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Author Topic: The Three Stooges in Orbit (1962)  (Read 758 times)

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Offline metaldams

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The Three Stooges in Orbit (1962)
« on: January 13, 2017, 08:17:29 PM »
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  • http://threestooges.net/filmography/episode/217
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056580/?ref_=nv_sr_1



          Another Derita era feature, and at the very least, another interesting film.  Not as good as Hercules, mind you, but good.  Comparing this to Hercules, it strikes me how in Hercules, I find every character enjoyable, even the romantic couple, who actually play an integral part of that film.  With THE THREE STOOGES IN ORBIT, the young couple is completely disposable, but at least they don't take up too much of the film.  The aliens are nowhere near as cool as Hercules.  Really, they were a one joke thing with the funny talk and subtitles, and it got old after a while.  The Stooges reading subtitles at the end was at least a nice twist, so I'll give this film points on that.

          The most interesting this about THE THREE STOOGES IN ORBIT is that this is the most risqué, relatively speaking, the boys ever got.  1962 was the waning days of the production code, so they got away with things you wouldn't see or hear in a 1940's film. Examples - Emil Sitka accidentally throwing out a "What the Hell" when describing his machine.  The boys, now older men, hesitantly watching an attractive young naked woman, covered in soap, taking a bubble bath.  The machine knocking down a wall, revealing young girls in a shower.  Larry's immortal line, "Look out, you'll knock him on his brass."  Finally, there is a bra landing from the sky on a general.  The general then commands one of his men to put the bra back where it belongs. 

         The boys themselves are fine if you go in with the expectation that they're older and Derita is the third Stooge.  Taken on their own terms, perfectly pleasant.  Perfectly pleasant Stooges is better than no Stooges at all.  Compared to old Stooges though, no dice.  Compare the gag where Derita is hammering a nail into the wall, the nail pointing the wrong way.  Done in the Curly era, Curly is a ball of energy when doing the task, and Moe is angry and quick to tell Curly what's wrong.  It's that sudden burst of energy by both brothers that make the gag so funny.  Here, the gag goes on longer and is patiently explained.  Again, fine on its own terms, as is most of the film, but pales compared to the old days.

          A few more notes in that yes, Emil Sitka gets a nice role and is in fine form in this one.  The nuclear weapon theme is perhaps a bit too unnerving a theme for a comedy, especially with the shit going on today, so perhaps I long for the innocence of a Hercules and time travel.  The pie gag, again, forced as Hell.  I think they thought of the pies at this point as a signature that had to be pigeonholed in.  So overall impressions, not as good as last week's film, but interesting for the somewhat risqué bits and just the pleasure of seeing the boys go out on top commercially.  They're pleasant to watch for an hour and a half, can't ask for much more.

    7/10


    Offline Shemp_Diesel

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    Re: The Three Stooges in Orbit (1962)
    « Reply #1 on: January 13, 2017, 08:29:57 PM »
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  • Another good one by Moe, Larry and Derita. Derita himself has what I would probably say his best performance in the stooge features--he gets off quite a few good one-liners like the reason the martians can't blow up the Earth & his snappy response to Moe's question, "What do you do when someone mails you a bomb?" I think even Larry smiled a bit on that one.

    The requisite love story of these features is probably the blandest of them all, but it doesn't grate on me. Emil Sitka does great work as the professor, too.

    On the whole I would say that "Hercules" is still slightly better, but Orbit is still good, easy going fun.

    7 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: The Three Stooges in Orbit (1962)
    « Reply #2 on: January 14, 2017, 05:29:45 PM »
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  • S_D speaks for me on this one, and I can add that all the kids my age were crazy about this one, too.  The bouncing off the walls in fast motion bit which was huge in Hercules was repeated here with just Moe and was almost as big.  Emil has his biggest role ever anywhere, and is just dandy.  The only missed opportunity I can see is that the boys should have had an all-in paint war when they were applying that special make up.  That should have been five big minutes.  I also like the totally chaotic ending.  Hercules and Orbit were truly the sweet spot of the comeback.

    Offline 7stooges

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    Re: The Three Stooges in Orbit (1962)
    « Reply #3 on: January 14, 2017, 11:49:17 PM »
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  • As fans know, THE STOOGES IN ORBIT partially consists of footage from the unsold TV pilot THE THREE STOOGES SCRAPBOOK - reprinted in black and white, and with the laugh track and background music removed.

    At one point, the boys are seen watching the cartoon produced for SCRAPBOOK. There's a line from Joe DeRita that sounds like it could have been ad-libbed, judging by Moe and Larry's reactions. Joe looks at his cartoon self and states, "Boy, that fat fella, he's a doll, ain't he?" Joe gets in a few other good lines. The bomb gag was mentioned. There's also the bit where Moe tells the other two to cover up their eyes so that they won't see the naked woman in the house next door. "Moe, Larry's cheatin'!" Curly-Joe says at one point. I also enjoyed the bit prior to that where Joe's shower is interrupted by the miniature model of Sitka's invention. Note that Joe is wearing a shower cap. Nice tough!

    It's also worth nothing that the Professor's new method of animation was a reference to one of Norman Maurer's own inventions. He had created a camera that captured the motion in front of it, and was able to replicate it as rotoscope animation. Maurer's plan was to utilize this revolutionary machine for STOOGE TIME, a proposed Three Stooges series that was sort of a blueprint for THE NEW 3 STOOGES. The project was turned down, as nobody was willing to put their money into such a strange new invention. Looks like Sitka's character could be an exaggeration of Norman Maurer.

    Offline Umbrella Sam

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    Re: The Three Stooges in Orbit (1962)
    « Reply #4 on: January 16, 2017, 05:19:53 PM »
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  • Talk about one of the most misleading titles you'll ever see! For a film called THE THREE STOOGES IN ORBIT, they're not really in orbit for very long.

    As for the film itself, it's...ok. I'll start off by saying that I was happy to see Emil Sitka actually play a major role in a Three Stooges feature, and he does a good job with what he has to work with. There also are some decently funny moments from the Stooges, some of which are actually fresh material. I like when Curly Joe accidentally makes Moe and Larry flip the table over, thinking they're not allowed to have home cooking. I also like the fourth wall gag of the Stooges reading the subtitles and I love the fact that when the aliens say to "hit them where it hurts most," they're referring to Disneyland.

    Unfortunately, I just don't think that there's enough funny moments in it. There were a lot of good ideas in this that I thought could have been a lot funnier, like the Stooges in all that white makeup or even the bomb as a carburetor, which I think was done much better in the Three Stooges comics, but was really nothing more than a plot point here to destroy the aliens. The aliens themselves are pretty bland as well; I wish they could have played them up for laughs a bit more. In addition, the romance is pretty bad, though brief, and the story just isn't that interesting, probably because the Stooges had already done so many space stories by this time. I kind of consider this in the same boat as HAVE ROCKET, in that I was mildly amused, but don't consider this something I'd really come back to.

    6 out of 10

    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: The Three Stooges in Orbit (1962)
    « Reply #5 on: January 20, 2017, 11:47:24 PM »
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  • Umbrella Sam, I'll repeat that these movies were made for kids, ages maybe eight to maybe fourteen, the age group I was in at the time.  We loved it.  The Martians on the big screen were plenty scary for us, the story was compelling enough, and of course it was funny and slapsticky enough because IT WAS THE THREE STOOGES !  There they were, right there, in their new movie !  If you're watching this for the first time on your iPad at age twenty, or however old you may be, reviewing it as an adult, fifty-plus years after the release, you are missing the irretrievable experience of being ten years old and watching it as a main feature in a real movie theater, which is the way it was meant to be seen, indeed the only way it existed in 1963.  And with all due respect, if you haven't seen it that way, you  can't imagine the excitement  (devoid of course of any sophisticated critical acumen )  in a room full of pre-teens presented with their T V idols on the wide screen. We loved it  We laughed our ten-year-old asses off.  Which is exactly what the makers of this movie were aiming for.

    Offline Umbrella Sam

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    Re: The Three Stooges in Orbit (1962)
    « Reply #6 on: January 21, 2017, 08:24:46 AM »
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  • Umbrella Sam, I'll repeat that these movies were made for kids, ages maybe eight to maybe fourteen, the age group I was in at the time.  We loved it.  The Martians on the big screen were plenty scary for us, the story was compelling enough, and of course it was funny and slapsticky enough because IT WAS THE THREE STOOGES !  There they were, right there, in their new movie !  If you're watching this for the first time on your iPad at age twenty, or however old you may be, reviewing it as an adult, fifty-plus years after the release, you are missing the irretrievable experience of being ten years old and watching it as a main feature in a real movie theater, which is the way it was meant to be seen, indeed the only way it existed in 1963.  And with all due respect, if you haven't seen it that way, you  can't imagine the excitement  (devoid of course of any sophisticated critical acumen )  in a room full of pre-teens presented with their T V idols on the wide screen. We loved it  We laughed our ten-year-old asses off.  Which is exactly what the makers of this movie were aiming for.

    Don't get me wrong, I totally understand that and as far as that goes, it gets its job done just fine. I enjoyed watching it when I was little as well and I think it's something most kids today would enjoy, but for me personally, it just doesn't hold up as well as AROUND THE WORLD IN A DAZE. Also, I respect it for helping to keep the Stooges in the spotlight at old age; I think it was nice that they got to have their own successful film series in their later years.