Monday, June 24, 2013
THE THREE STOOGES IN ORBIT (1962)
RATING: ** & 3/4* out of ****
PLOT: In one of their later films, the Three Stooges put a modern twist on the “old dark house” genre by renting rooms in a spooky old mansion inherited by a kooky scientist. The twist is the addition of aliens from another world, who look like diminutive cousins of the Frankenstein monster! But even with this atom-age addition, the film manages to conjure up the traditional hallmarks of the horror-comedy genre including hooded and masked figures, secret passages, dark shadows and creepy catacombs. Can the Stooges not just survive a night in a haunted house but stave off an alien invasion as well?!
REVIEW: I began my review of the Three Stooges short, Outer Space Jitters (which I invite you to read by clicking here) by exploring the various actors who took on the role of “third Stooge” up to that point. Now comes the fourth to take on that mantle, Curly Joe DeRita. When I was a child, I was a little uncertain about him. He looked like Curly but sounded like Larry, and yet he had mannerisms and a delivery all his own. Only later as an adult did I realize he was “the right ‘third Stooge’ for the right time.” By the final decade of the Stooges’ act, the actors portraying the Stooges got older while their audience got younger. A funny but less violent and frenetic team fit the bill for this generation, and in retrospect Curly Joe was the perfect fit. The team had moved on from short subjects aimed at adults to begin making both feature films and TV appearances that were specifically targeted to appeal to the “kiddie” market that had made TV airings of their vintage two reel shorts such a success. The Three Stooges in Orbit is exemplary of the approach the trio took in their later years.
This film comes with some trivia: in 1960 the Stooges set out to create a new full color TV show called The Three Stooges Scrapbook that would include some routines/scenarios of one to two reels in length as well as animated cartoons based on the characters. For the pilot, the first live-action bit was the Stooges in a haunted house. The pilot failed to get an airing but was divided into two shorts for theatrical release.
Scrapbook’s haunted house bits were re-purposed for Orbit – the picture reverted to black and white and the laugh track removed. Ultimately, a TV show did transpire – The New Three Stooges whose format was mostly cartoons with very short live-action wrap-around bits from the Stooges. Some of the animation was also re-purposed for this movie, too and in a way, whether intended or not the movie ended up serving as an introduction to the retooled cartoon series.
Alas, the haunted house elements really only comprise a third of the film, but they hearken back to those halcyon days where the Stooges routinely tussled with things that go bump in the night. This review will concentrate both on those “old dark house” trappings and on the aliens (who as we saw in such Joe Besser Stooges entries as Outer Space Jitters can be plenty scary, too).
The film starts with a mock-serious voice-over expounding upon mankind’s fascination with life on Mars and what it might look like. It’s less mock and more serious, however – if you came in the middle of the narration not knowing what film you were watching, you might think it’s a serious film. This of course is quickly shattered with some humor promising that “at last you will learn the simple truth about life on Mars… as Normandy Productions lights the fuse… that puts The Three Stooges in Orbit!” The joke is all the more funny because of the serious buildup, although at a certain point, the punchline is telegraphed by the increasingly comic book style illustrations.
The film is playful from the get-go, because after it reveals the joke about the title, it also promises that within the film we’ll “meet the true image of the men from Mars.” This is accompanied by said Mars men (complete with Frankenstein Monster flat-tops) in animated form, ray-gunning their way through the opening credits.
The mock serious tone continues after the opening credits, as the narrator introduces us to “Hollywood, California – glamour capital of the world – where movie history was first written by such greats as Valentino, Pickford.” After acknowledging that television is charting new waters, the narrator intones that “carrying on in the tradition of the immortals”… are of course, none other than the Three Stooges!
They’re in fine form from the start, shown in a hotel room as Curly Joe wears a chef’s hat and serves up some food to Moe and Larry. As he serves he sings, resulting in a reprimand from Moe and Larry, nervous that the landlord will toss them out for cooking.
Curly Joe gets an early spotlight, practicing his speech for a TV appearance the following day. “It gives me great pleasure on this monotonous occasion”… he begins, only to have Moe correct him.
“Hey, hey… it’s “momentous. MOE-mentous,” Moe slowly repeats, emphasizing (of course) the “Moe” part! Curly Joe retorts, “What are you giving me two words for when I have enough trouble with one?!”
(Later, when the trio’s Professor friend laments that his life is lonely and “monotonous,” Curley Joe corrects him: “It’s ‘momentous.’ Ha – I said it!”)
Four decades and four line-ups after the team’s start in movies, the personalities remain spot-on. Moe is the bossy leader, Larry the nebulous-minded middle-man and Curly Joe the bumbling yet often creative third. There is bickering among the three and surprisingly, still at least a small bit of roughhousing as well. To be sure the Stooges have aged and mellowed somewhat, but a concerted effort seems to have been made to not stray too far from the knockabout clowns of olde.
And just like the 17 minute Columbia Pictures two-reelers of yore where the Stooges honed their trade, this feature film utilizes the flimsiest of premises as plot points to move the trio from point A to point B. The fact that the Stooges cook their own food gets them kicked out of their apartment and keeps them from renting eleven others (including one in a complex cleverly named, “Costa Plenty DeLuxe Suites”). Until Larry conveniently spots a classified ad reading, “Lonely retired gentleman desires boarders. Home cooking.”
And thus, the Stooges meet the kooky Martian-obsessed scientist… who just so happens to also live in a haunted house! And what a house it is. Big and cavernous, with every manner of antique furnishing and accessories… often on the dark and musty side of things, of course!
After niceties are exchanged the professor reveals he is working on a new invention: an all-purpose military vehicle. He explains how the invention can operate underwater, on land or in the air (and can even be propelled into the titular “orbit!). Of course everyone who’s ever seen a movie knows Chekhov’s adage that “if you introduce a gun in the first act it better go off in the third act” is going to come into play with the military vehicle.
The military vehicle is not the only “reveal” as the professor exclaims to his guests that “it will be so nice to have earthlings in the house for a change!”
The scientist exclaims that horrible alien spies are routinely out to steal his plans. Moe writes the scientist off as a “kook,” but Larry and Curly Joe are a bit more frightened of the prospect.
This all dovetails into the film’s most horror-comedy-friendly set-piece as the trio spend the night in the house. Larry and Curly Joe share a bed. When Curly Joe goes to turn out the light, a monstrous, clawed hand reaches through the wall to turn it off for him!
Curly runs screaming from the room only to be told by Moe “you’re off your rocker.”
Meanwhile, a hooded figure that looks like a grim reaper crossed with the emperor from the Star Wars saga, sporting a lobster claw hand a la District 9 shows up to bedevil Larry. As it scoops Larry up out of his bed and carries him away, Larry swoons in his sleep for the lover he imagines is sweeping him off his feet – an imaginary girlfriend named Mabel!
When Curly Joe returns to the bedroom with Moe to investigate, he’s further chastised by Moe. Seeing someone he assumes is Larry under the covers, Moe wonders why Curly Joe can’t just sleep soundly like his friend. Moe orders Curly Joe back into bed, not knowing it’s really the hooded figure lying under the covers!
Shortly ensues a funny bit where Curly Joe and the hooded figure fight over the covers. This is a time-honored style of gag – since Moe has established that it’s really “Larry” under the covers, Curly Joe never bothers to look at his bed-mate. Back and forth the unlikely duo pull the covers away from each other… until the fateful (inevitable?) moment where Curly Joe’s hand touches the monster’s claw and Curly finds himself staring face-to-face with the hideous beast!
This gag is topped by Curly Joe racing for the door again, where the agitated Moe waits on the other side. Startled by the sight of Moe, Curly Joe slams the door – and this sends Moe ricocheting back-and-forth along the hallway walls!
Trapped in the room with the ghoul, Curly Joe gets a momentary burst of bravery and uses the old trick of pointing and shouting “look!” When the hooded figure turns to look, Curly Joe knocks him out with a shotgun handle! Once unmasked, the culprit is revealed to be the butler (“It’s always the butler,” exclaims Moe).
Victory is short-lived. As the Professor and the Stooges congregate around the fallen figure, it rises and points a space gun at them! The seemingly human figure is really one of the aliens in disguise. Getting another brave moment, Curly Joe points the rifle back at the alien only to have the weapon zapped into nothingness!
As the Stooges flee, the Professor follows the faux alien into a catacomb where it communicates with other Martians via a giant TV monitor. It’s here where we discover the normal appearance of the aliens is somewhat akin to that of the Frankenstein monster – flatheads and high foreheads with wrinkled skin that suggests rigor mortis has set in. Their outfits are standard issue for the period: shiny garb, boots and flowing capes.
The spy explains that the Professor’s weapon may be more powerful than anything the Martians have, but when asked when it will be completed he has no idea. The filmmakers slip in some topical political satire a la Rocky and Bullwinkle’s jabs at the cold war: the agitated Martian leader lets off a string of strongly-voiced utterances accompanied by vigorous finger waving that are clearly meant to remind the parents of early 1960s kiddie matinee attendees of Khrushchev. The punchline? The subtitle accompanying the verbal barrage is merely, “Idiot!”
The plot zips into high gear from this point as the Martian leader appoints his two top men, Ogg and Zogg to the assignment. The Professor slips off to alert the F.B.I., but they think he’s crazy, too! The F.B.I. chief snarkily informs The Professor that his men are too busy “rounding up a herd of man-eating caterpillars from Venus” to deal with his plight.
Undeterred, the Professor finds a copy of a script with the inscription, “Hollywood Studio Stage One: the Three Stooges.” “Somebody’s gotta’ listen,” he intones as he sets off to find the comical trio. Of course, the team have to get to the studio first and that’s no small feat, as we’re treated to a mostly silent montage that finds the team trying a variety of means to do so, including helicopter-hiking!
Finally, the Stooges locate the studio from above and leap out of the copter, their parachutes billowing behind them. They walk into the studio just in time to be announced and hit the stage. One time-honored gag they manage to slip in right beforehand: still in their jammies, the Stooges duck into their dressing room and immediately duck back out all decked-out in fancy tuxes! The Stooges’ TV show-within-the-film takes its lead from their real-life failed pilot right down to its name, The Three Stooges Scrapbook and features the team introducing animated cartoon adventures of themselves.
There’s still the matter of a plot to prop up the cross-promotion, so now in addition to a real threat from Mars the Stooges themselves receive a real threat from their sponsor: stop arriving late for their show and come up with a unique-and-improved cartoon!
The Stooges are ready to concede defeat when the Professor reveals he can help, claiming he has invented “Electronic cartoons – the most startling new process since the Magic Lantern!” He’ll share his invention with the Stooges as long as the trio help him finish his land-sea-air contraption to stave off the Martians.
Anyone can see where this is going from here, how the two threads will collide and shower down a confetti of kiddie matinee goodness to all the mop-topped moppets below.
…But not before a rather scary and unsettling scene unfolds. Back at the Professor’s place, Ogg and Zogg have arrived and located the spy. The spy is genuinely terrified and I imagine kids in the audience were, too as the intimidating Ogg and Zogg force him into the yard while scary music plays. The dark mood prevails as the Martians force the spy into their ship so he can return to Mars. The spy actually grabs one of the Martian’s ray guns and mimes that the Martian should just kill him – he’d take death over returning to Mars! It’s a very creepy encounter.
An interesting aspect of this film is the Martian make-up. As mentioned above, the creatures are very Frankenstein monster-esque, but the makeup actually works in two ways: in ominous scenes like the one described above, they come off as downright frightening; in scenes to come that are played off more for comedy, the Martians come off humorously.
A rather curious verbal bit for a kid’s cartoon comes courtesy of the Professor. When he reveals his special vehicle to the Stooges, Moe asks what he calls it. The Professor replies, “I don’t know whether to call it a seagoing heli-tank, a land-going heli-sub or an airborne what-in-the-hel—“
As for the Professor’s new process that he claims will revolutionize cartoons: a whole animation cell drawing rendered by a computer! Who knew the “prof” in “professor” was an abbreviation for “prophet?!” Alas, a still drawing is all The Professor has – he has no idea how to make it move, much to the Stooges’ chagrin.
A few scenes later, an Air Force captain comes calling to witness the Professor’s tests on the vehicle (and to provide the love interest for the Professor’s daughter). When the model of the Professor’s vehicle takes flight, it knocks repeatedly into a door and reels back each time, almost hitting Larry in the head and prompting him to exclaim, “Wait a minute – I gotta’ open the door.” Soon the model is tangled in Larry’s hair!
Larry’s run-in with the model vehicle is soon followed by a comical encounter with Curly Joe. The model vehicle has found its way into the bathroom where Curly Joe is showering! It manages to trap Curly Joe in the shower curtain. Curly Joe reaches for the shower head to try to climb out but only manages to point it in the direction of Larry, Moe and the Professor, a gusher of water dousing the trio! Of note here is a subtle gag – the close-cropped Curly Joe actually wears a shower cap!
The model also supplies one of the film’s more “adult” moments as well – it zooms out of the Professor’s house and lands in the bathtub of a beautiful bathing neighbor. Moe tells Larry and Curly Joe to cover their eyes, but of course, they peek! The camera lingers as the gorgeous woman gets out of the tub and wraps a towel around herself, while the wacky soundtrack music incorporates a couple of skewed notes reminiscent of Hitchcock’s Psycho shower scene!
One of the big payoff scenes for the kiddie audience soon follows. The Professor actually has the Stooges doing mechanic work on the vehicle! Inevitably, we know chaos will soon ensue… and it does. Unable to get the oil out of a tin funnel, Larry violently hits it until a gusher of oil smacks Curly Joe in the eye! This sends Curly Joe reeling backward and onto the control panel, where he accidentally sets off some levers! Of course, Moe is perched atop the vehicle’s propeller at the time!
The film continues to intermittently alternate between kid-targeted scenes and those adults would appreciate more. A scene where the Martian TV communicator transmitter malfunctions leads to a montage of faux commercials that cleverly skewer advertising conventions. This segues into a pastiche of unrelated images that totally baffle the Martian leaders – from silent movie footage (in a nice nod to their slapstick roots Keystone Kops scenes are used) to teenagers doing the twist – although Ogg and Zogg are more intrigued and start rotating their hips!
The Martian leaders really can’t take all the disparate and frenetic television images they’re seeing and exclaim, “If this is earth, we don’t want it! Invasion canceled! Destroy the planet instead!” In a further allusion to Khrushchev, the head Martian pounds something (it’s hard to tell what) hard against the desk a la the famous Russian leader’s shoe-banging incident.
From here, plot complications designed to put tools in the hands of the Stooges (always a sure-fire laugh-getter) ensue. Tasked with getting the Professor’s vehicle in top-working order and out of the lab, the Stooges assume they need to take it through a small door. Following this illogic, Moe now insists they must increase the size of said door! Curly Joe goes to work with a hand chisel (!) and this leads to a nice visual set-piece where one of the Martians on the other side of the wall keeps pushing the chisel back through the hole, inevitably clonking Curly Joe in the head or eye each time! After the Martian gets a face full of exhaust pipe dust he retaliates by shooting a laser through the hole in the wall… which effectively evaporates the opposite wall, allowing the Stooges to set forth in the vehicle!
This should lead into the film’s highlight but alas it begins a third act that is hit-and-miss in spots. As the Professor, his daughter and the army officials eagerly await the arrival of the vehicle at the military base, the Stooges finally show up in it. I can’t put my finger on just why but in this scene – of the Stooges having a hard time operating the vehicle and nearly running over the Professor with it – the action plays rather inert, while the Stooges overdo their histrionics and bravado. It falls rather flat. And then, almost instantly, it picks up again as the Stooges narrowly avoid a hangar full of explosives (Larry, seeing the word “Magazines” on the side of the hangar tells Moe to “watch out for the bookstore!”), followed by an entanglement with a clothesline that sees them picking up… and dropping down ladies garments (right on top of the military officials – the general ends up with a bra draped around his shoulders).
Again, we have an instance where the film pushes the envelope past kiddie humor into PG material (perhaps this was one of the films to inspire the ratings, which had not been invented yet?). When Curly Joe warns Moe that’s he headed right toward the general, Larry replies, “Look out – you’ll land him on his brass!”
Many critics, when writing reviews of classic comedy films by the likes of the Three Stooges would mention the pie fight as being a stock-in-trade. This has always perplexed me because the number of Stooges films featuring pie fights are only a fraction of their overall body of work. Audiences do get some pie action in Orbit, though as a baker inexplicably emerges from some barracks to randomly place an array of pies on an outdoor table. You know how this will go: the vehicle’s massive propeller blades will blow the pies right into the army officials’ faces! It is in its way a novel twist on the pie fight – people still end up covered in pie, even if it’s at the hands (blades) of a machine instead of a person!
A truly bizarre sequence finds the Stooges driving the vehicle into a restricted area of the army base – but they can’t tell because a windstorm is obscuring their vision. Cut to officials in a meeting room discussing their latest atomic bomb explosive, activated by water and designed to disintegrate all submarines within a close radius! When the vehicle stalls, Curly Joe disembarks in search of the carburetor – and mistakes the bomb for it!
This is the film’s biggest telegraph, of course but it’s still fun to ride along with the Stooges as they have no idea what they’ve done. When Moe suggests they fly over a lake, Larry encourages him to try submarine mode. “You lamebrain, you saw what happened with sand in the distributor,” Moe admonishes, “whaddaya’think will happen with water in the carburetor,” never realizing that making contact with water would have cataclysmic results!
Before that can happen, the film has to deliver on its title’s promise, and boy does it ever. Moe warns, “Keep your cotton-picking fingers off that ‘orbit’ button,” but a scuffle that finds Moe landing a slap across Curly Joe’s face send the portly one aback… and his hand lands right on the “orbit” button, rocketing the trip into space! Finally, the payoff everyone’s been waiting for, as the Stooges really do go into orbit! In one of the funnier sight gags (so funny the footage is used repeatedly) the trio, knocked unconscious are hurled about the interior of the vehicle as if they are pinballs hitting bumpers. The monitoring Martians are amazed that the craft really works!
A scene reminiscent of Abbott & Costello Go to Mars follows where the boys end up back in earth’s atmosphere. Just like in the Bud and Lou film, the Stooges pass the Statue of Liberty but also add in other landmarks, like the pyramids and the Coliseum. When two airplane pilots spot them, the co-pilot is ready to report what his pilot refers to as a “flying submarine” but the latter vetoes the idea to avoid being labeled crazy!
Plot elements keep loosely colliding. The boys return to the professor’s lab with the vehicle intact while the Martians prepare their giant laser to destroy the vehicle… but the Professor has moved on and is making good on his promise to help the Stooges improve their cartoon show. He starts by smearing what looks like plaster of Paris (the Professor calls his special makeup “quick-drying polyunsaturated titanium) across the Stooges’ faces then gives them special black and white costumes to wear. Moe has some good old-fashioned violent Stooge fun by adding extra “makeup” and really letting Larry and Curly Joe have it as he slaps it across their faces. The Stooges then proceed to do “the latest dance craze,” which appears to be “The Twist.”
A merry mix-up soon ensues as the Martians encounter the Stooges in their costumes and makeup and mistake them for Martians, while the Stooges think the Martians are additional actors the Professor hired (and “Foreign” actors at that). This leads into a gag that was still fresh back in 1962 though may invoke less laughs today: the Stooges start to “read the subtitles” and learn that the Martians plan to destroy the Earth!
Now we get the finale we’ve been waiting for: the Martians hijack the vehicle but before it can take off the Stooges have climbed onto it and hang perilously to the outside! The Professor alerts the military about the hijacking but has no idea the Stooges are on-board. The boys narrowly escape a barrage of gunfire from air force fighters but refuse to give up the ship.
More pointed satire for the adults follows as one of the Martians instructs the other to “Hit them where it hurts the most” and we cut to a shot of Disneyland, complete with Mickey Mouse flora! Moe won’t stand for that and the trio grab the muzzle so it can only shoot into space.
The Stooges ultimately realize the ship is not being powered by a carburetor but by the atom bomb and set forth to douse it with water to “decommission” it.” Meanwhile, the Professor is leaving the chaos of imminent world destruction to everyone else while he dutifully reveals his new animation process to the Stooges’ TV producer and investor. The result is both backward-and-forward looking: it evokes both the “roto-scope” technique pioneered by Max Fleischer in the 1930s while also looking ahead to today’s motion-capture technology! All the Stooges have to do to stay on the air is show up on time…
Of course the boys are a bit busy. After some frantic antics they manage to re-direct the ship’s cannon directly to Mars. Then they detach the top cabin of the ship from the rest of the vehicle so that the Martians... and the atom bomb… go hurtling into the ocean for an explosive finish! The Stooges power on via propeller power and land back on earth to be declared heroes… and also arrive just in time to save their cartoon contract! A silly shot of the Martian leader and his men doing the twist follows, with the leader declaring, “if you can’t lick ‘em, join ‘em!”
There are cuts in the finale that have the same excitement as some of the actual 1950s “alien invasion” films – scenes of dead serious military personnel operating the controls of computers, artillery being marched out to reach the threat, and masses of screaming, running civilians. So authentic feeling are these clips that I have to wonder if Columbia actually borrowed them from their back-catalog of ‘50s sci-fi flicks!
The Three Stooges in Orbit features a lot of silly humor aimed at the kiddie audience who embraced the Stooges via their original shorts being rerun on TV, but there are also some time-tested sight gags and verbal exchanges that will make classic comedy fans chuckle. Not to mention the few extra “winking” bits aimed at adults but certain to go over young kids’ heads. Despite Moe and Larry’s advanced ages being apparent, both are game and give energetic performances, and Joe DeRita is more lively here than in some of his other Stooge outings. It also benefits greatly from wonderfully comic supporting work by longtime Stooges foil Emil Sitka as the scientist (who somehow appears younger than he did in the Stooges’ classic shorts!).
One of the joys of the film is just seeing how the Stooges carry themselves. More was asked of them in their features in terms of acting – moments where they had to roll with the plot dramatically and in a perfunctory fashion – handling scene transitions and the like. Despite this new wrinkle, the Moe and Larry characters as honed in the shorts remain intact. A key example is when the Professor commands, “Prepare for the water test!” Moe parrots the Professor in a mock-authoritative voice, followed by Larry parroting Moe and pointing in the air! Then Larry scoots off to prepare for the water test. It’s not just the “chain of command” aspect but also the vocal inflections and body language here that are vintage Stooges.
The movie has so much charm and light-hearted fun and laughs to offer that it is hard to resist. If you consider the team’s age at this point, the fact that Curly Joe is the most mild of the “third Stooges” and the fact that the film is child-directed and a plug for the act’s animated series, you may find yourself saying, “This shouldn’t be as good as it is… I’m laughing despite myself.” But ultimately (and especially with the “meta” aspect of the animated series thrown in) I think that’s really the whole point of the movie… just sit back and enjoy!
SPOTTED IN THE CAST: Edson Stroll, who in the same year started his regular role as Gunner’s Mate Virgil Edwards on the classic sit-com, McHale’s Navy.
BEST DIALOGUE EXCHANGES:
PROFESSOR: William will show you to your rooms… er, I mean rooms!
MOE – “Looks like a country club for zombies!”
LARRY: You oughtta’ know!
CURLY JOE: Hey Moe – it’s the Butler!
MOE: It’s always the butler!
MOE: Do you mean to tell me you’re going to let fear stand in the way of our careers?
LARRY AND CURLY JOE: Yes!
MOE: Do you mean to tell me that you’re too chicken to face up to that kooky butler?
LARRY AND CURLY JOE: Yes!
MOE: With three against one?
LARRY AND CURLY JOE: Absolutely!
MOE: Oh, absolutely, eh? Don’t you know that we absolutely left all our clothes and our only absolutely car up there, and you still refuse!
LARRY AND CURLY JOE: Absolutely!
MOE (after slapping Larry and Moe across their faces): We just took a vote, Professor. It’s unanimous. We’re going.
MOE (after a model of the Professor’s invention is demonstrated): It’s going to revolutionize the art of warfare!
LARRY: It’ll even revolutionize revolutions!
LARRY (alluding to the Professor): What a team! He’s got the brains and we’ve got…
MOE (sternly): What?!
LARRY: The enthusiasm!
MOE: That’s better!
MOE: How’re we fixed for gas?
CURLY JOE: Well the arrow’s pointing half-way – I don’t know if it’s half-empty or half-full!
CURLY JOE: Whaddaya’ think – I’m dumb?
MOE: I don’t think, I know!
CURLY JOE: I don’t think you know either!
(Later, after the boys are launched into orbit and start drifting back down to normal speed the entire exchange is repeated, with Curly Joe scratching his head and saying, “hey, didn’t we just do that?” to himself).
The afore-mentioned mayhem with both the Professor’s small-scale model vehicle and the full-size craft provides most of the visual delights as the Stooges engage all sorts of tried-and-true slapstick buffoonery.
BEST COMBINATION VERBAL AND VISUAL GAGS:
CURLY JOE (after the propeller incident): I’m sorry Moe – it was an accident.
MOE (after banging Curly Joe on the head with an iron pipe): Oh, well this is on purpose!
MOE (as the trio drive through a windstorm): How d’ya like that? Invisibility – zero!
CURLY JOE: Yeah, and you can’t see, either!
ONE FROM THE STOOGES’ CLASSIC GAG BOOK – Moe tells Curly Joe to clean up the mess. Curly Joe retorts, “I’ll clean it when I’m ready.” Moe then shows a plate of pancakes in Curly Joe’s face. “So?,” Moe asks. “So I’m ready!”
FURTHER READING: There are several excellent books available on the Stooges. Among them are “The Three Stooges Scrapbook” by Jeff and Greg Lenburg and Joan Howard-Maurer, “The Complete Three Stooges” by Jon Solomon and “One Fine Stooge” by Steve Cox and Jim Terry. For a great overview of all Columbia short subject series, pick up “The Columbia Comedy Shorts” by Ted Okuda and Edward Watz.
On the internet you should definitely read the article “The Three Stooges Meet the Monsters” from the Monster Kids site which you can read here.
BUY THE FILM: The Three Stooges in Orbit is available on DVD from a variety of online retailers.
WATCH THE FILM: You can watch the trailer right here: