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DVD Review HTF DVD REVIEW: The Three Stooges Collection Volume Three 1940-1942 (1 Viewer)

Richard Gallagher

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The Three Stooges Collection Volume Three: 1940-1942




Studio: Sony/Columbia
Years: 1940-1942
Rated: Not Rated
Length: 396 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Languages: English
Subtitles: None



The Program

Sony’s rollout of Three Stooges shorts in chronological order continues with The Three Stooges Collection Volume Three: 1940-1942. This set is every bit as good as the previous two volumes. The new collection includes the following shorts:

Disc One:

YOU NAZTY SPY!
ROCKIN' THRU THE ROCKIES
A PLUMBING WE WILL GO
NUTTY BUT NICE
HOW HIGH IS UP?
FROM NURSE TO WORSE
NO CENSUS, NO FEELING
COOKOO CAVALIERS
BOOBS IN ARMS
SO LONG, MR. CHUMPS
DUTIFUL BUT DUMB
ALL THE WORLD'S A STOOGE
I'LL NEVER HEIL AGAIN

Disc Two:

AN ACHE IN EVERY STAKE
IN THE SWEET PIE AND PIE
SOME MORE OF SAMOA
LOCO BOY MAKES GOOD
CACTUS MAKES PERFECT
WHAT'S THE MATADOR?
MATRI-PHONY
THREE SMART SAPS
EVEN AS I.O.U
SOCK-A-BYE BABY

As far as I can determine (and please correct me if I am mistaken), eight of these shorts had never been released previously on DVD by Sony/Columbia:

FROM NURSE TO WORSE
COOKOO CAVALIERS
SO LONG, MR. CHUMPS
SOME MORE OF SAMOA
LOCO BOY MAKES GOOD
WHAT'S THE MATADOR?
EVEN AS I.O.U
SOCK-A-BYE BABY

However, “What’s the Matador?” did appear on the The Three Stooges Comedy Collection laserdisc box set.

“You Nazty Spy!,” the first short in this collection, is notable for Moe’s satirical take on Adolph Hitler, which is said to be the first time that an American actor played a character based upon the Nazi dictator. The Stooges play hapless paperhangers who are put in charge of the country of Moronica by three industrialists – Mr. Ixnay, Mr. Ohnay, and Mr. Amscray. The sequel, “I’ll Never Heil Again,” was released the following year and is also included in this set.

Trivia note: The title “I’ll Never Heil Again” is a humorous spin on the song “I’ll Never Smile Again,” which was written by Ruth Lowe in 1939. “I’ll Never Smile Again” was the first #1 hit on Billboard’s Best Selling Singles chart.

The Stooges sets obviously are selling extremely well; this volume is already #58 at Amazon and Volume Four (1943-1945) is scheduled to be released on October 7, 2008.

The Video

As was the case with the first two volumes in this series, these shorts have been superbly restored and remastered. The images are sharp, with excellent contrast and fine shadow detail. Sony has wisely resisted the temptation to apply excessive DNR, as an appropriate amount of film grain has been retained to give these shorts a satisfying film-like appearance.

It is gratifying to see that Sony is continuing to deliver the Stooges shorts in a fashion which must rival the way they looked when they first appeared in theaters more than sixty years ago.

The Audio

The mono soundtracks are of course limited in dynamic range, but they are in fine shape. The dialogue is always intelligible and the sound is for the most part free of distortion. The one exception is during the opening few minutes of “A Plumbing We Will Go,” when there is some audible hiss. This is a minor flaw, however, and does not impair the viewer’s enjoyment of the short.

The Supplements

There are no supplements on this DVD set. I know that many fans would like to see some Stooges extras, but it is difficult to complain when we are getting three and one-half hours of wonderfully restored shorts for a street price of approximately $17.

Other Features

Each of the two discs offers the option of playing all shorts or selecting individual shorts.

The Packaging

The 24 shorts in this collection are spread over two discs. Each disc comes in a slimcase and both discs come in a slipcase. The artwork on the covers of the slimcases is similar to the artwork on the slipcase, except that the slimcases has different thumbnail photographs.

The Final Analysis

I cannot recommend this set more highly. Stooges fans obviously are snapping up these sets as fast as Sony can produce them, and if that support continues we can expect to see every Stooges short get this first-class treatment. Therefore, I will repeat my earlier plea: Buy one for yourself and another for a friend -- For Duty and Humanity!

Equipment used for this review:

Toshiba HD-XA2 DVD player
Sharp LC-42D62U LCD display
Yamaha HTR-5890 THX Surround Receiver
BIC Acoustech speakers
Interconnects: Monster Cable

Release Date: August 26, 2008
 

Ockeghem

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Richard,

Thanks for the excellent review.
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I will be picking up a set or two soon. The first two have been wonderful, and this one looks great as well. :emoji_thumbsup:

"Every man for himself!" ;)
 

Travis87

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Great review! And great to hear they're keeping the quality up on these sets. They really have been top-notch so far. A really great job all around by Sony.
 

rdf8585

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Good review - makes me even more anxious for the set.

One quibble - new to DVD shorts is actually 9, not 8. Forgot "I'll Never Heil Again."
 

Richard Gallagher

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Ryan,

Actually, "I'll Never Heil Again" is on the DVD "Hapless Half-Wits," but that sort of doesn't count because a lot of fans refused to buy it. It only contained four shorts and included the hated colorized versions.
 

rdf8585

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That's a good point. I guess I subconsciously refuse to acknowledge its very existence.
 

Xenia Stathakopoulou

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Nice review Richard, looking forward to this !!!!! Anyone think that theres a chance, volume 5 could be released in December ?????
 

jhro

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Very good chance. We would have about 11 weeks from October 7th til the end of the year to get volume 5 released and since only 5 weeks passed between volume 3 to 4 then i would say that theres a great chance of us getting volume 5 sometime in December.
 

Richard Gallagher

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It wouldn't surprise me, although there hasn't been an announcement. I just checked, and Sony hasn't announced any December titles yet.
 

Ed Moroughan

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Excellent review. :emoji_thumbsup: Also hoping for another Volume (or two) this year, since they could shorten the interval again. They did go from months to weeks for Vol. 3 and Vol. 4 after all. That could mean 5 and 6 this year. Anyone else given any thought to how they would handle Besser's last years? At three years at a time per set the last years (1958 and 1959) would be left alone. Either a two year set or merging it into a five year (1955-1959) set. Plus, what should the art be for the set with the Curly/Shemp change? Are there relevant stills of the four to use? Thoughts?
 

Joe Lugoff

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They could use that scene from "Hold That Lion" which shows all four of them, although Curly has hair.

I hope they decide not to worry and just go ahead and release that Besser set at the end. After all, the fans have bought the movies with Joe DeRita, and he isn't nearly as funny as Besser. Anyone who can watch the Stooges with DeRita certainly shouldn't complain about Besser.
 

Ockeghem

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Joe,

I like the idea of including art work from the short that included four of the Stooges. BTW, did DeRita appear in any of the shorts?

I will be purchasing all of the sets that are released. :emoji_thumbsup:
 

Ockeghem

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Thanks. I own a couple of the DeRita/Stooges films.
 

David Deeb

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Joe, that really is the best argument I've heard about releasing the Besser shorts. And there really are plenty of hilarious moments in the Besser series. He at least had a personality, where Joe DiRita was just plain bland.

I also think that there are so many die-hard, rabid Stooge fans clamoring for the Besser shorts that these will still sell very well.

Besser may not be as widely known as Curly to a casual viewer, however the Stooge fan base is huge & these have been some of the hardest films for us to get our hands on.
 

Joe Lugoff

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I must say some of the Besser bashing mystifies me. He had some funny shtick, unlike DeRita who didn't seem to have any!

Besser's "not so haaard!" and "I'm going to harm you!" get me laughing every time.

I don't mean this in a mean way, but out of curiosity: Can anyone here name one thing Joe DeRita did in any of the movies that made you laugh?
 

Travis87

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I've only ever seen one Joe DeRita film when I was very young, but I must say that it was infinitely funnier than anything I ever watched with Besser. I loved Curly and I loved Shemp but Besser rubbed me the wrong way or something. There's really only 1 short with him it it that I've seen that made me laugh.
 

Jon Martin

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Great review.

I'll be honest, I've never been much of a THREE STOOGES fan. But reading about this set makes me want to give them another chance.
 

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