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Author Topic: Oil's Well That Ends Well (1958)  (Read 1092 times)

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Offline metaldams

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Oil's Well That Ends Well (1958)
« on: December 02, 2016, 05:43:13 PM »
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  • http://www.threestooges.net/filmography/episode/187
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052025/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=88pkt1ehKSM

    Watch OIL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL in the link above

          Easily the best Joe Besser Stooge short and the only one that feels like a Three Stooges short in most ways.  Yeah, I enjoy the space ones, but those feel like a different genre.  OIL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL is a short film that contains Three Stooges doing comic routines.  Moe is their leader, (saith Homer Simpson); boulders explode, rocks fall on heads, bunk beds are a hassle, and a couple of comic scenes actually get extended and focused, so welcome in an era that usually lacks good comic writing.  The budget even feels relatively higher with a few different changes of scenery, including outdoors! My theory is since they saved money on lack of supporting players, they took time on script and art direction.  Considering most of the supporting players trotted out during the Besser era, this is a welcome change.

          The cow scene is quite funny, I love Larry's steak line.  They milk this gag for all it's worth, and I swear, no pun intended.  Even the cow gets a close up double take reacting to their stupidity.  One brief shot of an animal acting naturally got more laughs than two films of talking horses!  The out door scene near the rocks is excellent, Joe breaking the fourth wall mouthing to the audience perhaps being one of the few liked Besser moments by people.  Rocks explode and it feels messy in that Stoogian slapstick way.  Beautiful.  Of course, the highlight of the entire Besser era is the bunk bed scene.  It is the only scene where the three of them do extended slapstick and truly gel together.  Joe's leg getting caught in Moe's pants and Besser proclaiming he's being followed, Larry being flipped around like a dummy...because it is a dummy, Joe standing on top of poor Moe as Moe tries to push up Joe to the top bunk in vain, all funny stuff.  I actually laughed out loud a few times watching this.  I also enjoy Besser proclaiming he's scared of his wishing abilities at the beginning too.  Just very random and out of nowhere, yet so funny.  Gives Besser a child like quality.

          A part of me wishes I could give this a ten, but I'll nitpick and only give this a nine.  There are a couple of great scenes of Moe and Larry doing some old school interactions, and I wish the writers could have found a way to integrate Joe.  Hey, he worked fine in the bed bunk scene, why not?  Secondly, bad character writing in the beginning.  Would it have been too much to ask to paint the boys better than being excited about riches when their Dad may be terminal?  Something that could have easily been changed, but overall, this is easily the best Joe Besser short, and unless if I have a major change of heart the next two weeks, that last good short they ever released.  Also, funny to think this was filmed a few days after SWEET AND HOT!

    9/10





    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: Oil's Well That Ends Well (1958)
    « Reply #1 on: December 02, 2016, 05:56:52 PM »
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  • Anyone who doesn't like this is only throwing a hissy fit because Joe Besser isn't Joe Howard.  We have a fantastic rewrite of OIL TO BED, OILY TO RISE.  Metaldams hath said it all, except I can deal with the Stooges being a bit insensitive to their dad's illness.  I like how Joe says, "Hey, I'm scared."

    Great short overall.  Finally, one where we have a Three Stooges short that incorporates Besser's persona with Moe and Larry's.

    The last 10/10 [poke] [poke] [poke] [poke] [poke] [poke] [poke] [poke] [poke] [poke]
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    Offline Shemp_Diesel

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    Re: Oil's Well That Ends Well (1958)
    « Reply #2 on: December 02, 2016, 06:33:45 PM »
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  • Well, I'm not sure I will go as far as Metal and Paul--putting it in the 9 or 10 range--but I will agree with the sentiment that this is easily the best Moe, Larry and Joe short. Hell, the only one with Joe that I can say is genuinely "good." There might even be some Curly and Shemp episodes that Oil's Well is better than. Several, actually...   ;)

    At any rate, I don't want to make it seem like I'm praising Besser too much, because Moe & Larry--for me, anyways--definitely show they still have the old magic & provide some of the biggest laughs for me. No doubt--the best one--being when Larry tries to get tough & poke Moe in the eyes, then Moe calmy & viciously shows him the correct way to gouge someone's eyes out.   [cool]

    Moe throwing Larry to the top bunk is another side-splitter, and sometimes I imagine that it might have been funny if he would have been able to throw Joe up there, too.

    Not quite a 9 or 10 in my book, but a solid short all around. A welcome relief from the dreck we've had the last few weeks & the shit that's still to come in the next 2 weeks.

    7 out of 10...
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    Offline Kopfy2013

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    Re: Oil's Well That Ends Well (1958)
    « Reply #3 on: December 02, 2016, 08:24:33 PM »
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  • Totally agree with Metal ... more like a Stooge film ... threesomes working together to wreak havoc ...  Joe is definitely looking more comfortable interacting.  He has more energy.

    I like the slaps at the bunk bed... look at Joe's head as he watches Moe and Larry then he gets twanged .... 

    Some nice one-liners.

    Rating on the canon's of Stooges I give this a 5 ... Best Besser short?  I think I like A Merry Mixup a little better
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    Offline GreenCanaries

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    Re: Oil's Well That Ends Well (1958)
    « Reply #4 on: December 02, 2016, 08:33:40 PM »
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  • Ah, OIL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL... Felix Adler's swan song...

    This short holds a special place in my heart, for as far as I can remember, this was the very first Stooge short I ever recall seeing.

    I had always known of the Stooges from a young age, but had never seen any of their shorts nor did I know of their history. Back when I was a youngster (he says, adding several decades to his actual early 20s) and they were showing these on AMC, I managed one day to catch this one. I don't think I had much of a reaction seeing Joe rather than Curly, with the lineup of Moe, Larry & Curly being the one I was most familiar with. In fact, being quite ADD as I was (and am), I don't remember too much about seeing this for the first time, except that it was at my grandparents' camp, and I remember seeing the two "dummy" bits: Larry getting tossed into the bed and Joe getting yanked from the oil well (not knowing the latter was stock footage). It might a little bit before I started watching more Stooges - I do recall trying to keep up with the "Stooges Slap Happy Hour" airing in the mornings when they were on Spike TV. Eventually, I got numerous DVDs of the public domain shorts and other miscellany. The first I got was a 2-disc set of the public domain shorts, JERKS OF ALL TRADES, SWING PARADE OF 1946, the cartoons and wrap-arounds and little "trivia" slideshows, from Sam Goody IIRC.

    Eventually, when the first 1934-1936 Collection came out proper, I scooped it up during a trip to visit family friends in Wisconsin. Gradually, I completed the collection, which came only a couple of years ago, and here I am now...

    But that's enough from me. I agree with the pack: this is a very good short and arguably the best of the Joe era. The boys work very well together here, especially moreso than last week's Besser solo in all but name. One of a group of Stooge shorts that my younger step-brother, who loves the Stooges, watches constantly.

    Favorite and notable bits:

    - The cigar is from "[Joe's] pal, Felix" -- as in longtime scribe Felix Adler, earning his final writing credit.

    - "I got my wish again!... I'm scared..." "So am I..." (Moe backs away, fade)

    - "I'll gouge your eyes out!" (block) "See, you don't know how to do that, look... put it up there..." (Larry puts hand up, Moe pokes eyes using both hands) "...THAT'S the way!"

    - When Moe pokes Joe after the "How now brown cow" bit, keep your eye on Joe as he swats at Moe. He looks absolutely hilarious here, like a cartoon almost. Same goes for his face after he tastes the milk.

    - "Try another faucet, maybe it gives chocolate flavor!" (squirt, taste) "Tastes the same!"

    - "What does the Geiger counter say?" "Click-click, click-click, click-click!--" (smack)

    - ...followed by Larry and Moe's small battle royale after the former accidentally hits Moe with the pickaxe. Moe clutching Larry's throat is a nice little touch at moment's end.

    - (mouths) "I. Hate. Him!" A gag reused from Besser's solo short AIM, FIRE, SCOOT, but a funny one.

    - The entire bunk bed scene. "Good night, mother... Wind up the cat, and put out the clock..."

    - Not a bad ending. A bit hokey and maybe even "cringey" to close it out with Joe announcing the film's title, but it doesn't at all deter from a fine effort.

    I don't usually rate these, but... I guess this one gets an 8/10 from me. Sadly, it doesn't get better with the final two stock footage fests. If the series ended with OIL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL, the boys' series of 190 probably would've gone out on a somewhat high note.
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    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Oil's Well That Ends Well (1958)
    « Reply #5 on: December 02, 2016, 08:48:02 PM »
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  • Between Green Canaries and Paul Pain, nice to see some Millenials into The Three Stooges.  I'll be 38 later this month, but when I first started posting on Stooge message boards, I was one of the younger ones in my early twenties.  I feel like things have come full circle.

    Offline Percy Pomeroy

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    Re: Oil's Well That Ends Well (1958)
    « Reply #6 on: December 03, 2016, 08:28:16 AM »
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  • I think my favorite moment in the Besser era is Joe mouthing to the audience "I hate him." Yes, Joe is an acquired taste who never truly fit in with Moe and Larry, but he did have a few good moments. It's telling that, as a trio, they have their best chemistry in scenes that are redo's from superior films.

    Not surprisingly, since this is a remake, Moe and Larry have their old school hair. Mercifully, the old footage is kept at an absolute minimum. This is not a straight reread of the original script; another positive. However, I don't share the same enthusiasm that the earlier posters have for this short. All the good stuff has been done better. The bunk bed bit was much funnier in A Pain in the Pullman. The lines that Joe repeats from Oily to Bed, Oily to Rise aren't funny when he says them. Curly's inflection and expressions made them funny. I know, I know... it's not a fair comparison.

    I also liked the reference to Felix Adler.

    When Joe is abused by Moe and Larry I feel like it is mean spirited and Joe comes off as pathetic. I never had those feelings watching a Curly or a Shemp short.

    We're in that same cabin again. See Guns a Poppin and Horsing Around.

    Moe explaining the proper defense against an eye gouge is a good moment because it's so out of character for him to be helpful to a fellow human being.

    Moe and Larry have some very good slapstick in this one. Joe is a cock blocker for their humor. When he meanders into the scene he spoils all the fun.

    6/10. Too much recycled material.


    Offline Desmond Of The Outer Sanctorum

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    Re: Oil's Well That Ends Well (1958)
    « Reply #7 on: December 03, 2016, 08:45:23 AM »
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  • This short has the distinction of featuring only the three boys, with no supporting actors, extras, or even multiple Stooge roles (a la SELF MADE MAIDS). Can you say "low budget"? It's a remake-but-not-really of OILY TO BED, OILY TO RISE, from which it uses a couple of plot elements and a little bit of footage. (Wait... does Curly in the old footage count as an "extra"?)
     
    As Besser shorts go, this one is usually relatively well spoken of, as we've seen here. I think it may actually be a bit overrated. There really isn't a lot of chemistry between Joe and the others here, except for one notable part: the bed scene, where the boys truly function well as a trio.
     
    Good Joe moments:
    - "Maybe it gives chocolate flavor!" / "Tastes the same!"
    - "Flattery will get you nowhere."
    - Rapidly moves his finger in front of Moe's face. ("OooooooooooOOH!")
    - Gets his leg in Moe's pajama pants.
    - "You can't lift... a little me."
    - "Oh, you're just saying that."
     
    Joe takes the following abuse in this short: A nose flick (from Larry) that he oddly fails to react to; 2 eyepokes; a rock on the head; a smack on the head; and a double-slap (with Larry). He also gets smoke blown in his face (by Larry) and milk squirted in his face (by Moe).
     
    Miscellaneous observations:
    - Larry atypically plays the part of the "mean" Stooge, at least at the beginning. It's as if the writers were trying to pair Moe and Joe more than usual.
    - It's lame that they didn't reshoot the part where Joe forgets a line ("He steals from everyone") and Moe has to say it for him.
    - Watching this and OILY TO BED back to back, it's clear to me that the Besser era just can't be compared to classic Curly; it's two different worlds -- not just because of who the third Stooge is, but also the scripts, the budgets, and the team's overall energy. That said, Joe puts his own stamp on old lines like "it's bear-ly possible" and "I'm a successful cork"; to me, his rendering of the latter is actually funnier than Curly's. (Sorry, Percy.)
    - Joe seems to be sitting quite still in the closeups of him on top of the "geezer," and it looks wrong.
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    Offline Lefty

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    Re: Oil's Well That Ends Well (1958)
    « Reply #8 on: December 03, 2016, 10:35:04 AM »
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  • Oil's Well That Ends Well along with A Merry Mix-up are my favorite Joe shorts.  There were a lot of funny moments in this, with my favorites being Joe ending up in Moe's pajamas, as well as Moe having Larry put his hand up so Moe could poke him in the eyes with both fingers.  The one thing that didn't go so well was the obvious showing of the chair that Joe was sitting in way up there in the oil gush.

    There is a big difference in Moe's attitude between Oily to Bed, Oily to Rise and this one, when he was splashed with the oil from the pump.  In the original, he yelled to Larry and Curly, "You numskulls, I'll murder you!"  Here, he just takes it in stride and says, "My goodness."

    Offline Percy Pomeroy

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    Re: Oil's Well That Ends Well (1958)
    « Reply #9 on: December 03, 2016, 11:40:17 AM »
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  • There is a big difference in Moe's attitude between Oily to Bed, Oily to Rise and this one, when he was splashed with the oil from the pump.  In the original, he yelled to Larry and Curly, "You numskulls, I'll murder you!"  Here, he just takes it in stride and says, "My goodness."

    A perfect example of why shorts of this era are so bland. Normally mellowing with age is a good thing unless you're a slap stick comedian.

    Offline Curly Van Dyke

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    Re: Oil's Well That Ends Well (1958)
    « Reply #10 on: December 03, 2016, 12:17:29 PM »
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  • A Good short,but not the best Besser short. I always like the bad Moe voiceover-Look fellas-a deserted cabin.

    Offline Dr. Hugo Gansamacher

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    Re: Oil's Well That Ends Well (1958)
    « Reply #11 on: December 11, 2016, 09:08:08 AM »
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  • This short may be the least foul of the Joe shorts, but Joe's revolting sissy-boy corniness still ruins every second that he is on screen.