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Author Topic: The Three Stooges Meet Hercules (1962)  (Read 689 times)

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Offline metaldams

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The Three Stooges Meet Hercules (1962)
« on: January 06, 2017, 07:58:26 PM »
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  • http://threestooges.net/filmography/episode/216
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056579/?ref_=nv_sr_7



          Full disclosure - THE THREE STOOGES MEET HERCULES is the only Derita era feature I saw as a child, so nostalgia may paint my opinion on this one.  It was on television and my parents taped it for me on a blank VHS tape.  If that doesn't scream child of the 80's, nothing does.  I believe my Dad also saw this on its initial release and the other Derita features I never saw until my twenties.  Ironically, with this film and the other features going forward, I never bought them on DVD, so yes, appropriately enough, I'm watching the commercially available VHS versions!  I think to this point, LOVE HAPPY would be the only other film I reviewed on VHS, everything else DVD.

          As for the film itself, much better than the previous two features.  Rocket recycled a lot of old routines and was brought down a bit by the talking unicorn while Snow White was a film that didn't have an audience, trying to be too many things to too many people.  HERCULES feels like a fresh Stooge film that understands its audience, young males, and perhaps middle aged and older males who never grew up.  I plead guilty.

          While Snow White has the strange combination of musical numbers, fairy tales, sword fights, and slapstick; Hercules is time travel, slapstick, monsters, adventure, and action.  In other words, all things I find enjoyable.  In the early 60's, Steve Reeves and others were making Hercules films while THE TIME MACHINE from 1960 had the time travel element seen here and 1959's BEN-HUR had a chariot race/battle like one seen here.  Good sources were drawn from to make an enjoyable film.

          HERCULES is a good, if not classic comedy.  That said, HERCULES doesn't need to be a classic comedy because of all the other enjoyable elements listed above.  The Three Stooges at this point have a third Stooge in Derita who simply gets the job done, nothing more, nothing less.  The only part he is slightly annoying is when he woo woos like Curly when seeing the two headed cyclops, but Moe thankfully stops him.  Other than that, Derita is serviceable and a welcome presence.  I just for the life of me can't tell you anything unique he did here.  Then again, maybe I'm being unfair, because at this point, serviceable, and not unique, may have been what he was hired for.  After all, his name is "Curly" Joe, a blatant nod to the past.

          The scene where the boys are in the ladies powder room, shall we say, show them to be older and a bit ashamed.  A 1939 Curly would not be able to contain himself, but here they are older gentlemen.  Still a fun scene, though.  The already mentioned two headed cyclops is cheesy fun, and Hal Smith and Emil Sitka are both to be praised for their comic turns.  I also enjoy the messy opening scene and the galley stuff is fantastic.  Derita' calm down pills do make a fun motif throughout the film.  I will also add, the pies at the end of this film, just like in SNOW WHITE, seem completely forced here.

          Overall, a simple, fun film with a lot of elements I find to be enjoyable.  The Three Stooges being in it, even at this later stage, is icing on the cake.

    9/10
    "Those are the three elements, I think, that go into being happy: Find something you love, be good at it, and have other people pat you on the back and say "good job." - George Carlin

    Offline Shemp_Diesel

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    Re: The Three Stooges Meet Hercules (1962)
    « Reply #1 on: January 06, 2017, 08:28:38 PM »
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  • I like it, especially coming on the heels of the "technicolor terror"--no doubt why you had that little disclaimer in the beginning about "glorious black and white." Good solid laughs, mixed in with a pretty engaging story--usually I'm not for the requisite love story in any stooge film, but here I'll make an exception.

    7 out of 10...
    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 7stooges

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    Re: The Three Stooges Meet Hercules (1962)
    « Reply #2 on: January 06, 2017, 08:40:15 PM »
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  • Some color photos from "The Three Stooges Meet Hercules" at the bottom of this page. Made me notice that Curly Joe is still wearing pants suspenders when he's in his Ancient Greece attire.

    That great "glorious black and white" title was no doubt meant to poke fun at the grand Scope and Technicolor of the popular Hercules films of the day (or perhaps the fact that Columbia couldn't afford it).

    http://www.samsonburke.com/hercules2.html

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: The Three Stooges Meet Hercules (1962)
    « Reply #3 on: January 07, 2017, 01:53:40 PM »
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  • I could swear I saw a colorized version.  Anyway, there are some good slapstick moments in this.  The plot, at least, makes sense within the Stooge universe.  The actors all are trying, something that can't be said in the previous film.  Not terrific, but not bad either.  It's pretty good considering.

    8/10
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    Offline metaldams

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    Re: The Three Stooges Meet Hercules (1962)
    « Reply #4 on: January 07, 2017, 07:40:49 PM »
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  • Some color photos from "The Three Stooges Meet Hercules" at the bottom of this page. Made me notice that Curly Joe is still wearing pants suspenders when he's in his Ancient Greece attire.

    That great "glorious black and white" title was no doubt meant to poke fun at the grand Scope and Technicolor of the popular Hercules films of the day (or perhaps the fact that Columbia couldn't afford it).

    http://www.samsonburke.com/hercules2.html

    Thanks for the link.  The color pictures are especially awesome!
    "Those are the three elements, I think, that go into being happy: Find something you love, be good at it, and have other people pat you on the back and say "good job." - George Carlin

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: The Three Stooges Meet Hercules (1962)
    « Reply #5 on: January 08, 2017, 04:56:26 AM »
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  • Curly Joe is more suited to verbal gags, not physical.  And physical = Stooges
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    Offline 7stooges

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    Re: The Three Stooges Meet Hercules (1962)
    « Reply #6 on: January 08, 2017, 12:03:47 PM »
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  • DeRita took pratfalls quite well, and as a dancer, was very light on his feet.

    I agree that the supporting cast in this one is good. Quinn Redeker (later a cowriter of THE DEER HUNTER!) as the mild-mannered inventor in need of a boost, George Neise as the obnoxious Odius, and the very lovely Vicki Trickett. She was no Christine McIntyre, but still a beauty.

    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: The Three Stooges Meet Hercules (1962)
    « Reply #7 on: January 08, 2017, 09:19:22 PM »
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  • O K, this is the one I've been waiting for.  This was the one.  Me and my friends were all old enough to go to the movies by ourselves by now ( we were nine ), and after watching the TV shorts all these years, we were finally going to see a new, yes new, Stooge movie.  At the movies ! With the real Stooges !  We went insane, and joined StoogeMania, which peaked across America in theaters right now. This was it: see the photos of the mobs attending the premiers with the stooges doing personal appearances.  I was in the exact age group that the Derita Columbias were aiming at, and they nailed us. Bullseye. We went nuts.  The stooges in 1962 were everywhere, TV, comics books, crackerjack prizes, you name it, and we kids went crazy about them.  I was crazier than anyone else in my neighborhood, indeed I was the president of my neighborhood's Three Stooges Fan Club, and we had the autographed pictures to prove it. ( From what I have seen since, the signatures were real, and of course my mother threw them away ) We knew by then,of course, that Curly was dead, we knew that Shemp was dead, we sorta kinda figured out that Besser was somehow out of the picture ( I repeat that this was 30 years pre-internet, no information about personnel changes among the stooges was available at all, and I mean truly at all, so we were,at our prepubescent ages, left only to guess ), but THERE THEY WERE !  It was 1962 and THERE THEY WERE ! A little different from the shorts,yes, a bit older and slower and wrinklier, but, by god, still alive, and STILL THE STOOGES !  Still looking and acting pretty much the same and STILL MAKING MOVIES ! ( O K, Curly Joe is different, but he's O K, we can deal with it, we know the backstory, he took over for Curly, we've got his back ). The kids went nuts, and me the worst.
         What's best about this is that TTSMeet Hercules is a good, funny, action-packed movie.  I saw it when I was nine, I saw it again when I was twenty, and I saw it again last week.I liked it as a child, I liked it at twenty, and I liked it last week.  The pace is fast, which you can't say  about a lot of post-1950 stooge flicks, there's a lot of comedic action, both slapstick ( exploding Waring blenders ) and comparatively subtle ( Curly Joe holding his hands behind his back while greeting Hercules ) and good acting by everybody, especially George Niese as Dimsel/Odious. He's very good as a complete prick in both roles. And Quinn Redeker shows actual acting chops, modest but not too bad, as Skyler/Hercules.  And congrats to whomever wrote the last line of the movie, Dimsel's screaming "hey, that's my ear!"  Great finish to a good, enjoyable, satisfying movie.
         There's no wonder this was a big hit ( and a box-office smash ) in 1962.  It's a damn funny movie.  Me and all my friends flocked to it.
    « Last Edit: January 20, 2017, 10:33:52 PM by Big Chief Apumtagribonitz »

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: The Three Stooges Meet Hercules (1962)
    « Reply #8 on: January 09, 2017, 09:30:21 AM »
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  • Big Chief, your thoughts summarize exactly why the Three Stooges are even still such a strong part of American culture.
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    Offline Desmond Of The Outer Sanctorum

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    Re: The Three Stooges Meet Hercules (1962)
    « Reply #9 on: January 09, 2017, 11:00:01 AM »
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  • Once again the historical context provided by Big Chief is appreciated.

    It's tough for me to find time to watch a whole feature in order to give a detailed review (which all of you might not want to read anyway), but I will say this: I got a kick out of the ending as well, particularly one line of Dimsel's which I think was "I didn't know Priscilla was married!" It implies that Dimsel has had a whole adventure of his own, which of course is left to the viewer's imagination.
    "Give me a smart idiot over a stupid genius any day." -- Samuel Goldwyn

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    Offline Curly Van Dyke

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    Re: The Three Stooges Meet Hercules (1962)
    « Reply #10 on: January 09, 2017, 12:39:33 PM »
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  • I like all the DeRita features except "Snow White".
    This is a good one-It gives us typical Stooge humor and a good takeoff on the popular
    Hercules films of the 60s.
    I agree that DeRita does nothing special,but is an improvement over Besser.

    Offline Umbrella Sam

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    Re: The Three Stooges Meet Hercules (1962)
    « Reply #11 on: January 20, 2017, 10:35:21 AM »
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  • I thought it was pretty good. It still wasn't super funny, but there definitely were some genuinely funny moments, like the exchange of Larry and Curly Joe throwing objects around the room at the beginning, the exchange with the cyclops, and Moe playing around with the drums on the ship. Hal Smith is also fun to watch as the king of Rhodes.

    The story is entertaining and the romantic leads are more interesting than in HAVE ROCKET or ORBIT, although is still bogged down by the fact that Diane is barely on screen for a lot of it. In addition, I felt there might have been a few scenes that were too repetitive. They literally get captured by the same ship twice and have to escape it twice! In addition, although I like their names, I felt the stuff with Achilles the Heel and Freddie the Fence was pretty unnecessary, considering they only appear twice and are gone as quick as they came.

    While I don't think it's a perfect movie, I still had fun watching it.

    7 out of 10