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Author Topic: Snow White and the Three Stooges (1961)  (Read 1280 times)

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Offline metaldams

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Snow White and the Three Stooges (1961)
« on: December 30, 2016, 05:15:38 PM »
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  • http://threestooges.net/filmography/episode/231
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055458/?ref_=nv_sr_3

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

    Watch SNOW WHITE AND THE THREE STOOGES in the link above



          The Three Stooges have some legal troubles with Columbia, go to Fox for one film, and SNOW WHITE AND THE THREE STOOGES is the result.  Filmed in technicolor, there are really two ways to review this film - as a Three Stooges film, and as a Snow White/Robin Hood film.  I will attempt to do both.

          As a Stooge film, in the traditional sense, a complete failure.  When it comes to Stooge comedy, we have an OK opening scene where their faces appear in book form, interrupting a serious prologue at opportune times.  We have the best comic scene, which is enjoyable but hardly classic, of the boys selling hair tonic.  Then we have a pie scene where the bad guy gets pies in the face to disorient him, really a lame excuse to have some pies in a Stooge comedy.  This takes about maybe 10 minutes of a 107 minute film.  The Stooges do appear a lot in the film, mainly as likable characters trying to help Snow White and Quattro.  They do fine in this role as actors and are perfectly acceptable in this capacity.  The problem is several people could have done their roles in this film, while only they are capable of being The Three Stooges, something they do very little of here.  Bear in mind Laurel and Hardy and Abbott and Costello worked in the fairy tale genre as well in BABES IN TOYLAND and JACK IN THE BEANSTALK, respectively.  Each team's trademark humor is on display much better in their films than it is here for The Three Stooges.

          As a film itself, there are some good points.  The production values are great, I love the sets and scenery.  The outdoor forest type stuff where the queen's men are chasing the Stooges and Snow White is great as is the castle and dungeon sword fight stuff, which reminds me very much of THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, a film I love.  The Snow White stuff?  Not really my wheelhouse, but I admit it's a timeless story.  Carol Heiss gets some skating scenes in, and she's obviously good, but again, not my wheelhouse.  The musical numbers...again, not my wheelhouse, but very well produced.  Herein lies this film's main problem, it tries to appeal to too many people yet in doing so, appeals to very few.  I like the action Robin Hood type stuff when it's there and like the idea of The Three Stooges being in this film, it's just that their comedy is diluted.  The Snow White, ice skating, and musical stuff appeals to another audience.  I get the feeling the producers were trying to appeal to both boy and girl children when this probably would have been a better film had they focused on making certain areas stronger and eliminating others.  You know, less music and Snow White, more Stooge comedy and Robin Hood, or vice versa.

          A fascinating movie, a great chance to see the boys with good production values and color, but a waste of good Stooge comedy.

    5/10 as a film
    1/10 as a Stooge comedy






    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Snow White and the Three Stooges (1961)
    « Reply #1 on: December 30, 2016, 11:26:05 PM »
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  • I was still too young to see this on its first release, I saw it maybe two years afterwards, and haven't seen even a snippet again until tonight, when I sat through a DVD I bought for cheap on eBay, as did Metaldams, I think, a purchase I did my best to shame him into, as can be read on some earlier posts.
         Undeniably, this is a slog.  One gets the idea that someone at Fox had the idea for a Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs extravaganza, and then some hip young genius said, No, that's corny, let's update it, the Three Stooges are hot at the moment, how about Snow White and The Three Stooges !!!
         It might have been better if someone at 20th was familiar at all with the Three Stooges.  They brought in Elwood Ullman as a writer, but they needed a stooge director, someone to give them some schtick, because that's what's really lacking here is schtick.  At one point, the three of them actually walk through a door that's too short and too narrow for them, and they DON'T get stuck, they DON'T bump heads, they actually just WALK THROUGH THE FUCKING DOOR !  That's just one of a dozen opportunities that just scream for Stooge Slapstick 101 and are completely missed.  One gets the feeling that the director or whatever other powers-that-were said, No thanks, boys, that's too slapsticky for our movie, completely forgetting what the title of their movie was.  Actually denying them the moves that you can see coming a mile away, and then just don't happen.
          The photography and color are indeed beautiful, and of all things, it's in CinemaScope, which it certainly wasn't when I saw it at a kiddie matinee in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1962.  My cheapo eBay DVD is lovely.  Edson Stroll, whom I knew only as one of the crew extras on the old TV show McHale's Navy, was not bad at all as Prince Charming.  Carol Heiss skated nicely, cried quite credibly, and aimed for Judy Garland-as-Dorothy Gale the rest of the way, to less success.  There are quite a few Wizard of Oz references - all right, steals - here, in fact, the most blatant being Patricia Medina as the Wicked Queen/Wicked Witch.  She is as hammy as the Smithfield factory.  She's awful.
         I'm beating a dead horse here.  This was a dog when it came out, bombed at the box office, it's a dog now.  I told Metaldams when he was reluctant to review this that he didn't have to do it sober.  Well, after the first fifteen minutes, neither did I. 

    Offline stoogerascalfan62

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    Re: Snow White and the Three Stooges (1961)
    « Reply #2 on: December 31, 2016, 11:44:43 AM »
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  • Saw it on TV once. Didn't do a thing for me.

    Offline Shemp_Diesel

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    Re: Snow White and the Three Stooges (1961)
    « Reply #3 on: December 31, 2016, 06:48:34 PM »
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  • Ungghhh, I'm going off memory again for this one. Awful then, still crap now. A few merits--the stooges popping up in the book at the beginning & the stooges selling hair tonic. I especially got a kick out of Moe telling some lady to grow a beard & surprise her husband.

    The rest--pure garbage...

    1 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 Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Snow White and the Three Stooges (1961)
    « Reply #4 on: January 02, 2017, 10:27:33 AM »
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  • Yikes.  I just read on imdb that Frank Tashlin was an uncredited director on this film.  Frank Tashlin was a very good comedy director and gag man, he must have been assigned to the stooges.  How bland must they have been before Tashlin got there?  Either that or his suggestions were rejected by management and he quit early, hence the no-credit.  Anybody know anything about this?

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Snow White and the Three Stooges (1961)
    « Reply #5 on: January 02, 2017, 10:40:04 AM »
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  • Yikes.  I just read on imdb that Frank Tashlin was an uncredited director on this film.  Frank Tashlin was a very good comedy director and gag man, he must have been assigned to the stooges.  How bland must they have been before Tashlin got there?  Either that or his suggestions were rejected by management and he quit early, hence the no-credit.  Anybody know anything about this?

    According to Wikipedia, Fox made the decision.  With Tashlin, the budget was $750,000; with Lang, 3.5 million.  My guess is the studio decided to go in a different direction overall with both change of directors AND budgets.  Who knows, maybe this was initially more Stooge oriented, I'll have to do more research.

    Offline BeAStooge

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    Re: Snow White and the Three Stooges (1961)
    « Reply #6 on: January 02, 2017, 11:11:01 AM »
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  • According to Wikipedia, Fox made the decision.  With Tashlin, the budget was $750,000; with Lang, 3.5 million.  My guess is the studio decided to go in a different direction overall with both change of directors AND budgets.  Who knows, maybe this was initially more Stooge oriented, I'll have to do more research.


    This was covered in detail recently in "The Three Stooges Journal," reporting the extensive information contained in the film's production files, which were obtained two years ago by The Stoogeum.

    Tashlin's involvement is not documented, only reported in "Scrapbook" and assumed to originate from Norman Maurer's recollections.  Evidence indicates that IF it's true that Tashlin was originally involved, that never extended beyond the discussion stage.

    From 20th Century Fox's records, Walter Lang is the only credited director on every document (and there're hundreds), including the very first call sheets and payroll records going back to the beginning of skater rehearsals and cast screen tests in mid-November 1960.

    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Snow White and the Three Stooges (1961)
    « Reply #7 on: January 02, 2017, 01:30:55 PM »
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  • I've subscribed to the TSJ fo years.  How did I miss that?

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: Snow White and the Three Stooges (1961)
    « Reply #8 on: January 05, 2017, 10:32:12 AM »
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  • By the 40 minute mark, I was dying of cancer and gave up.  What a sack of shit.
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    Offline 7stooges

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    Re: Snow White and the Three Stooges (1961)
    « Reply #9 on: January 05, 2017, 05:17:02 PM »
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  • I remember the first time I heard about this film. "Wow, the Stooges in color," I thought to myself. "That might be interesting" (yeah, yeah, sue me).

    So I watched the theatrical trailer. It's 3 minutes long. The Stooges appear in it for 12 seconds. No exaggeration. That immediately told me what I was in for.

    A lot of you folks may already know about the Stooges' musical number that was cut from the film, but if not, here it is:



    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Snow White and the Three Stooges (1961)
    « Reply #10 on: January 05, 2017, 08:12:12 PM »
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  • Boy, this flick is really snake bit.  Even the song is stupid as a bag of hammers.
    « Last Edit: January 16, 2017, 12:22:56 PM by Big Chief Apumtagribonitz »

    Offline Umbrella Sam

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    Re: Snow White and the Three Stooges (1961)
    « Reply #11 on: January 16, 2017, 12:08:07 PM »
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  • I find this a very conflicting film, because while it does fail at using the Stooges effectively, I feel there are actually some areas that it succeeds. Yes, the Stooges are completely misused in this one. Really, the only moment I found to be funny was the opening when the Stooges constantly interrupt the narrator trying to introduce the character. I've never been a big fan of the hair tonic scene, so I can't really say much there. Otherwise, there's a lot of wasted comedic potential.

    It's pretty obvious that they were trying to tell a good Snow White adaptation and to their credit, they actually are able to do a decent job. I actually like the fact that the prince has a backstory and that there's some actual development between him and Snow White, something that I wish I could have seen in the animated Disney version. In addition, the visuals are really nice, if a little odd. It's so strange to see the Stooges on a set that looks like it had an actual budget to work with. It's also interesting that the Big Chief brings up the Wizard of Oz connection considering one of the writers of this film actually worked on Wizard of Oz.

    That being said, even as a Snow White adaptation, it's not perfect. Carol Heiss' performance isn't really that good and the villains are pretty uninteresting as well. In addition, remember that this movie is not just called Snow White... it's called Snow White and the Three Stooges, so it was fair to expect that this would be somewhat funny as opposed to a more straightforward adaptation!

    I don't think I hate it as much as most people do, but it's still not something I can really say I enjoyed, even as a Snow White adaptation. For now, I'll just stick with the Disney version.

    4 out of 10