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.