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      I'll start with my thoughts on Keaton at Columbia.  He will never have the budgets, time, or creative freedom he had in his independent silent days, so I can understand Keaton fans being down on these shorts who are not Stooge or Columbia shorts fans.   Heck, Keaton himself was.  However, I'm a Keaton fan who came to him through the influence he had on Columbia shorts, namely The Three Stooges.  One always hears about stories, gags, and writers being used from Keaton films in Stooge shorts.  Since I'm a Stooge/Columbia shorts fan and a Buster fan, I love seeing Buster in this environment, plus I think it's great Buster time with Columbia was the late thirties and early forties, just as the shorts department hit a big creative peak.  So yeah, it's again enjoying these films for what they are versus what they're not.

      PEST FROM THE WEST is a nice start to the Columbia series.  It has a nice running gag, literally, of Buster running back and forth to his boat, which has a nice lack of communication between him and his sailors and an excuse for some physical comedy.  Like Paul, I won't do a spoiler.  Buster does seem to be in good energy here, sliding and gliding across the screen to see the girl he desires, and I gotta dig that subtle gag where he takes her long dress, puts the dress on the table and then puts his elbow on the dress to stop her and get her attention.  Funny, physical comic bit.

      The supporting cast in this one is fantastic, with Lorna Gray as the girl, plus Richard Fiske (I get a laugh the way he brags about being a bullfighter, the way he comically props himself up), Gino Corrado, and Bud Jamison.  Lorna Gray is fantastic as usual, love the little eye rolls she does and the fact she blatantly plays a woman who juggles her men.  The ending, which I won't give away, is classic Keaton wit and really displays this aspect to her character.

      The scene where he serenades Lorna with a ukelele is the most famous bit in the short, and is fantastic in its timing.  Keaton does an almost Edgar Kennedy slow burn, but he never totally boils over.  Also, listen carefully to the soundtrack in that wonderful bit where Keaton and Gino Corrado take turns slamming the cellar door on each other.  When Corrado falls in the basement, the yell dubbed over is none other than that of Curly Howard.

      A really fun short.  Yeah, this one's better than all the MGM talkies.

9/10
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I give up...I watched the whole thing again with emphasis on the boat scenes.  I saw no special effects other than Cy doubling Carrado.  What are you seeing that I'm not?

You didn't notice the unusual camera angles showing people jumping on and off the boat?  That's something you NEVER see in a Columbia short... ever, but here it is!
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I give up...I watched the whole thing again with emphasis on the boat scenes.  I saw no special effects other than Cy doubling Carrado.  What are you seeing that I'm not?
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Weekly Episode Discussions / Re: Pest from the West (1939) - Buster Keaton
« Last post by Paul Pain on February 17, 2018, 06:43:25 PM »
The last thing I’ll address is the Elmer character and, yeah, a lot of the plot is based around Keaton’s gullibility. However, Keaton actually is able to accomplish his goal and is clever enough to trick both of Conchita’s boyfriends, so I think that it can get a pass for the most part. I really enjoyed this short and can only hope there’s at least one more short of this quality (from what it sounds like, there probably isn’t [cry]).

Some shorts are more Elmer; others are more Buster.  You'll find out the hard way as we go along.
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Weekly Episode Discussions / Re: Snow White and the Three Stooges (1961)
« Last post by Paul Pain on February 17, 2018, 06:36:28 PM »
Cancer usually does that.  [pie]

Yeah, I think it finally killed me by late September last year.
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Weekly Episode Discussions / Re: Pest from the West (1939) - Buster Keaton
« Last post by Tony Bensley on February 17, 2018, 04:27:43 PM »
Perhaps it was just my mood, but I found this short to be good, but not great.  I was actually already familiar with one of its highlights, the "In A Little Spanish Town" bit, as it is included in the TCM Original Documentary ADDED ATTRACTIONS: THE HOLLYWOOD SHORTS STORY (2002), that's on my Laurel and Hardy TCM Archives Collection (2006) DVD set.

So, Lorna Gray and Lupita Tovar (Who played essentially the same roles!) lived a combined 205 years.  Interesting that Lorna apparently wasn't Latina, although she sure looked convincing to this gringo!

PEST FROM THE WEST gets 7 out of 10 Ukelele Strings.

CHEERS!  [pie]
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Weekly Episode Discussions / Re: Snow White and the Three Stooges (1961)
« Last post by metaldams on February 17, 2018, 02:18:44 PM »
I did find that it picked up somewhat in the second half.

CHEERS!  [3stooges]

Cancer usually does that.  [pie]
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Weekly Episode Discussions / Re: Pest from the West (1939) - Buster Keaton
« Last post by metaldams on February 17, 2018, 11:56:32 AM »
Will watch this later tonight or tomorrow and review, but I want to address two things in Umbrella Sam's post.

One is I totally forgot Lupita Tovar was in THE INVADER!  She just passed away pretty recently at age 106!  I haven't watched THE INVADER in years, but wouldn't mind doing so at some point.

Secondly, with Keaton's condition.  By the time he got to Columbia, his alcoholism, by all accounts, was under control and was for the most part the rest of his life.  He was married to his third and final wife, Eleanor, by this point which did wonders for his happiness.  Keaton's problems lasted the mid to late 30's or so, but he picked himself back up.
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Weekly Episode Discussions / Re: Snow White and the Three Stooges (1961)
« Last post by Tony Bensley on February 17, 2018, 10:25:03 AM »
By the 40 minute mark, I was dying of cancer and gave up.  What a sack of shit.
I did find that it picked up somewhat in the second half.

CHEERS!  [3stooges]
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Weekly Episode Discussions / Re: Snow White and the Three Stooges (1961)
« Last post by Umbrella Sam on February 17, 2018, 09:38:04 AM »
While I too, don't despise this film as much as some others, I also recognize that SNOW WHITE AND THE THREE STOOGES basically falls somewhat short on nearly all counts.

I will expand a bit regarding one in which there was arguably some improvement.  Yes, Prince Charming is decidedly more involved in this edition than in the Disney animated feature, whereas the 1937 animated feature had very little of the Prince.  However, the reason for this was because during SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS production, it was found that too much Prince Charming was proving problematic, which was why Disney kept stripping his scenes.  Would SNOW WHITE AND THE THREE STOOGES have been better with more, or less of Prince Charming?  Debatable.  Mostly, it would have been better with more of The Three Stooges doing their thing.

It also has occurred to me that the about face in the spiraling budget that kept the film from making a profit in its initial release may have been an early indicator of poor decisions that would lead to 20th Century Fox's near bankruptcy state by the mid '60s, pre SOUND OF MUSIC (1965).

Anyway, enough of the history lesson. This feature doesn't appear nearly so dreary as most of the lesser Besser shorts.  It gets 5 out of 10 Magic Mirrors.

CHEERS! :)

Yeah, when you really think about it, a lot of SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS’ appeal came from the Dwarfs themselves. While I do wish there was a bit more focus on the prince there, I can definitely see why Disney cut so much down.

Interestingly enough, Frank Tashlin claimed to have worked for Disney for a few years. Knowing he had experience there as well as at Warner Bros, I feel SNOW WHITE AND THE THREE STOOGES potentially could have been great under his direction.
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