!"


    Offline Percy Pomeroy

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    Re: Pies and Guys (1958)
    « Reply #7 on: November 12, 2016, 11:29:31 AM »
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  • I believe this short has Symona Boniface's last posthumous performance, resurrected through stock footage some eight years after she had died of pancreatic cancer...  [cry]

    God I love her.

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: Pies and Guys (1958)
    « Reply #8 on: November 13, 2016, 10:04:31 AM »
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  • Required reading: HALF-WITS HOLIDAY thread

    I think this is an improvement over HALF-WITS.  Yes, Joe isn't Curly, but it is helped by the modifications done to accommodate his style.  Milton Frome is terrible... as in purely horrific.  Gene takes the hammer to the kick to the chin better than Vernon did.  And the fake eating is done better here.

    Again, the supporting cast feels more like TV actors doing a movie... but all in all a fair effort given the circumstances...

    6/10 [poke] [poke] [poke] [poke] [poke] [poke]
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    Offline Dr. Hugo Gansamacher

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    Re: Pies and Guys (1958)
    « Reply #9 on: November 13, 2016, 01:38:11 PM »
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  • I grant that Joe handles the lipstick better than poor sick Curly.

    Half-Wits' Holiday was a lot of mostly lame stuff leading up to a great pie fight. Maybe some of the lame stuff is done a little better here, but the "Morons' Yell" in this one makes me cringe even more painfully than the original. And there's no Barbara Slater (other than a brief cut during the pie fight). What is best in this short is the pie fight from the old one. (I don't believe I shall ever get sick of seeing the stout matron get pies in the face from Moe and Larry and respond, "So, you want to play rough, do you? We-e-e-e-ell!" Makes me laugh every time.) So on balance, I can't see that it is any improvement.

    Addendum: In Half-Wits, some of Moe's reading from the book that he holds upside-down consists of actual words read backwards (my explanation: http://moronika.com/forums/index.php/topic,5460.msg47259.html#msg47259). In Pies and Guys, I recognize his much-used nonsense word "ingenzommen" but nothing else.

    Offline Desmond Of The Outer Sanctorum

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    Re: Pies and Guys (1958)
    « Reply #10 on: November 14, 2016, 07:02:28 AM »
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  • It simply makes no sense why they don't practice manners with real food
    Since when do Stooges shorts have to make sense?

    Speaking of the table manners scene, though, I'd like to add this: In the original Curly specifically mentions his dissatisfaction with the "make-believe food" (being, in effect, the child pointing out the naked emperor), but I think it's funnier here (and more in keeping with Stooges "logic") when Joe says "I don't know why, but I'm still hungry."
    "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 Shemp_Diesel

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    Re: Pies and Guys (1958)
    « Reply #11 on: November 14, 2016, 06:49:58 PM »
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  • Well--looking at the list of shorts coming up--I would say we are back in Joe Besser Hell, with a brief respite coming when we get to Oil's Well...

    Another poor remake, Moe & Larry looking like what they obviously were--tired old men waiting for a paycheck...

    3 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 Kopfy2013

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    Re: Pies and Guys (1958)
    « Reply #12 on: November 15, 2016, 12:24:37 AM »
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  •  Nice to see a remake of the classic short .  Totally agree the character actors were terrible especially the men. I do not mind Greta.

     I give it a 4 mainly because of doing a remake.
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    Offline Curly Van Dyke

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    Re: Pies and Guys (1958)
    « Reply #13 on: November 15, 2016, 02:48:32 PM »
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  • Greta Thyssen was a Babe, but she Blinked before getting the Pie in the Face!!!!

    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Pies and Guys (1958)
    « Reply #14 on: September 26, 2017, 10:19:39 PM »
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  • I'm very late to the party here, having just stumbled on this thread while surfing, and I haven't seen this episode in many years, and thus have nothing intelligent to contribute critically,  but I can't help noticing how valid and well-phrased all the contributions are here.  This is really cogent and advanced discussion,  an intelligent comparison between original vs. remake focusing on cast changes , with all contributors seemingly on the same wavelength, and it's really a pleasure to read.  This sounds like high-flown rhetoric, and maybe even sarcastic, but I mean it sincerely.