The Three Stooges Collection, Vol. 4: 1943-1945

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Product Description

Studio: Sony Pictures Home Ent Release Date: 10/07/2008

In "Crash Goes the Hash," Moe, Larry and Curly offend a snooty butler's sensibilities. "Such levity," he sniffs. "You remind me of the Three Stooges." In a huff, Curly replies, "Hey, that's an insult." No, it's the highest compliment. The best of these 21 shorts (and even the worst have at least some redeeming bits of silliness) are essential for every Stooge-phile's library. This chronological collection is book-ended by two key shorts. Violent is the word for "They Stooge to Conga," jaw-dropping slapstick porn that features an excruciating bit wherein Moe's head, ear, and eye are punctured by Curly's spiked shoe. "Micro-Phonies" is arguably the Stooges' very best short, in which Curly is mistaken for an operatic singer. The lip-sync renditions of "Voices of Spring" and the sextet from the opera Lucia di Lammermoor are moments that even Stooge-haters love. Mistaken identity happens a lot to the boys. They are mistaken for doctors in "A Gem of a Jam," reporters in "Crash Goes the Hash," sweepstakes winners in "Three Pets in a Mess," and Japanese soldiers in "No Dough, Boys." In several of these wartime shorts it seems they can't turn around with uncovering a "rat's nest" of Japanese and German spies and saboteurs. Perhaps the stereotypical portrayals of the Axis villains in "They Stooge to Conga," "Back from the Front" and "Higher Than a Kite" can be forgiven today. However, as great a performer as African-American character actor Dudley Dickerson is, his cowardly, put-upon characters in "Conga" and "Gem" are a little more problematic in our more enlightened times. Other notable shorts are "Gents Without Cents," in which the Stooges return to their vaudeville roots with their performance of their signature "Niagara Falls" sketch ("Slowly I turna?|."). "Busy Buddies," in which Curly enters a cow-milking contest, is another fan favorite. "Idle Roomers" marks the debut of the versatile Christine McIntyre, one of the great additions to the Stooges stock company. "If a Body Meets a Body" marks the first use of the swing version of the Stooges' "Three Blind Mice" theme. The first short produced following Curly Howard's mild stroke, it also marks the beginning of the end for the Curly era. But this thoughtfully produced collection ensures that the Stooges' legacy is secure. These shorts, to quote Curly in "Crash Goes the Hash," are mostly "colossal, stupendous, terrifica?|even superlative." --Donald Liebenson
Stooges fans may experience a sense of the bittersweet mixed with their elation over the arrival of Volume 4 in the digitally remastered Three Stooges Collection; although the new set continues to present the knucklehead's legendary comedy shorts in pristine condition and chronological order, it's also the beginning of the end in regards to the participation of Jerome "Curly" Howard, who arguably remains the most popular member of the trio. By 1943-44, a variety of debilitating health issues robbed Howard of his manic energy, which is more than evident in shorts like "If a Body Meets a Body" and "Micro-Phonies," both from 1945. Unfortunately, brother Moe Howard's requests to halt production was nixed by Columbia, which resulted in a further decline in Curly's health that would eventually lead to the stroke in 1946 that forced his retirement from the team. And while the knowledge of Howard's health issues casts something of a pall over the set, there are still plenty of laughs to be had over the course of the two-disc set. Chief among the highlights is "Dizzy Detectives," which pits the boys against a rampaging ape man; "Spook Louder," (Stooges vs. mad scientist with death ray machine; viewers should note that the short features some World War II-era anti-Japanese sentiment); "Gents Without Cents," which features their version of the "Niagara Falls" routine; and "Dizzy Pilots," which chronicles the Stooges' contributions to the aviation industry (all disastrous, of course). As with the previous Collection releases, seven of the 21 shorts included in the set are making their DVD debuts; the flawless quality of the DVD presentation, as well as the sheer amount of nyuks on hand, make Volume 4 a must-have for every self-respecting Stooge-phile. --Paul Gaita

Customer Reviews:

  • In defense of
    First, in defense of, they credited me back my $5.00 or so for their cut in price from the pre-order price without me asking for it or even being aware of a price decrease. is extremely professional, honest and straightforward in dealing with us customers. I give top rating for
    Second, as for this Sony Three Stooges series, this review being on the 4th installment; the transfers are perfect, no editing out of scenes. I own all four installments and my daughter and I enjoy each one immensely. I hope Sony continues with the 5th and 6th and so on in the series as I am looking forward to the Shemp shorts. By the way, for you who don't know, these sets are all in consecutive order beginning with the 1934 shorts and progressing on from there. All in all a great set.
    And again, thank you for your continued excellent service and professional dealings with your valued customers....more info
  • Bring On The "Shemps"
    Now that the "Curly's" are done. I hope Sony doesn't forget to give us the complete "Shemp's"....more info
  • And the Nyuks Continue
    This collection has some of the funniest stooge shorts in it and I am really glad I decided to complete the Curly collection....more info
  • The Three Stooges Collection, Vol. 4
    We have another fantastic collection of The Three Stooges in this set. There are 21 shorts on two discs & the comedic genius of Curly is fully evident. It was a sad day when Curly Howard's career was cut short by health problems but few episodes in this set reveal the problems.

    "They Stooge to Conga" has our three boys taking on spies when they arrive to fix a doorbell.
    "Dizzy Detectives" finds them taking on a gorilla.
    "Spook Louder" has them hired to guard an inventor's spooky house. This is the short that has the mysterious pie thrower.
    "Back From the Front" has the boys at sea & the ship they're on is sunk. They're adrift at sea long enough to grow beards. They board an enemy ship & raise havoc with the Axis powers. Moe does another great imitation of the despised German leader.
    "I Can Hardly Wait" is the famous short where Moe attempts to pull Curly's tooth.
    "Phony Express" is one of their Western spoofs. In this one the boys are misidentified as three famous lawmen.
    "A Gem of a Jam" finds the boys working as janitors but thought to be doctors by three hoodlums.
    "Idle Roomers" has the boys taking on a version of the wolfman.
    Gents Without Cents" is one of my favorite shorts by the Stooges. This is the one where the boys do the Niagara Falls routine. "Slowly I turned, step by step, inch by inch..."; Moe & Larry then proceed to rip Curly's clothes to shreds. Listen closely to them on the stage & you'll hear Moe & Larry mess up their lines.
    "No Dough Boys" finds our boys in Japanese uniforms & thought to be escaped prisoners.
    "Idiots Deluxe" is certainly one of the Stooges most violent episodes. Moe is being sued by Larry & Curly because he tried to kill them."If a Body Meets a Body" finds the Stooges involved in a murder-mystery.
    "Micro-Phonies" has Curly posing as Senorita Coocaracha, an opera diva who can't sing. Curly is actually miming to a record & then the real female singer. It's a classic episode.

    It's a great collection for Stoogephiles that love to yuk it up with the boys. The prints are in pristine condition but there aren't any bonus features, not even subtitles. Thank you, Sony, for giving so much of the proper attention to restoring these prints....more info
  • Completing Curly's best films (yes there are still more to come)
    This set completes the better Curly shorts, towards the end of this set he started suffering mini-strokes and the effects show on screen. But for the most part, Curly is still full of energy!

    The 21 shorts are:

    They Stooge to Conga (wartime. Moe disguises as Hitler!)
    Dizzy Detectives
    Spook Louder
    Back From The Front (wartime)
    Three Little Twerps
    Higher Than A Kite (wartime)
    I Can Hardly Wait (one of the weaker ones, Curly has a bad tooth)
    Dizzy Pilots (wartime)
    Phony Express
    A Gem Of A Jam

    Crash Goes The Hash
    Busy Buddies
    The Yoke's on Me (wartime stereotypes)
    Idle Roomers
    Gents Without Cents (features "Niagara Falls" routine)
    No Dough Boys (wartime)

    Three Pests In A Mess (nice cemetery comedy for Halloween)
    Booby Dupes (wartime joke at the end of this non-wartime comedy. Stooges go fishing.)
    Idiots Deluxe (first evidence of Curly's mini-strokes & 1st with black title-card)
    If a Body Meets a Body
    Micro-Phonies (still a classic, even with the mini-stroke)

    --A word about Curly's decline:
    Curly would go on to film 10 more shorts in the next year, but none of them equaled the quality of these.
    Even the last three shorts of this set show the signs of health problems.
    In IDIOTS DELUXE the failing health starts to show in Curly's face, but his voice is still stong & energetic.
    IF A BODY MEETS A BODY shows the first full signs of a stroke. Not only has Curly's face changed, but his voice has now dropped & speach patterns become more labored. His energy levels have dropped noticably (a body double is used near the end).
    MICROPHONIES gives hope for a recovery. Curly still lacks his old energy but he seems enthused and energized with the script. However his voice & face remain the same.
    The real devastations will show up in the next set as Curly is unable to finish 1946'S BEER BARREL POLECATS, leaving only half a short filmed and forcing the director to pad out the film with 8 minutes of stock footage from earlier films. I don't know if this health-related sortcut gave Columbia the idea to save money on future Shemp Shorts by using large segments of stock footage, but it is the start of a bad trend at Columbia Short Subjects Department. The future arrival of Shemp forced Columbia to stop this for a while as Curly footage could not fit well in a Shemp film.
    Well, more on this when volume 5 comes out.

    One problem I have with some of the last comedies in this set is the scripts putting stooge against stooge, breaking up the team.
    In IDIOTS DELUXE Larry & Curly take Moe to court for beating them up. The short then goes into the story of why Moe did this. The story itself is top form Stooge comedy. I can just imagine the brainstorming session in the story room: "Hey what if the boys get tired of Moe hitting them and take him to court! That would be a new twist."
    IF A BODY MEETS A BODY starts on an off note with Larry & Moe getting tired of Curly's foolishness and telling him to leave. A sobbing Curly packs to go when Larry & Moe see a newspaper article announcing the search for a missing heir to a fortune: Curly Q. Link. Suddenly Moe & Larry want Curly to be their friend again & appologize.
    I always thought of the Stooges as tight friends, through slap & eye poke. Basically they are one being to me, not three individuals. It is a down note for me to see them fighting against each other, even if it is a story plot device....more info
  • Buy this for "Busy Budies"
    As a Stoogephile since 1950, I have watched these shorts all my life. Each of the 190 or so short subjects carries something about it that attracts comedy fans of all ages. But only a handful of Stooges shorts can really be called classics. Among those are their regular parodies of Hitler and Stalin, the unforgettable "A-Plumbing We Will Go," and their magnificent World War II short, "Boobs In Arms."

    In my opinion, one title carried in this pacakge -- "Busy Buddies" -- is in that handful of classic Stooges skits that transcends time for comedy and will be watched as long as people watch comedy and laugh. In this little movie, the Stooges first own a restaurant, which they may lose to debt, forcing the team to enter a cow-milking contest to save the restaurant.

    In an early scene a debtor arrives in the restaurant, demands payment from Moe, who's behind the counter, and starts to get steamed, and eventually agrees to have a cup of coffee. Meanwhile, Curly is painting the place...from a coffee cup full of paint. Curly's painting out of a cup of coffee...the debtor's drinking know what's going to happen next. Not long afterward, another debtor tries to eat some strange pancakes.

    Later, the boys throw Curly into a fenced area with a bull to learn how to milk a "cow." The bull instead tosses Curly out with one of those great sound effects that made the Stooges famous, an effect I have copied and used all my life in similar situations. The boys toss him back in and Curly eventually swings majestically from a telephone pole. When the boys get to the actual cow-milking contest, the humor becomes almost unbearable.

    I've been watching this a half-century and "Busy Buddies" is among the greatest comedy skits I've ever seen. It's up there with the "Fridays" (a short-lived Friday night ripoff of Saturday Night Live) skit in the Reagan era where Seinfeld's Michael Richards played Reagan in "Altered Statesman," which merged the psychedlic effects of the then-popular film "Altered States" with Reagan's presidency and his past life as an actor. In one scene, Reagan, after taking peyote, hallucinated the 20 mule team from the Boraxo ads used on a TV program he hosted in the 1960s.

    If you've never seen "Busy Buddies," you are in for quite a treat!...more info
  • Stooges rule!
    I am a Three Stooges fan. This video lived up to the shorts I remember seeing on late night TV. The quality of the shorts were very high. The only problem I had was that I thought I was getting all of the Jerome "Curly" Howard shorts. I was disappointed that the one short I was looking for was not included in the set. It was made the next year. So I will be looking for volume #5. ...more info
  • Still way too funny
    The Three Stooges (or 4) are timeless and as funny today as they were 65 years ago. ...more info
  • Yet another volume of the masters of Comedy.
    These shorts never get old no matter how many times you view them. Even though there is a noticeable decline in health for Curly in these later shorts, he is still the undisputed king of The Three Stooges themselves. The Stooges best and funniest shorts were with Curly and that is something even Larry and Moe admitted during interviews they both gave.

    There's a reason why there are 97 Curly shorts and only 73 Shemp shorts (the last four of those frequently using recycled footage and a body double to fill in for a deceased Shemp). Shemp was a part of the early Stooges act for only a few years when they were a second billed supporting act to entertainer Ted Healy on Vaudeville. Shemp was only in one film of this early version of the stooges (Soup to Nuts-1930) and left after filming due to his dislike of Healy. Through these years they remained second rate and virtually unknown and struggled to earn reasonable pay. Shemp didn't rejoin the group after their separation from Healy because Curly quickly replaced him and was discovered to have a born gift for comedy. After making that discovery, and seeing the clear increase in popularity, Larry and Moe couldn't have cared less about Shemp returning.

    With the addition of Curly the popularity of The Stooges exploded and were soon given their own headlining contract with Columbia. Moe and Larry only made an effort to include Shemp in the Columbia shorts after Curly couldn't act anymore. That is the cold hard facts. That's not to say that Shemp didn't have his moments when he was funny, because he was funny at times. Comedy is not based on opinion as much as some would like to think though.

    No matter what your opinion, nothing changes the facts: The Stooges were all but invisible before Curly, and were returned to second rate after Curly had to leave the group due to his failing health. Shemp has his loyal followers and some claim to like them equally but there is no changing the fact that their biggest success began and ended with Curly's years in the trio. After Curly left, it was the end of an era. Hopefully Columbia recognizes this as well and includes only the remaining 10 shorts of THE Three Stooges along with footage, interviews, and much deserved tributes to Curly. Save the declining Shemp years for those that have to have everything with the Three Stooges name attached. ...more info
  • The Three Stooges Collection,Vol 4: 1943-1945
    What can I say. If your a Stooges fan you have to have these. I own all 4 volumes and have pre ordered Vol 5 already. Always a riot!!...more info
  • Top Notch
    This entire series is excellent in both video and sound. Almost all shorts are as pristine as if they were just released for the theater. I haven't seen any of these on broadcast TV look as good as they do in this collection....more info
  • Classic Stooges
    This is yet another great Stooges set from Sony/Columbia. I can only hope the next set which should finish up the Curly shorts has some kind of extras. Interviews with the Stooges remaining relatives. Home movies. Interesting facts about them. Anything would be appreciated. Then it's on to the Shemp shorts....more info
  • great one for the collection
    If you grew up watching the 3 stooges, this just one of the four you must have in your collection...more info
  • 3 Stooges
    Nice to have on a DVD by the years. I use to tape these VHS off of the TV. There are alittle worn out by now. So it was great to get this by DVD. Should last alittle longer. ...more info
  • More adventures of Moe,Larry and Curly
    This fourth installment of THE THREE STOOGES COLLECTION brings Moe,Larry and Curly in their adventures of the last of World War II. In THEY STOOGE TO CONGA,Moe,his brother Curly and Larry come around to repair an ill-functioning doorbell and replace wires on a telephone pole. Again,in one scene,we'll see Moe posing as Germany dictator Adolph Hitler,subbing for a framed photo,or painting of Hitler! DIZZY DETECTIVES begins with stock footage from 1935's PARDON MY SCOTCH,where the boys install a door in a drugstore. Curly does some power-sawing on the floor,with Moe underneath the not-yet-installed door and Curly saws a hole in the floor causing Moe to fall through downstairs. In the original scene,Larry tells Moe,"You only fell 14 feet!". They then receive word that they've been hired to join the local police force. They encounter a gorilla who is learning to rob like his owner and his gang members. BACK FROM THE FRONT is one of a few war-themed shorts with the boys on a ship,paying a short visit to their girlfriends' home while on a furlough. Again,we'll see Moe as Hitler,complete with square moustache. In SPOOK LOUDER,the boys have been hired to sublet an inventor's home while he travels to Washington,D.C. A trio of crooks in Halloween costumes plan to rob the home. In THREE LITTLE TWERPS,the poster-pasting Stooges join the circus. In another war-themed short,HIGHER THAN A KITE,the boys are service station attendants and end up politicians in Germany. Curly breaks a tooth(molar) in I CAN HARDLY WAIT. An exploding dynamite stick didn't cure Curly's toothache,nor did a pushed door(with a string around the knob with the other end of the string around Curly's aching tooth). But a punch in the mouth from Moe did! The tooth was extracted as a result of the punch. In DIZZY PILOTS,the Stooges are the Wrong brothers,inventors of a revolutionary aircraft,an idea that never came to the minds of the real-life Wright Brothers. They end up in the army after the aircraft failed to meet standards(stock footage from 1940's BOOBS IN ARMS). The Stooges are wanted for vagrancy in PHONY EXPRESS. In A GEM OF A JAM,the boys are custodians ordered by two gangsters to perform necessary surgery on their friend. In CRASH GOES THE HASH,the boys are hired by a newspaper editor to get a story on a widow's engagement. Her foreign fiance robs her safe and is later arrested. The boys receive $100 each and Curly receives an added prize:the widow's hand. In BUSY BUDDIES,to pay an outstanding debt,Moe and Larry enter Curly in a cow-milking contest. Moe and Larry don the two-man cow costume with Moe distributing the milk from a large container. Curly is disqualified after giving Moe and Larry away. In THE YOKE'S ON ME,the boys run a farm and a group of Japanese men steal pumpkins. The Stooges are bellboys in IDLE ROOMERS and discover a gorilla who later operates the elevator the Stooges ride. The boys meet their upstairs neighbors and later marry Flo,Mary and Shirley in GENTS WITHOUT CENTS. The boys posing as Japanese men fight real Japanese men in NO DOUGH BOYS. The boys receive a patent for their fly-catching invention in THREE PESTS IN A MESS. In BOOBY DUPES,the seafood-retailing Stooges plan to catch their own to sell after buying a boat which they end up wrecking. In IDIOTS DeLUXE,Moe is tried in court for mayhem(physically abusing Moe and Larry) and is later acquitted. In IF A BODY MEETS A BODY,Curly Q. Link's uncle Bob O. Link has died and Curly anxiously awaits his monetary inheritance(his sister Liza receives the $1,250,000 and Curly receives the 67 cent change!). In MICRO-PHONIES,Curly,in drag,lip-synchs a woman's recording of VOICES OF SPRING. A foreign man gives Curly away at a party("Look,peoples! Just a big fake!"). This is dedicated to the memories of Moe(1897-1975),Larry(1902-1975) and Curly(1903-1952)....more info
  • Now this is Comedy
    What can you say about the Three Stooges that has not already been said. This collection, like the three before them is comedy at it's greatest. This collection of shorts highlight the greatest comedy team ever. Super Collection....more info
  • Last of the Great Ones
    This is the last set before Curly's health declined. Still great material 60+ years later. Kids who had never heard of the Stooges are hooked by the end of the first short. ...more info
  • Stooge Fan is pleased!!!
    After years of trying to collect good watchable Stooge shorts , Columbia has finally released them in a remastered DVD that is a pleasure to view. Sharp and clear and complete without editing ,these DVDs are a must for all Stooge fans. A studio released DVD cannot be beat!! Thanks Columbia!!!...more info
  • More Stooges Please!
    I agree with the others who are asking that Sony continue with all the Stooge shorts and not stop with just the Curly episodes. I can promise that I'll be here buying them until the bitter end myself! I had given up hope of ever owning a full good quality set of the shorts until these DVD's came along.

    Stooge Fan...more info
  • A Very Sad Decline for Curly, (Jerome)
    I think Idiots Deluxe was simply hilarious but it was the last film they did with an energetic Curly. On the next film "If a Body meets a Body." watch at the end when the Stooges are running down the stairs, it isn't Curly but a double. He also seems slower and not as energetic, on the next film Micro Phonies he seems to be back.

    To me he was the funniest comedian figure that ever lived but because they couldn't treat high blood pressure and he drank alot he had these strokes that finally ended his career and life.

    I hope they'll be Shemp following the Curly movies....more info
  • Stupendous Stooges
    As usual, the antics of the Stooges are just plain slapstick, but the quality of this set is fabulous, and the Stooges are just as funny as they were when I was a kid............more info
  • can't wait for next release - well done, Sony
    brilliant pic quality - great selection of episodes, some of which I'd never seen before...more info
  • Twilight
    This dvd set is full of great shorts but this is where we start to see the signs of Curly's health wearing down. It will be sad to watch him deteriorate in these shorts but I know all fans appreciate how Curly gave his life for this comedy team....more info
    It's better than I remember watching them as a kid. The audio and video has been cleaned up and restored. Laughed till it hurt may seem trite - but it is true.

    If you love the Three Stooges, buy all four volumes. Awesome collection!...more info
  • WHY
    I can't wait for the fourth edition to come out, but why has Amazon gone
    up $5.00 on their price more than first three editions? Are they taking
    advantage of us stooge lovers. It can be pre-ordered other places for less....more info
  • Curly nears the end of the road
    I'm glad to see that Volume 4 is being released in a timely manner. These are the later ones with Curly right around the time he began experiencing health problems (as they used doubles for him in a few shorts). It's sad to think about how Curly had to leave the team, but I do have fond memories of shorts such as "Micro-Phonies" in which Curly seems to be enjoying himself.
    I imagine Volume 5 will complete the Curly years and dive into the early Shemp years. ...more info
  • glad to see
    just want to let sony know Thank You for the great job and please finish what you have started ,,,,,,,,,,, all 190 ,,,,,,,, do the right thing for the pateint and loyal fans of the three stooges ,,,,,,,, just think no more bootlegs , sony can make the money and the stooges fans can be happy ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, keep up the good work , loyal fan ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,...more info
    "Three Stooges" Fans will be pleased that these 21 newly remastered shorts from Columbia / Sony Pictures are presented in chronological order complete and uncut, politically incorrect and in all they're Black & White splendor for fans to enjoy over and over. Hip Hip Hooray!

    Once again Columbia / Sony Pictures have done an incredible job with the video and sound remastering in The Three Stooges Collection, Vol. 4: 1943-1945. Columbia / Sony Pictures should be commended for their ongoing efforts and for giving "Three Stooges" fans the best possible quality shorts ever released. The digitally remastered video transfers are simply amazing; no longer do these shorts look like they were made over 60 years ago and the completely restored soundtrack is the best I've ever heard the stooges sound.

    Missing from these 21 newly remastered shorts is the debris, grain, dirt and sound hissing that used to plague these wonderful shorts. This wonderful set contains all 21 shorts from 1943-1945 on two single sided discs packaged in slim cases. The disc artwork and packaging is fantastic once again, making this set even more attractive and highly collectible for any Knucklehead to own.

    It's no secret that Jerome "Curly" Howard was suffering from some major health problems in 1943-44 and his time as the most beloved stooge was quickly coming to an end. After a series of strokes and no longer able to perform at the level he was accustomed to, curly retired in 1946 and the "Three Stooges" were never the same. Although this set sadly marks the beginning of the end for Curly, fans should cherish every hilarious moment he gave us.

    In my opinion some of the more memorable shorts in this collection are "Micro-Phonies", "Dizzy Detectives", "Spook Louder", "Crash Goes the Hash", "Dizzy Pilots" and "Gents without Cents" one of my absolute favorites. I can't wait to get the final 10 Curly shorts in volume five to complete his collection of stooge shorts and look forward to welcoming the newest stooge Shemp Howard.

    DVD Shorts Include:

    They Stooge to Conga / Dizzy Detectives / Spook Louder / Back From The Front / Three Little Twerps / Higher Than A Kite / I Can Hardly Wait / Dizzy Pilots / Phony Express / A Gem Of A Jam / Crash Goes The Hash / Busy Buddies / The Yoke's on Me / Idle Roomers / Gents Without Cents / No Dough Boys / Three Pests In A Mess / Booby Dupes / Idiots Deluxe / If a Body Meets a Body / Micro-Phonies /

    ...more info
  • Stooges
    Three words say it all, "THE THREE STOOGES", which means classic comedy at it's best. Another awesome box set of cleaned up Stooge goodness. I REALLY hope they continue to go through ALL the shorts, so we get cleaned up Shemp shorts as well, as I loves me some Shemp. Eeb bee bee bee bee! Buy this if you love the Stooges, as it's a MUST have for all collectors of all things Stooge....more info
  • Another Great Collection!
    Sony Pictures is doing an excellent job with releasing the Stooges' films & have done so again in fine fashion with Volume Four! As described on the DVD box, these films represent the final years with Curly before a series of strokes forced him to retire from the act in 1946. This is evidenced in the last couple of shorts from 1945, especially in "If A Body Meets A Body", where it's painfully evident by watching Curly that his mannerisms have slowed & his speech has begun to slur.

    Hopefully Sony will continue with the remarkable roll they've been on in releasing the shorts in order, especially the ones with Shemp shorts & even with Joe Besser.

    ...more info
  • Mixed Nuts In A Mixed Bag

    A mere five weeks since Sony's third chronological compilation
    of Three Stooges shorts dropped, along comes Volume 4. This
    set showcases all 21 two reelers from the years 1943-1945.

    Although it's not essential to view these shorts in chronological
    order, it does help to see how the Stooges' pacing advanced. Their
    earlier shorts had a slower pace to them. By this volume,
    their manic style of slapstick was at its most feverish pace. And
    by viewing them in release order on this set, it is very easy to see the
    decline in Curly Howard's health. When viewing the shorts released in
    1945, it is clear that Curly's performance has been altered noticeably by
    the time "Booby Dupes" is screened.

    The shorts on this set have one distinctive theme: they are more
    cartoonish than ever before. The plots, such as they are, become
    more transparent than the bald spot on Larry's head. With the lone
    exception of the true classic "Micro Phonies", story and plot really take
    a back seat during these years. Many feel that director Del Lord, who
    is all over this set, lost his way during this period.

    Overall, the restoration is on par with the previous three volumes. With the exception
    of "Crash Goes The Hash" (with inferior audio) and "Idiots Deluxe" (which is riddled
    with blemishes), the prints look and sound amazing. There are the usual soft spots
    in some shorts (most noticeably in "No Dough Boys"), but other than that, they look
    brand new.

    Volume 4 finishes up the war years and has some of the most violent
    and un PC Stoogery to be found in their stellar career.

    "They Stooge To Conga" (***) contains the wince inducing "spike" scene.
    Moe really gets it in this one. In fact, he gets it in the eye, head and ear.
    The Stooges are repairmen and stumble upon Nazi spies when attempting
    to fix a doorbell, destroying the house instead.
    CLASSIC LINE: Nazi Spy: "FBI, huh?" Curly: "No, I B Curly."
    FUN FACT: Watch for a very young Lloyd Bridges (who speaks five words).

    "Dizzy Detectives" (***) finds the Boys as cops tracking down an ape trained
    to rob from stores. Yes, you read that correctly. As silly as it may sound, the
    gags are aplenty with the great guillotine scene. I love Moe's reaction when he
    thinks Curly has been axed!
    CLASSIC LINE: Curly: "I didn't see her, but I could swear--" Moe: "That's a
    bad habit."
    Watch for a small recycling job from an earlier short "Pardon My Scotch."

    "Spook Louder" (***) is as close to a live action Looney Tunes as you're
    likely to find. The Stooges are "master salesmen" who wind up guarding
    an inventor's house so enemy spies won't steal his secrets. Weird noises,
    goofy clocks, a menacing balloon and mysterious flying pies make this
    nonsensical short a hoot to watch.
    CLASSIC LINE: Moe: "You dance like you got your legs on backwards."

    "Back From The Front" (***) finds the Boys on a disguised Nazi raider and
    capture the lot. Dressed up as the Axis partners, Moe delivers one of the
    best lines in all of Stoogedom.
    CLASSIC LINE: Moe: "Ah, my personality, thanks Buddy!"

    "Three Little Twirps" (**1/2) The Boys find their way into a circus after ruining the
    posters they were to be hanging.
    CLASSIC LINE: Larry: "Beat it, grandpa. We've got no time for kibbitzes."

    "Higher Than A Kite" (**1/2) Once again, Moe gets it good when his head gets
    stuck in a pipe. After ruining the General's car, they hide in a bomb (they think
    its a sewer pipe) and get dropped in Naziville.
    CLASSIC LINE: Nazi General: "Sit on my lap." Larry (in drag): "What lap?"

    "I Can Hardly Wait" (**) revolves around Curly having a bad tooth, while Moe
    and Larry come up with new ways to revolutionize dentistry.
    CLASSIC LINE: Curly: "You've got me bald headed in the mouth."

    "Dizzy Pilots" (****) The Stooges are the Wrong Brothers who invent a plane
    called "The Buzzard." During their test flight, things go terribly wrong and they
    wind up getting drafted (a recycled scene from an earlier short "Boobs In Arms").
    CLASSIC LINE: Curly; "I see the garage. I don't saw the garage. You are
    moidering the King's English."

    "Phoney Express" (***1/2) has the Stooges out west selling everything from
    Abdul's Cactus Remedy to being deputized.
    CLASSIC LINE: Curly: "Hmm, pepperminties."

    "A Gem Of A Jam" (***) Mistaken for doctors, the Boys are on the run from
    crooks and cops. The second half of this short is utter nonsense and in any other
    hands, it wouldn't hold up. A testament to how great the Stooges were that they're
    so convincing at selling the silliest of ideas. The bits with Dudley Dickerson
    are priceless. The x-ray scene is a keeper, as well.

    "Crash Goes The Hash" (****) A great short with the Stooges who work for
    Star Press Cleaners. A newspaper editor thinks they work for the media
    and hire them to expose Prince Sham. The print looks great, but the audio is
    surprisingly poor. The previous DVD release had better audio.
    CLASSIC LINE: Butler: "Such levity. You remind me of the Three Stooges."
    Curly: "Hey, that's an insult."

    "Busy Buddies" (***) Another bit of utter (or is that udder) nonsense as the Stooges enter a milking contest to win some fast cash. Damn if they don't pull it off, though.

    "The Yolk's On Me" (*) A real mess. Forget about the PC issue, this short
    just doesn't work. I smile at the fan dance Curly does with the ostrich
    feathers, but other than that, it's just a sloppy short that isn't funny.

    "Idle Roomers (***1/2) All hail Lupe the Wolf man! The Stooges discover
    the wolfman (in ridiculous make up) running amuck in the Hotel Snazzy Plaza.
    As janitors, it's up to the Boys to catch him.
    CLASSIC LINE: Moe: "Did you lock the door?" Curly: "Yeah, twice. Once this
    way and once that way."
    HISTORIC CASTING: Stooge regular, the lovely Christine McIntyre makes her
    Stooges debut.

    "Gents Without Cents" (**1/2) Another misfire, it would be unwatchable if not
    for the Niagra Falls and "Ratt-tat-toodily- day-day" numbers. The casting of
    Flo, Mary and Shirley (as a poorman's Andrews Sisters) weigh this short
    down like a ton of bricks. Their cartwheel shtick seems to go on forever!

    "No Dough Boys" (***1/2) has the Stooges dressed as Japanese soldiers
    for an ad shoot. On a lunch break, the owner thinks they are real "Jap" spies.
    Running away, they stumble (yet again) into a Nazi hideout. UN PC humor
    at its best.
    CLASSIC LINE: Moe: "Naki, Waki, come backi."

    "Three Pests In A Mess" (**1/2) A pretty flimsy script that gets saved by
    Christine McIntrye's performance and, of course, the Stooges. This short
    has such a cheap production to it, that during a supposed masquerade party,
    nobody bothered to add a crowd noise on the soundtrack, let alone having a
    few extras walk past the camera. It looks exactly what it is: two actors trying
    to sell the idea that there is a party going on in an empty sound stage. Jeez, not even music in the background.
    CLASSIC LINE: Larry: "What's the idea, porter? Mammy!"

    "Booby Dupes" (**) The first real evidence that Curly's health is starting to get
    the best of him. A weak effort doesn't help things, either. Watch Curly struggle
    to hide under the boat. The Stooges, as fish salesmen (again), try to catch their
    own for better profits. Again, this short has a particularly cheap feel to it. The
    scene with the fish flying all over the place would be right at home in a bad
    grade school production. And where did they get the second boat!?

    "Idiots Deluxe" (**1/2) isn't much better. There's a few good bits in the cabin,
    but overall, a weak short with a much more haggard Curly. So far, the shorts
    have been restored to a like new brilliance. This title however, looks terrible. The
    print is riddled with spots, debris, lines, scratches as if no restoration was done.
    CLASSIC LINE: Moe: "Sunny side down. And don't turn 'em over."

    "If A Body Meets A Body" (***) A decent scare comedy, but no classic, by any
    means. The Stooges stand to inherit some dough when Curly's uncle bites it.
    A remake of "The Laurel and Hardy Murder Case".
    CLASSIC LINE: Butler: "I hope you have a nice looong sleep." Moe: "Thanks,

    "Micro Phonies (****) is the Citizen Kane of Three Stooges films. Thankfully,
    Curly's ill health did not interfere with his performance, as this short has everything
    the last handful didn't. The story is solid, the directing is sharp, the pacing is spot
    on, and the supporting cast is fantastic. It's the last great Curly performance (although
    "Three Little Pirates" comes close). The Stooges are Senorita Cucaracha, Senior
    Mucho and Senior Gusto. They swipe a record and do a great aping of "Voices
    Of Spring" at a swanky party. That is, until their deception is discovered. The print
    is beautiful and all of Christine McIntyre's dialogue has been fully restored. All
    previous video releases had the annoying jump/splice cut during her explanation
    as to why she had to pursue her singing career under an assumed name. This is the
    last great Stooges short until Shemp re-joins the team. Always compared unfairly,
    the Shemp era had some of the best storylines and plots (before budget cuts caused
    a slew of remakes), but that's another review.......

    The shorts: B+
    The Restoration: A-

    Equipment used:

    Panasonic 50" widescreen plasma
    Kenwood receiver
    Infinity speakers

    ...more info
  • Every other month?
    I just checked too see when the next set in this awesome collection was coming out and wait one month, and have anther! This has alot of my favorite Three Stooge shorts and as one reviewer points out, Curly's health slowly begins to decline. They have one more set of Curly shorts but that could fit on one disc. Shemp is up next or least I hope! Keep up the excellent work of the Stooge's on dvd!

    The price has risen since my last review in which I stated the price has not gone up and its been at 17 dollars for the first three sets. Im not a picky person, im still getting this even if its 22....more info