Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Three Stooges in Ancient Times

The Three Stooges began as a vaudeville act, "Ted Healy and his Stooges" in the mid-1920s. The "Stooges" were Moe and Shemp Howard and Larry Fine. The four made a feature film titled Soup to Nuts, after which Shemp left to start a solo film career. Younger brother Curly Howard took his place. Two years later, the trio left Healy and began to make short subject comedies or "shorts" for Columbia Pictures. Between the years of 1934 and 1946, they made over 90 short films. In 1946, Curly dropped out due to health reasons and Shemp took the role as the third Stooge once again until his death in 1955. Curly died in 1952.

The Three Stooges were usually set in "modern" times - the Depression, WWII - but they also covered everything from Cave Men to Cowboys, often utilizing sets from historical films being made at Columbia at the time. The two shorts below are set in "Ancient" Times. I hope you enjoy them!

Matri-Phony (1942) - Ancient Rome

Mummy's Dummies (1948) - Ancient Egypt

All in all, the Stooges (including later replacement Joe Besser and Joe DeRita) made a total of 190 shorts, all which have been released recently on dvd. Since hitting the airwaves in 1958, The Three Stooges has been a staple on television, even to this day.

I will leave you with this excerpt from the Ted Okuda and Edward Watz book The Columbia Comedy Shorts:
Many scholarly studies of motion picture comedy have overlooked the Three Stooges entirely – and not without valid reasoning. Aesthetically, the Stooges violated every rule that constitutes "good" comedic style. Their characters lacked the emotional depth of Charlie Chaplin and Harry Langdon; they were never as witty or subtle as Buster Keaton. They were not disciplined enough to sustain lengthy comic sequences; far too often, they were willing to suspend what little narrative structure their pictures possessed in order to insert a number of gratuitous jokes. Nearly every premise they have employed (spoofs of westerns, horror films, costume melodramas) has been done to better effect by other comedians. And yet, in spite of the overwhelming artistic odds against them, they were responsible for some of the finest comedies ever made. Their humor was the most undistilled form of low comedy; they were not great innovators, but as quick laugh practitioners, they place second to none. If public taste is any criterion, the Stooges have been the reigning kings of comedy for over fifty years.
This post is part of The Sword & Sandal Blogathon hosted by Moon in Gemini. The subject may be ancient, but the posts aren't!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Olivia de Havilland's TV Appearances

Olivia de Havilland was, and is, a big movie star. Not only has she reached the monumental landmark of turning 100 today, but she is a living icon.

Some movie stars had second careers in television, some had movie careers that had died and were just appearing in television as an alternative. And some were barely in it.

Olivia appeared in four television episodes, two TV mini-series, and five TV movies. Unfortunately I did not have as much success finding the episodes to watch that I did with my post on Bette Davis.

Here is a list of Olivia's television appearances:

1965: The Big Valley "Winner Lose All"
1966: ABC Stage 67 "Noon Wine"
1968: The Danny Thomas Hour "The Last Hunters"
1981: The Love Boat "The Duel/Two for Julie/Aunt Hilly"

ABC Stage 67 "Noon Wine"

1979: Roots, the Next Generations - ep. 1.1 & 1.2
1986: North and South, Book II - ep. 1.3 & 1.4 (other four ep. credits only)

1972: The Screaming Woman
1982: Murder is Easy
1982: The Royal Romance of Charles and Diana (she plays the Queen Mother) - looks painful to watch considering we know the outcome, but Olivia's part looks good!
1986: Anastasia, the Mystery of Anna (the Dowager Empress Maria) - features a young Christian Bale!
1988: The Woman He Loved

Olivia also appeared several times on What's My Line.

This post is part of The Olivia de Havilland Centenary Blogathon. Click below to view all of the posts from the event.